Radon is believed to be responsible for up to 20,000 deaths from lung cancer per year. The Environmental Protection Agency Recommends a radon mitigation service for any building whose radon levels measure 4.0 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) and above. A building with this radon level is considered unhealthy and unsafe and a random mitigation system has to be designed specifically to reduce the detected levels of radon to a much healthier amount. There are different radon mitigation techniques. While some techniques help to keep radon out of your building, others work to reduce the radon concentration and bring it down to safe levels. The type of mitigation technique and the radon mitigation system cost depends mainly on the foundation type of your home.
Radon Mitigation For Slab-On-Grade Foundation Or Buildings With Basement
If your home has a slab-on-grade or basement type foundation, the method of radon reduction that is likely to be used include sub-slab suction, sump-hole suction, drain-tile, or block-wall suction techniques. Active sub-slab suction is also known as sub-slab depressurization. This is the most commonly used method for this foundation type. For this technique, suction pipes will be inserted into the soil underneath your floor slab. A radon fan will then be connected to this suction pipe to draw the radon gas from underneath your home and release it into the outdoor air. Passive sub-slab suction is similar to this method but relies on natural differential pressure and air current to get rid of the excess radon. Homes with drain pipes or suction pumps use sump-hole or drain-tile suction methods to mitigate radon levels. The block wall suction method is used for homes with hollow block foundation walls and is commonly used in combination with the sub-slab suction method.
Radon Mitigation For Homes With Crawlspaces
For buildings with a crawlspace, an effective method for mitigating high radon levels involves covering the floor using highly dense plastic sheets. A fan or vent pipe is then installed to draw the radon to the outdoors. This method is known as submembrane suction. This method is the most effective way to mitigate radon levels for buildings with a crawl space. Another method is active crawlspace depressurization. This method involves using a fan to draw air from the crawlspace. This method is not as effective as the submembrane suction and may also lead to higher energy costs. In some cases, it is also possible to reduce radon levels by passively ventilating crawl spaces with a fan. This method reduces indoor radon levels by reducing the suction on soil and diluting the radon beneath the home.
Maintaining Your Radon Mitigation System
Like your chimney, furnace, and other systems in your home, your radon mitigation system will also require occasional maintenance. Typically, a warning system will be inbuilt into the system to confirm if it is working properly and notify you if any part of the system needs to be repaired or replaced. For systems that use fans, the fan will need to be replaced or repaired after about five years. Radon mitigating systems with a heat recovery ventilation system (HRV) require periodic cleaning at least twice a year. You will also need to inspect vents for leaves and other debris and have the ventilator check by a professional to ensure balanced airflow for efficient radon control at all times.