As all responsible homeowners know, serious residential repair problems are best left to professionals. One such critical problem is fixing elevated levels of radon. As the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, radon has no place in the air your family breathes. Yet, it’s present everywhere, occurring naturally from the decay of radioactive elements in the soil, rock, and water. If high levels of radon have been detected in your residence, it’s time to call in the experts for a radon reduction system built to your home’s specifications.
When properly installed and maintained, a residential radon mitigation system can reduce toxicity levels by as much as 99 percent. But appropriate radon reduction methods vary from house to house depending on each home’s construction. This is why it’s so important to contact your state radon office to find a qualified radon mitigation contractor with the high-performance equipment and technical know-how to customize your abatement plan. Without the right materials and skills, your radon levels could actually increase along with other potential hazards and costs.
For homes with basements or slab-on-grade foundations, the most popular radon abatement technique is sub-slab depressurization. This process involves drilling a small hole in the floor of your basement and excavating a narrow cavity below. A pump or suction pipe is inserted through the floor slab to vacuum the radon (and any other organic contaminants) out of the ground. These gases are then vented to the outside of your home and harmlessly dispersed into the air.
To reduce radon levels in homes with crawlspaces, sub-membrane depressurization is the preferred process. Like sub-slab suction, but without an actual slab, this technique requires installing an impermeable barrier (membrane) over the entire floor of the crawlspace. The radon is then pumped out in a manner similar to homes with slabs and vented to the outside, where it dissipates and becomes innocuous.
With both of these radon gas mitigation methods, it is vital to ensure an airtight seal using caulk, seam tape, foundation repairs, and any other steps necessary to block all of the radon at its point of entry. If energy efficiency is a concern, you’ll be happy to hear that eliminating the dangerous gases in your home uses only as much electricity as a 40 watt lightbulb. But radon reduction systems do require occasional maintenance and inspection to make sure they’re working correctly, much like a furnace or chimney.
Hundreds of thousands of homeowners throughout the country have cleared the air in their homes using radon reduction systems. If your family is being exposed to measurably high levels of this cancer-causing gas, it’s time you did the same.