Fed up with Radon

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warning....pretty long post
I am so fed up with Radon right now I dont know what to do. I completely sealed every single crack with poleurothane chaulking. 6 mm plastic sheeting down , padding down , 1/2 think laminated wood flooring down... Wood trim sealed with chaulking on top and on bottom.
http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i105/boczor/DSC00534.jpg( a little blurry )
I've never had any problems with wetness or dampness on that level.
There is absolutely no way at all from the bottom that the radon can come through. So the only place it could be coming through is through the drywall via the extreme outer parts of the foundation area. And possibly from the buildup directly underneath the flooring where it cannot escape. So its possibly seeping through from underneath the flooring / underneath the woodtrim / towards the interior drywall. Thats my final conclusion.
I still have the same levels as I had before all this work was done. Around 5 to 8 pcI . I monitor all the time and even have an accurate electronic one that monitors it every hour. I've never seen it ever go above 9pcI here...for years now I even occasionally send charcol packets for lab analysis that confirm that my electronic gauge is very accurate. Im almost at the point where I dont care anymore and im just going to live with it. Normal levels in Canada for the longest time used to be 20 pcI or under. They recently lowered the legal level to 5 pcI. Yet the u.s. level is 4 pcI . Is this going to change all the time ? I mean its not like I have 5000 pcI like some houses out there.
I have a bi-level house. I cant have a mitigation system installed since I have no gravel underneath the foundation for the gas to breathe through. I heard this was common with bi-levels. My house was built in 1993. I also have radiant heating...another pain in the ass thing that the mitigation installers around here dont want to mess with... and plus with the wood flooring installed, the only place would be the garage to install the mitigation...and thats another problem since nobody knows if the garage is on a seperate slab of concrete then the main floor. The vaccum effect wouldnt work if its on another slab. Plus theres no gravel underneath.
So I decided to take matters into my own hands today and dug underneath my foundation -
http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i105/boczor/DSC00532.jpg
It took me 2 hours to get around these boulders of rocks with a hand shovel.. (not seen in picture) The point I stopped at was right when the thunder storm moved in. But im pretty sure im under the foundation ? Any advice to do from here on out would be much appreciated. I left it like that for now. (dont worry the storm moved by quick...barely any rain) Maybe stick a pipe underneath there?....put the dirt back and see if the levels drop ? Why bother with a mitigation system for that section when I dont have gravel underneath ? Plus if I did have a gravel layer it would probably show up in that pic anyway right ?
I feel exhaused with my efforts....and exhaused from the uncertainty from the 2 different mitigation estimate people i've been dealing with. Both people just didnt have a definate answer on what would work... And I hate crap like that when their like "well....we can drill one hole here...and see if that works....if that doesnt work....wellllllllllllllll...........we can drill another hole............and welllllll...........if that doesnt work............we can try something else..................and if that doesnt work.......... , etc, etc... by that time I had a brain tumor and told them to leave. I just want it to be fixed and done with, but that is not possible with radon. especially with my situation. Very aggravating.
I've also heard that the only governmental radon / lung cancer studies that have EVER been done have been with Miners. People that work thousands of feet underground... of course their going to have problems. Theres never been any household radon / lung cancer studies done... EVER. Sometimes I think its a whole corrupt government thing. Maybe the Real studies indicated that anything under 10 pcI is completely safe. But if they officially say it has to be under 4 pcI....when then they make a whole lot more money that way. A whole lot more houses end up above the legal limits.
Sorry for all my blabber, im mostly looking into any positive insight on what I can do with that hole I dug. (I sense sarcastic remarks incoming)
Seriously, I appreciate any insight. I really dont know what to do anymore with this radon.
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wrote:

Sorry- you still are a TROLL so its all bull shit on the advcise end
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On 7/17/2008 5:18 PM ransley spake thus:

[snip long post]

No, not a troll, but *you* are an ill-mannered cur who can neither read nor write worth a damn, so your opinions are worth zilch.
--
"Wikipedia ... it reminds me ... of dogs barking idiotically through
endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it.
  Click to see the full signature.
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Just don't give yourself a heart attack worrying about your radon. It seems there is always something in our houses that needs abatement. If it's not asbestos, or radon, or buried oil tanks, they'll think of something new. I would try to get good air circulation through the ground level rooms, whenever possible. I would also do as much research as you can on verifying any known illnesses caused by typical home radon. My guess is you won't find much
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sump pit and then evacuating the air in the pit to the outside. this works because the sump is attached to pipes that already are under your foundation.
There's all kinds of stuff on DIY radon mitigation on the web.
http://www.infiltec.com/inf-faqr.htm
BTW. I have one of those electronic radon meters and mine's at 4.8. It's been as high as 9.
Also, for anyone in Illinois, The state is giving away free radon test kits. http://www.iema.illinois.gov/radon/RadonTestKit.asp
-dickm
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wrote:

I have looked into the radon thing a few times, and there has never been mention of gravel under the slab as being a requirement for a successful fan-based mitiogation system.
Dave
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john wrote:

Have you considered an air exchanger. Draw air from the basement and vent it outside. Bring fresh outside air in to the house upstairs. With a slight negative pressure in the basement and a slight positive pressure upstairs the radon may be kept out of the living areas and be diluted by the air moving into the basement from the rest of the house.
I have an air exchanger and run it 24/7/365.
LdB
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Before we knew of radon and had radon testing equipment, we had nothing. And people have lived a very long time in homes that had never been tested.
They lived with asbestos, lead and radon. Chances are, if your ancestors had longevity you will too. Unless of course you're the exception because you spent half your nights worrying about something your ancestors never had to..
Open a window, breathe in the air and enjoy life....
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On Jul 18, 5:06�am, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Charles Pisano) wrote:

except if you weant to sell a home with high radon levels.
yep the radon is coming up around the perimeter, thru the walls and even thru the block.
so hw much ere the estimates?
the radon mitigation should of been done BEFORE inishing the space: ( now it will cost more:(
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I have an underground oil tank still in use…..15 years old. I’ll worry about that in the future sometime.

Nope. It’s a bi-level. No basement.

Trust me, I know. The flooring itself was suppose to reduce the levels to normal range anyway…it didn’t. Plus I cant install a mitigation system there anyway. There is a bathroom fan downstairs…that’s about it..
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Charles Pisano) wrote:

Up until the last couple of years, there were no studies of residential radon exposures. ALL of the hooha was based on studies of occupational exposures of miners and then relating those to residential exposures (despite things like less air exchange in mines, etc.) The other big area was relating levels of radon in an area with lung cancers. The key is big areas and there was no look at individual exposures. Finally, I note that radon websites call it the second leading cause of lung cancer. Meanwhile second-hand smoke websites call it the second-leading cause of lung cancer.
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On Thu, 17 Jul 2008 20:06:40 -0400, "john"

This is correct. Do you know why they have never done household radon cancer studies? Because if they did the studies they would not find any cancers. Now THAT would be a big problem because....

Right. You got it.
There is now a money vested interest in keeping people afraid of radon.
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There are some new studies coming out that seem to show household radon may increase cancers. One is here. http://radsci1.home.mchsi.com/irlcs.pdf
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wrote:

I suggest you check with the local pros. What works well in one area may not work so well in others. I suspect you are going to need to remove the radon from under the floor. That generally means making a few holes in the concrete and connecting them to pipes leading outside. A fan is used to provide a negative pressure to pull it from under the slab.
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john wrote:

This has to be one of the longest trolls I have ever seen. Plus its got a picture, ROFL.
Seriously, it only takes a rudimentary check to know that you can't seal radon out of your house...
CL
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did OP ask this question awhile ago before doing all the floor work? someone did and was told radon should be fixed before finishing space.
too many want look pretty befor fixing key essentials. like laminate flooring in a basement that only takes in water every few years.
If you have access to under your home from outside, a electric drill with extensions can drill a one inch hole 20 feet easily, and 40 feet with patience. if the home sits above grade drill some holes, leave dug area open and see if radon levels drop.
radon is heavier than air, and should naturally migrate out the holes
so how much are the mitigation estimates?
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your stratagy should be to INCREASE the air pressure in the lower part of your house (i.e. pump IN fresh air) and try to LOWER it under the floor..
You want to try to get that air moving the opposite direction.
Anything that consumes air in your home such as the furnace or dryer or an exhaust fan is lowering the air pressure inside and is working against you.
Mark
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thats true but at home resale time they wouldnt allow you to ventilate the area in any way.
but ventil;ating under the slab may do the job
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Haller, good recomendation.
But is your method an official one on reducing radon levels ? Maybe the inspector wouldnt approve. I dug an inch or 2 deeper then whats in the picture today.. Got under there with one of those Rebar (used to make concrete stronger) bars and hammered it further down under there to try to get more open space for the gas to release out from. So far it seems to be working. Levels have been dropping very slowly all day without even drilling any holes. Maybe I could get away without even having to drill holes ? Just stick a 1 inch stainless steel , galvenized pipe under then on a 45 degree angle and fill the rest back up with dirt...so the gas could breathe out ? But so far im just leaving everything dug out for now. Your drilling idea has me thinkin though. Im just now sure if it would pass inspection that way.
The mitigation estimates were around $800 and the outdoor one was like $1100. But even with those, there are alot of consequences as I mentioned in the IP. Even installing a mitigation fan outdoors here wouldnt be a good idea. Live in the pocono mountains (pennsylvania). Gets to negative 10 degrees here sometimes in the winter.

I appreciate this idea as well , Mark. But how to increase and keep the pressure higher in the lower floor ? Not an easy thing to keep pressure high on the lower floor... even just opening the windows for fresh air would seem to screw that method up.
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wrote:

the passive radon control if done propewrly should work fine.
a home inspector should require a radon test by a seperate testing agency.
if you pass no inspection of the system should be necessary. just like if all the work you already did had solved the radon problem. what would they test?
I woud do overkill and do some drilling, its actually suprisingly easy to drill under a slab.
then put a PVC pipe in the hole, paint it brown, and practically cover with dirt grass.
say its part of a underslab drain. just dont talk about what its draining:)
the 800 buck radon system is cheap. you could do that too for appearances........
if your planning on selling..
get your home inspected, you likely have other issues that need fixed. which you can do yourself or have done at low cost.
once a buyer gets your home inspected they will demand receipts from registered electricians plumbers etc.........
way more costly and upsetting to the new buyer
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