When it comes to homeownership, there are a handful of things you must maintain to keep your home safe and one is radon reduction systems. Radon is one of these issues that could be cause for concern to homeowners. Radon is a radioactive gas that does not contain smell, taste, or color, so it can be difficult to know if you have been exposed, and what might occur. This blog will discuss the most important things you need to know about radon.
What is Radon?
As previously mentioned, radon is a gas that can be harmful to your health, and difficult to detect since it doesn’t have a smell, color, or taste. Radon is a natural element that comes from the core of the earth. The planet has multiple deposits of radioactive elements, but radon is the one that can be inhaled without realizing it. Normally radon exposure for homeowners will come from rocks, soil, and possibly water. The danger comes from the quantity of radon.
How Dangerous is Radon?
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths from radon. Testing for radon is the only way to know if you do have a problem. In the majority of cases, you will not see any symptoms of radon. Currently, the average radon exposure is 1 out of 5 homes in the state of Utah that contain radon.
We know radon is bad, but how bad, and how can it be measured? One of the easiest ways to uncover if you even have radon issues in your home is by calling a professional radon inspector to provide you with a test. The results will allow you to find out if you need a radon mitigation system.
How a Radon Test Works
With radon being a high concern for many people, it pays to have your home tested for radon. It is recommended to have your home tested again if the first test shows a high level of radon. You can perform a self-radon test, but this can sometimes provide mixed results.
Fixing Radon Issues
The soil around the foundation of the home can cause radon to leak in through the cracks. Take some time to do home maintenance by sealing the cracks in the foundation and cement slabs. Improve the ventilation system of the home and use fans to help move air in and out of the home. However, seeing a higher number on a radon test does mean you should contact a professional for assistance. If a radon reduction system is required, a professional will need to install this for you.
How Do Radon Reduction Systems Work?
Depending upon the results of the radon test, the radon reduction system will need to be installed based on the house foundation design. Radon is normally reduced by working on the foundation soil. A sub-slab suction is the most common method of radon reduction, and it is one of the most reliable options. For radon reduction systems, a suction pipe is inserted to the floor slab and crushed rock or soil under the home. Sometimes the pipes are added to the concrete slab outside the home. The number of suction pipes will be based on air flow moving through the substrate system under the slab of the home.
Heat Recovery Ventilation & Natural Ventilation
A heat recovery ventilator can be installed to reduce radon levels in the home. Heat recovery ventilation increases the ventilation by using an air-to-air heat exchanger. The goal of heat recovery ventilation is to bring outdoor air safely into the home. The heat recovery ventilation system is considered effective in reducing radon in the basement of homes.
Fixing a Radon Problem
It is vital to fix a radon problem as quickly as possible, especially if you are planning to sell your home soon. A home with a high amount of radon is difficult to sell for the full asking value. Taking the initiative to install a radon mitigation system prior to a home inspection can enhance the value of the home and shows the next homeowner the property is safe for their health.
Maintaining a Radon Mitigation System
Radon mitigation systems have a manometer that needs to be examined to make sure the system is working effectively. As long as the fan is working correctly, the manometer will give you numbers, showing that the fan is properly moving air through the pipes. If you see the manometer is reading zero, make sure the power is connected and reset the GFI switch.
A radon mitigation system is not expensive to keep on your monthly utility bill, normally averaging an extra $8 or so per month for electrical costs. The system can last up to 15 years before it may start to show signs of wear on the fan, which will need replacement to continue working effectively.
*Reedy Set Go Tip – Have your home tested for radon every other year to ensure the radon mitigation system is working properly and doing its job to keep radon concentrates below 4 pCi/L.
Building a Home?
If you are planning to build a new home, you will need to discuss having radon-resistant features installed in the foundation. Gravel and plastic sheeting are used beneath the foundation of a home to prevent high levels of radon. Installing a vent pipe is beneficial in keeping radon under control.
What happens when you have a builder that says the home is radon resistant? If you think your home is exempt from radon, you are mistaken. No matter what, radon is a natural gas that will get into old and new homes alike. The one thing to know about these builders is they can easily pass a Radon Resistant New Construction (RRNC) requirement, but without the radon mitigation fan, the system isn’t going to work.
Contact Reedy Set Go if you need a home radon inspection conducted. We are happy to provide you with information on how you can improve your home and prevent high levels of radon from entering the home.