How a Radon Mitigation Contractor Would Fix Their Own House
Though it’s naturally occurring, radon gas remains a silent and deadly predator on unsuspecting homeowners. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nearly one out of every 15 homes in the United States has elevated radon levels. It’s the second leading cause of lung cancer, responsible for more than 21,000 fatalities each year, which is why it’s so important to get your home tested.
We’ve detailed on our blog before how a professional radon mitigation expert can test/mitigate radon in your home, but how would we approach it in our own homes? Check out this exclusive Q&A with the radon expert himself, Radon Crew founder, Sam Quaintance.
If you were outfitting your own home for radon mitigation, what steps would you take?
SQ: Well, the first step would be to test my home for radon levels. I’d want to get an accurate reading of how much radon is present so I can determine what mitigation measures will be necessary.
How would you go about testing your home for radon?
As a radon mitigation contractor, I would definitely use my own specialized equipment to test for radon in my home. While radon testing kits can provide accurate results, I think it’s worth noting that professional-grade equipment can provide even better measurements and help me identify any potential issues that a home testing kit might miss. DIY radon testing kits are okay, but they’re not foolproof.
Using specialized equipment can also help me determine the most effective mitigation strategy for my home. For example, I might use continuous radon monitors or alpha track detectors to get a more detailed picture of radon levels in different areas of my home.
Okay, so once you have your radon test results, what’s next?
If the levels are above the recommended EPA threshold of 4.0 pCi/L, then I’d need to install a radon mitigation system. The type of system I’d install would depend on the construction of my home and where the radon is coming from.
Can you explain the different types of radon mitigation systems?
Sure, there are a few different types of radon mitigation systems, but the most common are active sub-slab depressurization (ASD) and active sub-membrane depressurization (ASMD).
ASD systems are used when the source of the radon is under the foundation of the home. A contractor would install PVC pipes through the foundation and into the soil underneath. A fan is then installed to create negative pressure under the foundation, which helps to draw radon out of the soil and vent it outside.
ASMD systems are used when the radon is coming from the soil underneath a crawlspace or basement with a dirt floor. In this case, the contractor would install a membrane barrier over the dirt floor, and then PVC pipes and a fan to draw the radon out from underneath the membrane and vent it outside.
So, which type of system would you install in your own home?
That would depend on the results of my radon test and where the radon is coming from. If it’s coming from under my foundation, then I’d install an ASD system. If it’s coming from under my crawlspace, then I’d install an ASMD system.
Are there any other steps you’d take to mitigate radon in your home?
Yes, I’d also seal any cracks or gaps in the foundation or walls of my home to prevent radon from seeping in. Radon can enter a home through even the smallest of openings, so it’s important to seal them up as much as possible.
Are there any other measures you’d take to improve indoor air quality in your home?
Yes, I like to ensure my HVAC system is properly maintained and that I’m using high-quality air filters. Indoor air quality is important for overall health, not just for radon mitigation.
That’s great advice. Is there anything else you’d like to add about radon mitigation?
Radon is a silent killer, and many people don’t even know they’re being exposed to it. The only way to know for sure is to test your home. And if you do find elevated levels of radon, don’t panic. Radon mitigation systems are highly effective and can bring levels down to a safe range.
It’s also important to work with a qualified radon mitigation contractor that has the experience and expertise to properly design and install a mitigation system that’s right for your home. Look for contractors who are certified by the National Radon Proficiency Program or the National Radon Safety Board — ones that have a good track record of success.
Stay Radon Safe
Radon is a serious health hazard, but it’s also a problem that can be easily fixed with the right measures in place. So, take action to protect yourself and your family, and test your home for radon today.
Contact Sam and the Radon Crew today to schedule a consultation.