You may have seen a Radon Mitigation System before, you may even have one installed in your home, but do you know what it does or what you should do to ensure it’s working effectively?
Disaster Blaster offices are Licensed Radon Mitigation Contractors in the states they service, and have addressed countless Radon issues in homes, and answered many questions along the way. One of the most common questions we receive is what the homeowner should do after the system is installed and we’re always more than happy to demystify the entire process.
Why do you need a Radon Mitigation System?
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the soil beneath our homes where it rises up, enters through your home’s foundation, where it can collect to dangerous levels. While you can’t see, smell, or taste Radon Gas, extensive research and studies have shown it to be the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer in the United States behind cigarette smoke, and the leading cause among non-smokers. Due to the health concerns of Radon Gas exposure, education campaigns and initiatives have been launched in many states to bring awareness to this issue and encourage homeowners to test their homes to determine if a Radon issue exists.
As there’s no way to know if you have an elevated Radon level in your home without testing, we recommend all homeowners to test their homes to determine if an issue exists. Radon testing can be performed by a Licensed Radon Tester or with a Home Test Kit.
What does a Radon Mitigation System do?
Radon issues can be addressed through the installation of a Radon Mitigation System, which vents the Radon Gas out of your home and up above your roof line. In this way, Radon Gas is prevented from collecting at high concentrations within your home, reducing your exposure.
Through extensive research and study, the Pennsylvania DEP has set 4.0 pCi/L and above as the action level where a Radon Mitigation System is recommended. While every home is different, and each Radon System must be designed for the particular needs of your property, the installation of a Radon Mitigation System should reduce your Radon level to below 4.0 pCi/L. While uncommon, if your Radon level remains elevated following the installation of the Radon Mitigation System, additional steps may be necessary to reduce the Radon level to below 4.0 pCi/L. We are dedicated to every system we install, and will work with you to ensure that your Radon level is reduced effectively.
About your Radon Mitigation System Fan
Your Radon Fan is designed specifically for venting Radon Gas from structures, and is intended to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. These fans need to run continuously because they are constantly removing Radon from below your foundation so that it’s not able to collect inside your home.
As a result, Radon Fans are designed to be extremely energy efficient, generally costing between $ 30 – $ 40 annually. This means that most Radon Fans will cost less than $ 4 per month to operate.
In addition, Radon Fans do not require regular maintenance or care, lasting approximately 10 years on average before requiring replacement. When a Radon Fan requires replacement, please contact our offices and we will be happy to assist you.
About your Radon Mitigation Suction Point
The only part of your Radon Mitigation System that you can see from inside your home is the Suction Point, which is a PVC pipe installed through your basements slab (floor). This allows us to remove the Radon Gas from below your home’s foundation before it’s able to enter your home, which reduces the Radon levels inside your basement and living areas.
As part of the Radon Mitigation System installation, we will drill a hole through your concrete slab and install the suction point so that we have good airflow from below the slab. This suction point then connects to the Radon Fan outside creating suction and venting the Radon Gas up above your roof line through the attached vent pipe.
About your Radon Mitigation Vent Pipe
The Radon Mitigation Vent Pipe is connected to the outside of your home and vents the Radon Gas collected by the system up above your roof line where it can dissipate. Radon Gas is lighter than air, so it will continue to rise up into the atmosphere instead of coming back down.
Radon Vent Pipes come in several different types and styles, and can even be painted to match your home!
About your Radon Mitigation Manometer
Attached to your Suction Point will be a U-Shaped gauge called a Manometer, which provides you with the current vacuum pressure within the suction point. This gauge does NOT display the current Radon level inside your home, but rather whether your system is generating suction and able to remove Radon gas.
To read the Manometer, you want to look at the levels of the colored liquid on both sides of the gauge and ensure that they are not equal. A level reading on both sides indicates that there is no suction within your system and maintenance or adjustment may be necessary. If your Manometer reading is equal or level, please contact our offices immediately so that we can service the system and ensure it’s in proper working order.
About your Radon Mitigation System Alarm
Newer Radon Mitigation Systems may also have a Radon System Alarm installed on the suction point. This Radon System Alarm works similarly to the Manometer in that it reads suction pressure, but will alert you to issues through an audible alarm.
Radon System Alarms have become more common over the last couple of years as it ensures that homeowners will be alerted to problems that they may not notice otherwise. Radon System Alarms are now standard on Radon Mitigation System installs.
If your Radon System Alarm is sounding, this may indicate that service or adjustment of the system may be necessary. Please contact our offices so that we can address this for you.
About future Radon Testing
Radon gas levels in your home can be impacted by a number of factors, including geological changes beneath your home, nearby construction, recent remodeling or changes to your landscaping, changes to your water table, etc. As a result, while your Radon Mitigation System reduced your Radon level to below 4.0 pCi/L when it was initially installed, your Radon level could still fluctuate or increase over time. As a result, the Pennsylvania DEP recommends that homeowners retest for Radon every 2 years to ensure that their Radon level is still below the 4.0 pCi/L action level.
If your Radon level has increased, adjustments may be necessary to your system to bring your Radon level back below 4.0 pCi/L. If this is the case, please contact our offices and we will be happy to assist you.
We hope this answered your questions about your Radon Mitigation System. If you have any questions we didn’t answer, please don’t hesitate to contact your local Disaster Blaster offices, we’re happy to help!
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