Getting rid of radon from the basement is indeed a priority to modern families. It is pretty common today; most families arrange radon barriers or vents to deal with the issue. However, the houses that don’t have a stable mitigation system to deal with high radon levels are still looking for a solution.
Now there is not a single method that can remove all kinds of radon. However, the most common technique that fits in the best is radon mitigation. It’s basically a process to reduce the concentration of radon gas in breathing zones of water supplies or buildings.
If you haven’t tested your house yet, you can also look for a radon map and see if it’s close to your residential area. And never forget! There is always a way of fixing the radon at home, no matter how high the level is.
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Why Is It Essential To Reduce Radon Gas From Basement?
Before you start looking for a solution to remove radon from your basement, be sure if you really need to go that extreme. The minimum quantity of radon is still not harmful; however, it’s the second leading cause of lung cancer, making it dangerous anyway.
If you have confirmed radon level in your house to be more than 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), it is a significant risk. Especially if you have people in your home who smoke daily or even occasionally, get rid of that radon as soon as possible!
To do this, you must know where radon comes from. Radon is a radioactive product derived from the Uranium’s decay in the soil. The natural vacuum makes it suck into the structures which are created on the soil. One can also call it as thermal stack effect! That’s the reason anyone can be easily exposed to harmful radon decay products leading to possible lung cancer issues!
Radon has the potential to damage the deep lung tissues once it gets inside the lungs. It can easily reach the DNA strands and thereby affect them adversely, causing a tumor. You can look more in detail about the hazardous effects of radon in your home here.
How to remove radon from the basement?
The most common type of radon mitigation system is sub-slab-depressurization. It’s basically inserting the suction pipe in the concrete slab line below the home through to the floor. The radon gas is then drawn out from the house vent out in the air.
Another less common method is submembrane depressurization. A plastic membrane is used to seal the dirt in the crawlspace by wrapping it around the foundation walls. It includes the same venting method as the one mentioned above.
You can also prefer using a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) too. It’s a simple machine for exchanging outdoor and indoor air to effectively reduce the radon levels using the phenomenon of dilution.
Minimize The Effect Of Radon In A New Home Construction
No statistics can determine what amount of radon a new home is capable of attracting. The pressurization signature is unique to every house. All the systems like ventilation, heating, and plumbing work together and differently in every construction. The vacuum created on soil is deeply affected by their work.
Take a look and follow the steps mentioned below to minimize the harmful effects –
● Put a passive radon pipe from roof to basement during the construction
● Don’t leave the openings around the water piping and sewer; permanently close them.
● Cover the sump pits
● Check the integrity of the basement slab occasionally.
Working Of A Passive Radon System
A passive radon system is usually a PVC vent pipe that goes up to the roof and outside in the air. It shows the thermal stack effect and draws all the radon outside the structure, working as a perfect vacuum.
A passive radon system doesn’t really work well to get rid of radon gas. No matter how perfectly a passive radon system is constructed, it is challenging to reduce the levels below 4 pCi/L. Radon’s emanation strength stops the effectiveness of the passive radon system.
The worst thing people face is that it’s rare to have a perfectly constructed passive radar system. It doesn’t work well if the radon vent pipe is set poorly beneath the basement slab into the gravel. It also can’t work if the vent pipe is obstructed even at one point.
It’s common for builders to set the radon vent pipes inappropriately, which causes the radon to vent from above the ground level or a side of the home.
If you are going for a passive radon system, make sure you get suggestions from an expert upon the placement of radon pipes. You will get the most convenient solution after your test your home and find a passive system. It’s really possible that your home already has a passive return system, and it still hasn’t reduced the radon levels effectively.
Getting Rid Of Radon By Sealing The Basement
Getting a more straightforward fix like this for radon is a great lifesaver. However, the bad news is, sealing, painting, or caulking doesn’t really lower the radon level.
The active radon enters the structures through minute openings over the soil. It can even create its way through concrete, cinder block, are anything semi-porous.
That’s why for extremely high levels of trade on getting professional help is the best way to go.
Factors Affecting The Pricing Of Radon Abatement
One can craft a radon mitigation system perfectly for individual houses. Cost is highly variable as the ventilation is different for every building. There’s a good chance the cost in new homes will be lesser as they already have passive piping right in their places.
Other houses that have a crawlspace or gravel-less slab can cost higher than usual.
Expenses can be more significant when it’s about labor and quality parts. However, it’s about removing significant hazards from home so you wouldn’t want to go with inferior quality parts.
Choose the radon company wisely and observe if they ask proper questions. A company that doesn’t ask too many questions probably won’t give you good service too.
Natural Remedies To Reduce Radon
Natural remedies are not always effective; however, you can try them on. Who knows, even this will work for a particular radon level that you’re unaware of?
The most basic remedy is to increase the natural ventilation in the house. You can easily do it by opening vents, doors, and windows of the ground floor. Too much ventilation will mix the outdoor and indoor air and thus reduce the radon level indoors.
The only drawback is once you close the doors and windows, the radon levels rise back to normal in just 12 hours.
The only conclusion we can make out is that natural ventilation is nothing but a temporary radon reduction method. It is also associated with the following disadvantages-
● Security concerns
● Expenses of conditioning additional air from outside
● Conditioned air loss
Should I Try The Diy Radon Mitigation Method Instead Of Calling A Professional?
No matter what the radon level is, no professional would advise you to fix it yourself through natural remedies.
You can try sealing the sump, cracks, or joints, and it can lower the level to some extent but won’t make it harmless. To get the radon levels in safety standards, you should go for a radon abatement service.
What Information Is Needed To Get A Quote For Radon Mitigation?
Any radon abatement company can provide you a quote over these fundamental questions-
● When was the house built, and how was it laid out?
● Does the home have any radon-resistant features?
● Does the house come with a Crawlspace or basement?
In the end, all we want is a radon-free house where we can breathe good air. That’s why all the important things one must know about removing radon are mentioned in the post. Let us know in the comments if you tried any of these tips and how they turned out for your home!