Yesterday I began sorting and packing in the basement. Here is a pile of stuff all packed and ready to go to our new house! I also made an area for things we didn’t want, and at the end of the day I put several boxes in my car ready to go to Goodwill. But here is what is left to do:
It was a bit overwhelming to even think about how to get through all this, until I just decided to start in one corner, which happened to be our camping equipment, and do that, and then when that was done, to move on to the next area. I guess that is a good remedy for many overwhelming things in life–start someplace and take it one step at a time.
Since I had the day off, it was a good chance for Margy and I to confer on various items–we got through Christmas decorations, and baskets, and pots for planting: What can we get rid of? What do we want to keep? Then, I would put them in boxes and seal and label and put them in the packed-and-ready corner.
Meanwhile, Margy was sealing cracks in the concrete floor. When we first bought our house, the basement had tested too high for radon levels. A mitigation system was installed–you can see part of it in the photo above–the white piping goes down underneath the floor to draw radon from the soil. The piping goes up through a closet into the attic and out through the top of the roof. A fan in the pipe in the attic creates a negative pressure to pull the radon gases through the piping, so it doesn’t seep into the basement. But part of what makes it work is to seal all the cracks in the floor.
We haven’t been much concerned about it for a while. Since we don’t spend much time in the basement, it has not mattered so much to us. But our home buyers are having their home inspection done this week, including a radon test. We are hoping the extra effort to seal the cracks will ensure the mitigation system is doing its job, and the basement levels will pass the test.
Radon is a big issue for housing all across the United States. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas, but if humans are exposed to too much, it increases our risk of lung cancer. This can be an issue for very energy efficient houses, because they are more tightly sealed, which makes for less air flow. Have you had radon levels tested in your home?