Homeowners often ask us if we put a cover on the top of the radon mitigation piping. It does seem like it would be a good idea. However, not only is it not necessary for the system to be effective and to protect the fan, pipe covers can actually reduce the effectiveness of the system itself and cause big issues in the winter time.
Won’t rain get into the piping and negatively affect the system?
The radon mitigation fans that we use are designed to handle water coming into the piping, and if water does come down into the pipe when it rains, the water will simply drain back into your drain tile underneath your home to be pumped out again from your sump pump.
Won’t leaves and other debris get into the piping and wreck the fan or clog the pipe?
It is very rare for debris to find its way into the pipe without getting blown right back out.
What about animals?
Due to the amount of air flow constantly running through the pipe most animals stay will away from opening to the pipe.
Why a cover can be detrimental to your radon system:
Pipe covers can cause your system to freeze over in the winter: When your radon mitigation system is running, it is pulling air from beneath your homes foundation and safely venting it above your roofline. In the wintertime, condensation forms because the outside air is much cooler than the air from underneath your home. With a cover, the condensation starts to build up and freeze over, eventually causing it to freeze over the top of the pipe completely. When this happens, the radon fan can no longer pull and push any air through and the system becomes useless. Radon levels tend to be higher in the winter time due to closed house conditions, stack effect, and other temperature/pressure differentials making this a pretty bad situation. With a frozen system you will start to accumulate high levels of radon in the basement with nothing to extract it out.
Less Airflow: Nearly all covers will affect the amount of airflow running through your radon mitigation piping. Keep your levels as low as possible, the top of the pipe should be left open to allow the most airflow possible to keep your system running at peak efficiency.
In conclusion, putting a protective cap on the top of your radon system might sound like a good idea in theory. However, due to the factors discussed above and the fact that it is not necessary, we advise against it. If Radon is found in your home call Radon Rid today to have your home mitigated at an affordable cost.