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After learning about the dangers of radon, you decided it would be a good idea to buy a kit and test your home. You paid attention to every detail and followed all of the instructions, took your sample, and then mailed it off to a lab to be analyzed. The next week or two can be difficult, waiting for the results to come back while not knowing what is lurking in the air that you are breathing in each and every day. Finally, you receive your results, and unfortunately, your home has elevated levels of radon! What do you do next? This is a problem that many homeowners face and we are there to help you!
Through the internet, it seems like there isn’t much that you can’t teach yourself to do these days. Just do a quick Google search or type in what you want to do in YouTube, and instantly, you have access to tons of information or videos to guide you through the process. Radon mitigation systems are no exception, and you will find plenty of information out there on how to install a system yourself. Although there is some useful information out there, installing a radon mitigation system yourself is not something we recommend the average homeowner to do. Installing a complex system such as this is much more complicated than most simple household repairs, such as patching drywall. This is an area where you want an expert doing the work, similar to when you install a new roof or heating/cooling system. Although it will cost a little more to hire a professional, it could wind up paying for itself if you try to install a system yourself that doesn’t end up lowering your radon levels and have to do it again. With the variation found in home construction, it is wise to allow an expert to determine the best method to remove the radon from your home.
Here are a few methods to consider when looking to mitigate radon from your home:
Sub Slab Depressurization (SSD)
This is the most common form of mitigation that is used to remove radon. The system is more or less made up of PVC pipe and a fan. While the materials are fairly simple and uncomplicated, properly installing them requires experience and expertise. SSD involves drilling holes through the basement floor to capture all of the underground air in PVC pipes and pump it outside of the home with a fan. The method of venting this contaminated air can vary, but the overall goal is to eliminate it up and out of the house. It can be vented through a garage, through an attic vent or outside through a pipe that extends to the roof. The important thing is proper placement and sealing to avoid contaminated air entering your living spaces.
SSD With Crawlspace
This method is very similar to the standard SSD method used in a basement, but it is modified slightly to capture air from exposed soil in a crawlspace. In order to effectively capture all contaminated air within the crawlspace, a plastic liner is sealed onto the floor and walls. This allows a PVC pipe to be inserted under the plastic to capture all of the air and pump it out of the house with a fan system similar to a standard SSD system. In addition to removing radon, this system also has the benefit of dehumidifying your crawlspace by pumping moisture out of the area.
Sealing of homes and foundations has been tested extensively by the EPA to prevent radon infiltration, and no method has been found to reduce levels permenantly by sealing alone. Even by applying epoxies and other coatings, radon has still managed to infiltrate into homes. While sealing holes is a good start to reducing radon, it is most likely not sufficient to completely eliminate the hazard.
For complex homes that won’t allow for the installation of a SSD system, air exchangers are an option. This system uses fans to pull fresh air in one side of the house and a fan to expel it out the other side. While this option does not reduce the amount of radon entering your home, it dilutes the air in your home to try and bring it within acceptable limits. This option is typically used as a last resort, only when a SSD system won’t work.
Since there are several options to reduce or remove radon from your home, it is recommended to have a professional formulate a plan for how to best eliminate radon and bring your air levels back to safe limits for you and your family.