What Kind of Radon Reduction System is Best?

Posted 2018/06/06


What is the best Radon Reduction System for my house?

Your house type will affect the kind of radon reduction system that will work best. Houses are generally categorized according to their foundation design. For example: basement, slab-on-grade (concrete poured at ground level), or crawlspace (a shallow unfinished space under the first floor). Some houses have more than one foundation design feature. For instance, it is common to have a basement under part of the house and to have a slab-on-grade or crawlspace under the rest of the house. In these situations a combination of radon reduction techniques may be needed to reduce radon levels to below 4 pCi/L. Radon reduction systems can be grouped by house foundation design.

Best Radon Reduction System for Basement or Slab-on-grade Foundation

In houses that have a basement or a slab-on-grade foundation, radon is usually reduced by one of four types of soil suction: subslab suction, drain tile suction, sump hole suction, or block wall suction. Active subslab suction (also called subslab depressurization) is the most common and usually the most reliable radon reduction method. One or more suction pipes are inserted through the floor slab into the crushed rock or soil underneath. They also may be inserted below the concrete slab from outside the house. The number and location of suction pipes that are needed depends on how easily air can move in the crushed rock or soil under the slab, and on the strength of the radon source. Often, only a single suction point is needed.

How does a contractor know what radon reduction system is best?

A contractor usually gets this information from visual inspection, from diagnostic tests, and/or from experience. A radon vent fan connected to the suction pipe(s) draws the radon gas from below the house and releases it into the outdoor air while simultaneously creating a negative pressure (vacuum) beneath the slab. Common fan locations include unconditioned house and garage spaces, including attics, and the exterior of the house.

Best Radon Reduction System for a Crawlspace

An effective method to reduce radon levels in crawlspace houses involves covering the earth floor with a high-density plastic sheet. A vent pipe and fan are used to draw the radon from under the sheet and vent it to the outdoors. This form of soil suction is called submembrane suction, and when properly applied is the most effective way to reduce radon levels in crawlspace houses. Another less-favorable option is active crawlspace depressurization which involves drawing air directly from the crawlspace using a fan. This technique generally does not work as well as submembrane suction and requires special attention to combustion appliance backdrafting and sealing the crawlspace from other portions of the house, and may also result in increased energy costs due to loss of conditioned air from the house.

Knowing what the right system is for your home can be challenging. At Trinity Electrical & Radon Mitigation, we will work with you to determine the most effective system to help keep your family safe. Give us a call at 630-499-1492

Radon and You

Posted 2018/05/24


High Level of Radon…Now What?

Posted 2018/05/08

level of radon

Your house tested high for radon, now what? First of all, stay calm if you discover radon in your home. It’s a common problem that can be fixed with the proper response. Radon is a toxic, odorless, colorless gas that causes lung cancer is people who are routinely exposed to it. There is no safe level of radon beyond not having any radon whatsoever. However, that is a condition that most people cannot achieve because radon is a constant threat for homeowners. It seeps into a house through small cracks in the foundation, basement or crawlspace. Nevertheless, there are plenty of options for you should radon be detected in your home.

After you have tested for radon, try testing again. Levels of radon in a home can vary wildly and it is recommended that you have two confirmations of unsafe radon levels before taking action. There are a number of different tests you can conduct but depending on your time frame, you may want to opt for a short test that can have results back to you in about a week but with limited reliability or a longer test that can take several months but provides results you can count on.

Once you have conducted multiple tests to determine the level of radon in your house, the next step is to mitigate the level of radon gas. You can check with your local government radon awareness office. A list of trained professionals can be provided who are local and also recommended to take care of the problem. It is highly recommended that you consult this list of professionals rather than take chances on someone in the yellow pages or online.

Radon is not a matter you want to try and cut corners on.

Several methods can be used to remove the presence of radon from a home. Usually several methods will be needed to develop a comprehensive radon protection shield. The biggest source of radon in a home is from an improperly sealed basement or crawlspace.

Having exposed soil in the basement is also a major concern. A contractor can seal up these cracks and holes in your foundation to limit the amount of radon that seeps in. Remember, radon will always get in your home because the materials that comprise a house are ultimately porous. Nevertheless, there are steps you can take to limit how much does get in.

Ventilation systems are also a viable method of reducing radon contamination. Fans can circulate air from the basement to the exterior, preventing radon from spreading into the rest of your home in dangerous amounts.

Different methods of reducing radon in your home will usually be recommended by the consulted professionals. Don’t skimp out on a radon solution for you and your family. This gas is a serious concern. Guard the safety and health of your family by investing in a comprehensive radon protection package. Need help determining the best solution for your family? Give Trinity a call – 630-499-1492.