Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer. It is created through the breakdown of naturally occurring uranium. It is found throughout the country and causes the death of over 20,000 people a year.
If you have not had your home tested, you should do so. You can either purchase a do-it-yourself kit at a home improvement store or hire a certified home inspector to do a more thorough examination. If you choose to do the test yourself and the levels come back elevated, you should then hire a professional. You should also hire a professional if you are either selling or purchasing the home that needs testing.
If professional testing comes back positive, you should then look into radon abatement. There are several methods that are available. While there are some procedures that you can do on your own, you should also look into one of several radon mitigation systems as going alone is not always effective. There are four main types and installation usually depends on the type of foundation your home has.
A system that uses active suction is for homes that have a concrete slab basement or a basement on a gradient. This is due to the fact that radon gas tends to build up under the concrete of the basement foundation and eventually the built up gas escapes and enters the home through small cracks that form from normal wear and tear.
This system uses an electrical vent fan, an electrical monitoring system, and a vent pipe placed between the sub-slab gravel and stretches up to a point above the roof on the outside of the home. Then, when the fan runs, it has just enough power to be able to keep radon from gathering under the home.
If your home is currently under construction, then a passive system can be installed. This involves having the home built with differing pressures throughout the house in order to avoid the need for active ventilation since the natural pressure differential is enough to encourage the flow of air in a specific direction. A duct system is installed in order to take advantage of that air flow and to guide the radon out and away from the home. These systems are only good in homes that have low levels of radon and cannot be installed in older homes due to the specifics needs on a room-by-room basis.
Pressure systems are the least expensive because there is nothing to install. For this to work, you must keep the windows and doors closed on the lower level of your home as much as possible. By doing so, you create pressure that will prevent the radon gas from coming up through the foundation of the home.
The final type of radon remediation is helpful in homes that have a crawlspace, especially if the floor is dirt or loose gravel. The floor of the crawlspace is covered with a heavy plastic sheet. A channel is created, and a fan and pipe that leads outdoors are installed. The radon gas is flushed out of the home under the plastic sheet.