4 Common Radon Reduction Techniques
Radon testing and inspection is the only way to determine the levels of radon in your home. This colorless, odorless radioactive gas is known to cause lung cancer when you’re exposed to it for long. So you need to know what the test involves and also the different types of radon reduction methods to find the right one for your home.
When selecting radon mitigation and abatement for your house, you and your contractor need to keep several things in mind, including: radon levels, system installation and operating costs, foundation type, and of course, the overall size of the house.
There are a number of approved methods used by contractors to mitigate radon levels in your home. This includes techniques to prevent and reduce radon levels once it leaks into your house. However, it’s recommended to try as much as possible to prevent the entry of this radioactive gas in the first place. Here are some of the radon reduction techniques you should know.
1. Soil Suction
This is an effective radon reduction method that sucks the gas from below the house and releasing it to the air through suction pipes, where it becomes less harmful. In designing a system, any information on the house plans and layout will be vital. A contractor will assess your house and develop an ideal system in consideration of your house features.
Visual inspection by the contractor may not provide all the information necessary to design a system, and so diagnostic tests may be considered particularly during the early stages of the installation. A common diagnostic test example is chemical smoke which is effective in determining the source and direction of air movement in your house. The test indicates possible radon routes.
Soil communication test is yet another effective diagnostic test that uses chemical smoke to determine the source and flow of air under the foundation. These two tests will help the contractor determine the efficiency of certain radon mitigation systems in your house.
Soil suction as one of the radon reduction systems can be further classified by house foundation design, which determines the best soil suction method for your house. The four types of soil suction are.
- Basement and slab-on-grade houses
- Subslab suction
- Drain tile suction
- Sump hole suction or block wall suction
2. Sealing Cracks
The basic principle on most radon reduction techniques is sealing cracks, leaks, and other openings that allow radon to get into the house. Sealing the cracks is effective and complements other radon mitigation methods as well as improving your HVAC system.
Though they limit the flow of radon into the house, this method is not an effective stand-alone solution because they haven’t been tested to see if they reduce radon levels by a great margin and consistently. Again, it can be challenging to seal every crack in the house so radon eventually gets in your house and pose a health risk.
3. House/Room Pressurization
This method uses pressurized air which is injected into the living area or the basement to create a pressure difference that prevents radon from leaking into the house. But this technique is considered not as effective as others because it’s affected by several factors, including the house design, climate, home appliances, and the occupant lifestyle.
The only way to maintain sufficient pressure to prevent radon from entering your house is to ensure the doors and windows in the basement and the first floor is closed — excluding main entry and exit. House pressurization, however, is associated with energy problems in the house as well as moisture intrusion. Perhaps the reason why it’s should be considered when other options have not proved to be efficient in reducing radon levels.
4. Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV)
This is an air-to-air heat radon reduction system designed to increase ventilation in the house to reduce the radon levels. An HRV works much like a heat, ventilation and air conditioning system that allows warm and cool outdoor air to come in, purging heated air on the outside.
While they are more effective when used in the basement to reduce radon levels, HRVs can be designed for specific room ventilation or across the house throughout the year.
These are some of the effective radon reduction techniques available. Consult an expert to choose the best system for your house.