Reliable techniques exist for reducing radon levels in homes. Experience with radon mitigation systems has developed to the point that virtually any home can be fixed, either by a trained radon contractor, or in some cases, by homeowners who accomplish the repairs themselves. One out of 15 (6%) homes nationally may have elevated indoor radon levels that should be lower. The percentage of elevated homes in your state may be much higher. The only way to know a house is elevated is to test.
How do I treat radon?Research by public and private agencies, years of extensive hands-on mitigation experience, and long-term follow-up studies on the durability of radon mitigation systems have formed a strong knowledge base of proven mitigation techniques for homes, schools, and commercial buildings. The techniques are straightforward and, for a typical single family residence, can be done in one day by a qualified contractor.
Radon reduction requires more than just sealing cracks in the foundation. In fact, caulking and sealing of foundation openings, on its own, has proven not to be a reliable or durable technique. However, sealing is done in conjunction with other mitigation steps.
Active soil depressurization (ASD) has proven to be a cost-effective and reliable technique for radon reduction, by collecting the radon from beneath the building before it can enter. The systems can be simple or complex, depending upon the design of the building. Operating costs of the fans are minor, due to their low power consumption (typically less than 90 watts per fan).
The system draws the radon-laden soil gas from beneath the foundation and exhausts it outside of the building, far enough away from windows and other openings that it will not reenter. The system typically consists of a plastic pipe connected to the soil through a hole in a slab floor, through a sump lid connection, or beneath a plastic sheet in a crawl space. Attached to the pipe is a quiet, continuously operating fan that discharges the radon outdoors.
The system design is a function of the construction of the home, rather than the radon concentrations in the home. A home with more than one foundation can present challenges to collecting the soil gas from under all portions of the building. However, trained mitigation contractors can sometimes connect multiple systems together so that only one fan system is required.
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