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Active Sub-slab Suction
(also called sub-slab 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.
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 sub-membrane suction, and when properly applied is the most effective way to reduce radon levels in crawlspace houses.
Active Crawlspace Depressurization
When there is no access into a crawlspace or other factors that make the installation of a membrane not feasible, an active crawlspace depressurization can be used. This involves drawing air directly from the crawlspace using a fan. This technique generally does not work as well as sub-membrane suction and requires special attention to combustion appliance back drafting 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.
Radon Mitigation Professional & Technician Licensees in Madison County
Radon levels in homes can fluctuate. Levels can be affected by a number of factors, including weather, soil moisture, and air pressure. As warm air moves up and out of a building, like a chimney stack, it creates a suction on the soil pulling soil gases in. Normal activities such as using the furnace, the bathroom fan, a whole house fan, or the clothes dryer can also contribute by causing negative air pressures relative to the outside or under the building.
Nearly 1 out of every 3 homes in the Midwest is estimated to have elevated radon levels. While radon problems may be more common in some areas, any home may have a problem. You cannot predict which homes will have high radon levels. Two identical homes on the same street can have different radon levels. The only way to know a building's radon level is to test.
Financing up to 84 months
Radon levels are measured in picocuries ("pee-co-cure-ees") per liter of air, often noted as pCi/L. This measurement describes how much radioactivity from radon is in one liter of the air found in a home.
The EPA Action Level
EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General strongly recommend that you fix your home if you have 4 pCi/L or more of radon in your home.
There is no known safe level of exposure to radon since lung cancer can result from low exposures to radon. Exposure to radon at the EPA Action Level of 4 pCi/L poses a significant health risk. EPA based the 4 pCi/L Action Level on four factors: the health risk involved; the effectiveness of available mitigation technologies; cost-effectiveness; and, the goal set by Congress to reduce indoor radon levels to as close to the outdoor level as possible. EPA's estimate of radon-related lung cancer deaths is based on the population of the U.S. exposed to the national average indoor radon concentration of 1.3 pCi/L over a lifetime. Existing mitigation technologies allow the radon level in most homes to be reduced to 2 pCi/L or less most of the time.
Additional EPA recommendation: To help minimize your future risk, you should also seriously consider taking action to fix your home if your radon level is between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L.
Radon has been found in all types of homes, including:
well sealed homes
homes with basements
homes built on slabs
homes with crawl spaces
Some natural building materials, such as granite, stone and some concrete products, can give off very small amounts of radon. However, building materials rarely cause radon problems by themselves. Radon gas in soils is the primary source of radon in homes. If your home has natural building products, including granite countertops, it will generally not contribute a significant amount of radon to the air in your home. If you still wish to test your granite countertops or other material, there are specific granite test kits you can purchase from test kit manufacturers. Handheld meters are not recommended. To reduce your radon risk you should first test the air in your home to determine the radon level.
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