Radon Mitigation Questions & Answers

Radon is an odorless, tasteless gas which cannot be seen. Uranium in soils decays creating a radioactive gas – radon – that is said to cause over 20,000 deaths per year (according to the EPA). Radon gas is noxious throughout the U.S.A.

Your home acts as a trap for radon gas, allowing it to build up and preventing it from dissipating into the air naturally. Radon can enter through unsealed crawl spaces, cracks in floors and foundation, and the water supply.
YES! No matter the age of your home, you can have high radon levels.
While there is no conclusive data, children have been said to be more susceptible to certain types of cancer. If you don’t test your home, you could be putting your children’s safety and life at risk.
YES!

The Surgeon General Health Advisory in 2005 says: “Indoor radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country. It’s important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques.”

An active radon reduction system reduces the amount of radon that enters the home, other soil gases and moisture, which makes the home healthier and reduces the likelihood of moisture-related problems such as warping wood, odors and mold or mildew. An active system:

  • Improves indoor air quality
  • Reduces radon, moisture, odor, allergens
  • Provides a more comfortable living environment
  • Adds more living space
  • Preserves the building’s structure

A passive system or RRNC may provide a small reduction in radon levels because of the stack effect which is heat rising in the home. However an active system will reduce radon in nearly every new home. The risk to homeowners when they buy a home with RRNC or passive system is that both terms give the idea that a home is safe from radon. A home with RRNC or a passive radon system is a huge step forward but not guaranteed to resist radon until activated with an inline fan.

These two steps that will make a passive or RRNC system active:

1. Add a radon fan.
2. Test the radon level.

  • Homes built since the 1980s

Frequently have a gravel bed under the concrete slabs, which creates a great opportunity for air flow. System design in these homes is almost exclusively aesthetics and the fan choice is a very energy efficient, lower suction fan.

  • Homes built before the 1970s

Likely these have slabs poured directly onto the soil, frequently compacted soil, or clay, which may lead to decreased airflow and special mitigation considerations. These special needs have a larger effect on system design and may benefit from the use of a high suction fan.

  • Slab areas greater than 2,000 + sq feet.

These homes may require special design considerations, and system design may include or combine, larger piping, multiple penetrations or multiple systems. Fan selection is based upon both the pressure field extension and sub-slab materials.

  • Multiple slab homes

More often than not, proper mitigation will require addressing the whole building. If the home has more than one foundation type or level, (or crawl space) the system design may need to incorporate the full slab with additional pipe extensions into other slab areas.

Radon fans run continuously, however, with proper installation, design, and sealing of the basement slab. Most system’s average energy cost should be less than $50 a year.

We maximize energy efficiency by creating the best possible airflow under the slab, and by sealing basement floor cracks.

There are several factors that can affect the cost of a new radon mitigation system in the home. These might include the size of the home and the ground-contact area to be treated, the location of the system (exterior or garage installation) and other factors. The typical systems we install for the majority of homes we service range from between $750 to $1000, with most systems usually in the lower to middle-zone of that price spectrum. This compares to a national average cost of $1000 for sytems installed by other contractors around the country.

If the home requires excessive sealing, larger more expensive fans, extra suction holes, the treatment of a crawl space, placement of the system inside walls or in attic spaces with roof penetrations, the price of the system can increase from the base price to reflect the extra cost of time and materials to install the system. Usually, treating crawl spaces areas will bring the price up.

Typically, radon systems are quiet, however the way the system is designed and installed can limit noise transfer from the radon system into the interior for some of the higher air flow fans. If noise is a concern, please consult us about noise before making a decision on system design.

“EPA does not recommend the use of sealing alone to reduce radon because by itself, sealing has not been shown to lower radon levels significantly or consistently.”

However, sealing areas that are open to soil exposure is part of the process when reducing radon. Closing these gaps between the soil and living spaces help to create a vacuum under the house.

Even with vigorous efforts to seal these openings, leakage can exist that is not visible to the eye. Over the years, new settlement cracks can also appear causing more leakage areas.

Below are typical leakage areas and effective ways to seal these openings:

Item Materials
Sump Cover: Custom, non-breakable plastic disc with an air tight seal
Accessible floor-wall joint: Polyurethane caulking
Tiny “hair line” cracks: Typically not cost effective or meaningful
Misc. cracks & openings: Polyurethane, expanding foam, mortar
Drains: Air traps specific to the radon industry
Open Earth: Poly sheeting placed over open earth and secured/sealed to walls

Most radon systems are virtually maintenance free. The only moving part is the fan and the system should remain effective for as long as the fan is running.

A manometer is a U-shaped tube filled with either mercury or liquid used to measure the pressure difference between the atmosphere and radon. The long sides of the tube have a measuring scale marked off in millimeters. When a gas line is connected to one side of the manometer it shifts and the difference in the height of the liquid in each side is used to calculate the pressure of the gas line. As long as the liquid levels are a skew, the radon fan is working.

TESTING

The first step is to take care of the health and safety of you and your loved ones by testing your home for radon. At Radon Rid, our experts use modern equipment and radon monitoring technology to deliver a report with our findings, that show radon levels as recorded over a 48-hour sampling period.

NEW CONSTRUCTION

Before starting construction on a new home ins is very important to test the soil of the property you will be building on for radon. That’s not all, it just as important to have the home test for radon after it has been built. You should also consider installing a dampness control system in your home that will alert you if there are high levels of dampness.

MITIGATION

If your tests indicate levels of radon that require attention, our team of engineers and technicians will design and install a custom radon mitigation system to effectively and safely move radon and other soil gasses out of your home. We also take additional measures to seal and close gaps in the foundation and drains that could let soil gasses into the home.

TESTING

The first step to help ensure the health and safety of you and your family is to have your home tested for radon. At Radon Rid, our professional technicians use the latest in computerized radon monitoring technology to provide you with a comprehensive report, including a complete visual graph of radon level data points as recorded over a 48-hour sampling period.

NEW CONSTRUCTION

With new home construction projects, it is important to determine the level of radon that could be present in the soil before the home is built. It’s also important to have the new home retested for radon levels immediately following occupancy. We also highly recommend installing an Active Dampness Control System (ADC) with every new build.

MITIGATION

If your tests indicate levels of radon that require attention, our team of engineers and technicians will design and install a custom radon mitigation system to effectively and safely move radon and other soil gasses out of your home. We also take additional measures to seal and close gaps in the foundation and drains that could let soil gasses into the home.

TESTING

The first step to help ensure the health and safety of you and your family is to have your home tested for radon. At Radon Rid, our professional technicians use the latest in computerized radon monitoring technology to provide you with a comprehensive report, including a complete visual graph of radon level data points as recorded over a 48-hour sampling period.

NEW CONSTRUCTION

With new home construction projects, it is important to determine the level of radon that could be present in the soil before the home is built. It’s also important to have the new home retested for radon levels immediately following occupancy. We also highly recommend installing an Active Dampness Control System (ADC) with every new build.

MITIGATION

If your tests indicate levels of radon that require attention, our team of engineers and technicians will design and install a custom radon mitigation system to effectively and safely move radon and other soil gasses out of your home. We also take additional measures to seal and close gaps in the foundation and drains that could let soil gasses into the home.