get rid

Radon: What is it? How to Get Rid of It

my home office is down here in the

basement the other day I was reading an

article about radon and wondering if I

might be at risk so just what is radon a

radon is a colorless odorless gas that's

created by the decomposition of radium

radium is a naturally occurring element

found in all rock and soil to one degree

or another so whether or not a home has

a radon problem depends upon how much

radium is present in the soil that the

structure is built upon testing is the

only way you're going to know whether or

not you have a problem where is the

highest concentration of radon likely to

be poems with finished basements are

more susceptible to elevated exposures

so by all means whenever testing you

test the lowest lived-in level of the

home so a family room in the basement

constitutes that there are do it

yourself radon testing kits available

that are easy to use

set the unit in place leave it

undisturbed for the prescribed amount of

time then send the device to a testing

lab for results I've decided to have the

tests professionally done another online

search leads me to home spec a local

home inspection company specializing in

radon the next day Ross private comes by

the house and sets up an electronic

radon detection and measurement monitor

in the finished portion of the basement

two days later he returns and downloads

the test data the results show that the

amount of radon in my basement is 50

percent higher than the Environmental

Protection Agency's action level of 4.0

picoCuries per liter based on this EPA

standard I'm substantially above the

level at which action should be taken to

reduce radon concentrations but just

what kind of a health risk does this

pose based upon extended exposure

there's an increased risk of lung cancer

radon is thought to be the number one

leading cause of lung cancer non-smokers

and the second leading cause of lung

cancer in the general population after

smoking I know I've got elevated radon

levels and I also know that that can be

a serious health hazard so I'm going to

have to do

something about it I'm going to go

online here and look under radon

mitigation a search revealed several

local companies and I decided to contact

this one Connecticut basement systems

radon after an initial consultation I

elected to have them do the work a few

days later Rafael and Javier arrived to

install the system a radon mitigation

system draws air from beneath the

basement slab through a hole board into

the floor a pipe or duct is inserted

into the hole and run outside where an

inline fan expels the air and radon gas

above the roof line but how does radon

get into the home in the first place

radon enters the home via many different

entry points through the porosity of the

concrete itself through openings in the

floor whether it be through for cracks

openings in the perimeter floor drains

and some polls dirt crawl spaces

anywhere where there is any kind of

permeability and there's a source

underneath the home right on we'll find

a way in before the actual installation

begins the technicians board to test

holes on opposite sides of the basement

floor they apply suction to one of the

holes and use a vacuum meter on the

other this test will verify that air

beneath the slab can in fact be

evacuated with the test complete a three

inch hole is bored through the basement


a section of PVC pipe is inserted into

the hole and the gap around the pipe is

sealed 3 inch PVC is now run across the

basement the joints are cemented and the

pipe itself is hung from the joist with

j-hook pipe hangers the pipe run is then

connected to the vertical section coming

up from the floor once it's determined

where the pipe will exit the basement a

smaller locator hole is bored through

the rim joist then a 3 inch hole saw

bores a hole large enough for the pipe a

section of PVC is inserted through the

hole and connected to the pipe run

inside next a radon mitigation fan

engineered to run 24 hours a day seven

days a week is attached to the three

inch PVC and connected to a power supply

although the fan will be running

continuously weather resistance switch

is installed so the system can be shut

off manually if needed the PVC pipe is

run horizontally to a location near the

downspout then upward and around the

eave the final section of pipe extends

the run well above the roof line this

device installed inside continuously

monitors the system and visually

verifies that everything is functioning


so to recap that fan outside is creating

negative pressure or a vacuum in this

pipe which is drawing out air and radon

gas that's trapped beneath the basement

floor right here I know the fan is

working because of this monitor so the

air and radon gas is traveling up here

across the basement and then outside

where it's exhausted above the roof line

if you're buying a home here's one final

bit of advice from the experts

we recommend that every person who is

interested in purchasing a property have

a radon test performed prior to

purchasing at home so they know what

they're getting into some homes will

test out higher in the winter time

versus the summer time and so therefore

a person buying a home in the summertime

who did a test found a low reading they

never test again and think that they're

protected but that same house in the

wintertime can have a much higher radon