Here are all the possible radon mitigation methods for an existing home. If you are planing to build a new home minimize the level of radon gases within your home by using a Radon Resistant Construction Technique.
1. Preventing Radon Gases From Getting Into the Home
a. Seal Radon Gases Entryways
Sealing radon entryways is a simple solution with the main goal of preventing radon gases from getting inside the home by sealing all the possible entry paths. Caulking basement floor cracks, covering bare crawlspace floors with plastic, coating basement walls and basement floors with deap sealing compounds or cement paint, installing and sealing caps on sump pump holes and open drains can dramatically lower radon levels.
b. Remove Radon Gases from Soil Underneath the Home
Removing radon gases from the soil underneath the home is a bit more complex and has the greatest effect on your home's environment. A popular radon mitigation method uses a low volume ventilation fan, known as in-line radon fan, which pumps air from beneath the basement floor. This radon mitigation method, also referred to as Sub-slab depressurization technique, has been found to be the most effective so far. By installing an In-Line Radon Fan along with a vent pipe a fan-based radon mitigation system gets built. The system creates low pressure under the basement slab and pumps radon gases from underneath the home via plastic pipe to a vent located at the roof line. This radon mitigation method is recommended to be used in conjunction with sealing and caulking all the openings in the concrete foundation floor and radon entry routes.
Alternately, a fan based Block-wall suction system is suitable for basements with hollow block walls while a fan based Drain-tile suction system works best for basements with drain tiles. For increased efficiency, both radon mitigation systems should be complemented by sealing and caulking all the openings in the concrete foundation floor and radon entry routes.
c. Pressurize Basement
Basement pressurization will create a higher pressure within the basement and prevent radon gases from getting in and it is usually used in conjunction with sealing and caulking all the openings in the concrete foundation floor and radon entry routes.
2. Venting Radon Gases Out of Home
Venting radon gaseses out of the home is well suited for unused basements and crawl spaces. Radon levels can be significantly reduced if the unused basement or crawl space is naturally ventilated after being isolated from the living area of the home with vapor barriers and adecquate insulation. This radon mitigation method is not economical for the whole-house because of increased heating and cooling costs.
Alternately, Heat Recovery Ventilation System may decrease the level of radon in your home, in addition to providing fresh air. As in the previous radon mitigation method, getting the radon gases out of the home by either naturally or mechanicaly ventilating the home alone is only recommended for low radon levels around 5 piC/l. It is recommended to use radon gases venting in conjunction with the sealing out radon gases method. This way radon gases levels around 6 piC/l may be successfully mitigated.
Radon-Resistant Construction Technique
If you are building a new home, here are typical radon-resistant construction techniques which will definitely minimize the risk of getting radon in your home:
- install a 4-inch layer of clean gravel gas permeable layer underneath the basement floor slab
- install a plastic sheeting on top of the gas permeable layer to help prevent the soil gases from entering the home
- seal and caulk all openings in the concrete foundation floor, as soon as the concrete floor cures and install a vent pipe from the gases permeable layer to the roof to vent radon above the house
- install an electrical junction box near the vent pipe just in case an in-line radon fan must be installed later on.
Radon Mitigation Tips
- Radon Mitigation can encompass one or a combination of sealing and caulking all the openings in the concrete foundation floor and radon entry routes, deep-penetrating concrete sealer, natural ventilation of the home, heat recovery ventilation systems, sub-slab depressurization, block-wall or drain-tile fan suction, basement pressurization.
- Sub-slab depressurization technique in conjunction with sealing and caulking all the openings in the concrete foundation floor and radon entry routes has been found to be the most effective in most cases.
- If you install an active sub-slab pressurization system, make sure you do not turn the fan off. The fan constantly removes radon gases from underneath your home.
- According to the EPA, "The exhaust pipe(s) of soil suction systems must vent above the surface of the roof and 10 feet or more above the ground, and at least 10 feet away from windows, doors, or other openings that could allow the radon to reenter the house."
- Use any radon mitigation method you believe is applicable in your case as long as is cost effective and reduces the radon level to at least 4 piC/l or as low as possible.
- Regardless of the method you choose, radon levels should be continuous monitored. Be aware that the level of radon radiation does vary within certain limits from season to season. For example one should expect to see a raise in these levels during winter time, when the ground is frozen and covered by snow and underground gaseses cannot easily escape into the atmosphere.
- When taking to various people, thay may refer to radon mitigation as radon remediation, radon mitigation systems, radon abatement, radon reduction, radon removal systems, radon venting, radon ventilation system, radon ventilation systems.