Many people are familiar with the dangers of radon exposure, but fewer are aware of the need for radon mitigation. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can seep into homes through cracks in the foundation or other openings. Once inside, it can build up to dangerous levels, putting occupants at risk for lung cancer. Mitigation involves sealing these openings and installing a ventilation system that helps to remove radon from the air. While mitigation comes with a cost, it is often the only way to protect yourself and your family from the dangers of this invisible gas.
There are no immediate symptoms from breathing radon gas so you can’t tell immediately if you’re being exposed. The only way to know for sure is to test for radon gas in your home, school, or office building. You can’t rely on your sense of smell because radon is an odorless gas.
GOAL OF A RADON MITIGATION SYSTEM
The goal of a radon mitigation system is to reduce indoor levels as low and close to 2 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), which is below the EPA action level of 4pCi/Ll.
The type of foundation you have can determine what radon mitigation system will work best. To find out, contact a licensed professional in this field who may conduct some diagnostic testing to help guide where your home’s needs lie!
A fan continuously pulls air from the ground and directs it outside through a pipe. The pipes can either run inside or outside your house, but they’re designed to vent away from windows so you don’t have any unwanted radon re-entering your home.
10 STEPS TO RADON MITIGATION
1. Test your home for radon. Standard Water will be happy to provide you with a free, no
obligation, radon test kit and help you interpret the results.
2. Get several bids from licensed radon mitigation professionals.
3. A representative from each of the companies will walk-through your home to
determine the layout of your mitigation system.
4. Review key questions with each radon mitigator and request a proposal.
5. Review the bids and select a company.
6. The company you chose may perform diagnostic testing to ensure the proper fan size
and correct installation.
7. Cracks and openings in the basement will be sealed
8. Installation of your radon mitigation system.
9. Your radon mitigator will provide you with a full explanation of how the system
10. Retest your home to ensure the system has reduced radon levels.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Radon reduction systems must be clearly labeled. This will avoid accidental changes to the system which could disrupt its function.
A post-mitigation radon test should be done. Wait at least 24 hours after your new system has been operating to do this. You should re-test your home every few years to ensure no new radon leaks have occurred.
Written operating and maintenance instructions and copies of any warranties should be provided.
Most radon mitigation system installations require electrical work to power the radon fan which requires an electrical permit. If a contractor is doing the work, the person must be licensed.
Radon reduction systems cause some loss of heated or air conditioned air, which could increase your utility bills. How much your utility bills increase will depend on the climate you live in, what kind of reduction system you select, and how your home is built. Systems that use fans are more effective in reducing radon levels; however, they will slightly increase your electric bill.
Similar to a furnace or chimney, radon reduction systems need occasional maintenance. If you have a fan powered (or active) system, you should look at your warning device, usually a manometer, on a regular basis to make sure the system is working correctly. Fans may last for five years or more — manufacturer warranties tend not to exceed five years — and may then need to be repaired or replaced. The cost to replace a fan varies as it is based on labor and materials. Ask qualified mitigators for estimates before work begins.
If you happen to have one of our basement waterproofing systems installed, that’s good. Since our waterproofing system sits under your basement slab next to the footing and is sealed, it’s perfect for adding a radon mitigation system. We simply tie into the waterproofing system at an appropriate spot and draw air from the soil underneath your basement floor and direct it into the atmosphere above your house.
If you don’t have one of our waterproofing systems installed, no worries, we have solutions for every basement.
Radon is a gas that you can’t see, smell, or taste. It is estimated to cause many thousands of lung cancer deaths each year. In fact, the EPA estimates that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, second only to smoking.
Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Any home may have radon in it. Radon can get into any type of building – homes, offices, and schools – and result in a high indoor radon level.
You can’t control what’s happening outside, but there are ways to reduce radon levels in your home. The best way to find out if you have a radon problem is to test your home for radon. You can fix a radon problem if one is found.
Lung cancer caused by exposure to radon can take years – even decades – to develop. That’s why it’s so important for you to test for radon and mitigate if necessary, even if you’ve never smoked a day in your life.
If you have any questions regarding your home and Radon, please do not hesitate to contact Standard Water. We’re more than happy to provide you with a free Radon Test Kit and consult with you to discuss what the results mean to you. If it turns out you have elevated levels of Radon, we can also offer a free, no obligation estimate to help reduce those levels. Contact us today.