We all know how unclean, unhealthy, and polluted the air outdoors is, but the air inside your home can be contaminated too. One of the most dangerous and harmful air contaminants in the air inside homes is radon, and the worst thing about it is – homeowners won’t even know they’re breathing in bad air.
Radon gas is extremely dangerous. It’s one of the leading causes of lung cancer in non-smokers. It doesn’t produce any smell or a taste that you can feel in your mouth. And you won’t be able to see it like you can see soot.
There are numerous radon testing kits and devices that you can place around your house to detect radon gas or have a professional do radon testing. If you got the indoor air quality of your home tested and radon is detected, you might want to do something about it, and we suggest you address the problem right away.
Below is a list of numerous ways in which you can mitigate radon and the associated risks. Let’s get to the point without any adieu.
The radon mitigation method that you employ in your home depends on your house structure and the extent of radon contamination. However, some commonly used techniques have been listed down for you below.
Sub-Slab Depressurization (SSD)
It’s one of the most widely used radon mitigation methods. It uses a PVC pipe and a fan to draw the air from below the basement floor and vent it out above the roof, where the radon gas dissipates rapidly.
Some homes have crawl spaces that contain exposed dirt, and these crawl spaces can serve as a source of radon gas. One of the radon mitigation methods used in such spaces is the Sub-Membrane Depressurization. Special membranes made of plastic are used to encapsulate the dirt. Once encapsulated, the membrane is sealed around the support columns. Any plumbing slacks are accommodated under the dirt floor in the crawl space. Following this, a PVC collection pipe is sealed under the plastic membrane and is tied into the pipe connected to the fan and vent. Once the entire system is set up, the air is drawn from the sealed membrane and is removed through the vent. It also takes with it all the moisture from the soil of the dirt bed, and hence, this method serves a dual purpose – mitigating radon and dehumidifying the crawl spaces.
If the crawl spaces are inaccessible, you can’t possibly employ the Sub-Membrane Depressurization technique. You’ll need to make use of the Energy or Heat Recovery Ventilator (ERV or HRV), or simply, air-to-air heat exchangers. If the radon levels in your home are below 12pCi/L, the air exchangers can effectively help mitigate radon from the air inside your home.
The air exchangers exchange the air present inside your home with the air outside. The system uses two separate sets of flexible ducts. One set of ducts blows air from outside inside your home, and the other set blows the air inside your home outside. The air coming inside your home is slightly tempered to prevent the energy penalty. The process through which radon mitigating is done is the dilution of radon the air, but introducing air from outdoors inside your home that contains an average of 0.4 pCi/L.
Sealing the Openings
Sealing all the possible openings, including the cracks and holes, is done simultaneously with other radon mitigation techniques. It’s done to prevent the loss of the vacuum pressure that’s created around the vent pipe during the radon mitigation procedures mentioned above.
Radon Vent Fans
These fans are specialized devices that don’t allow the radon gas flowing through the system to escape. These fans are fitted to minimize the difference in the pressure and dynamics of the airflow. It is needed to achieve the target radon levels. They’re installed along with suction pipes to vent the radon-contaminated air out of the home and achieve lower radon levels in your home.
You need to get rid of the radon in the air inside your home on priority. There is no way you can know if the indoor air contains radon except to get the indoor air tested. Therefore, you should make radon testing a part of your regular home-care routine. If radon is detected, no matter how low the amounts are, you need to look for a reliable air quality professional to address the issue effectively.