RADON @ 28pico

OK, we seem to have an issue. WE bought this house back in Nov 05, in Jan 06 the furnace went out which also included our hot water. Having just bought the house we had NO money left to repair or replace the furnace. So we saved and suffered until Oct 06, 9000.00 dollars later we have heat and hot water. Also in Oct 06 we found out that our second would be due in May, I know nice timing, huh? Well with the birth of our son the hospital gave us a free Radon test, which we used and found out that in our basement the level is 28 picocuries, 4 being the limit.
My question is: NOW WHAT? WE don't have the money to mitigate professionally. At least not until the beginning of next year, we have however changed how we use the basement (laundry use and storage only). I wished I had tested on the first floor but I went by the directions on the packaging. But nonetheless the radon levels are high for the house in general.
Is there a way that I can lower the levels until I can have a pro come in and do the work. Or, being the handy type that I am, I know that I could do the job myself. I have every tool I could possibly want including commercial air compressor and tools. I cannot find online instructions on how to mitigate the radon levels.
Any ideas or can you point me to the right direction?
Thanks
SD
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S H O P D O G wrote:

Spend an evening reading.
Repeat the testing. Sample on both levels.
Jim
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Speedy,
Thanks, How I couldn't find that is beyond me, brain fart maybe?
Anyway, I found something called Radon seal. I'm thinking of doing that. I forgot to mention that we are leaving the basement door open at this time. Access to the basement from outside is barred by a locking deck. SO air is moving through the basement now and the humidity is high down there. Just a damp basement now!
Thanks for the input
SD
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Bathroom vent fan in the cellar, dumping radon air to the outside?
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Christopher A. Young
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Its really as easy as that, the fan venting outside?
When I googled before, all I got was where to call, how radon effects us etc..
This time for some reason I got the answer that I wanted. I did see the radon seal website and that looks promising. But in the meantime I will look into exhausting the basement air outside.
thanks
SD
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S H O P D O G wrote:

<snip>
Yes.
The air that you pump outside must be replaced by air from another source, the upstairs, outside or whatever. Consider an efficient heat exchanger to mitigate heat (cooling) loss if calculations show it to be significant. There should be data available to estimate how often the air needs to be replaced based on other dwellings in your area, or you may have to do some measurements of radon concentration vs, time to assess the interval. It's all pretty common sense stuff, so ignore the BS from the radon 'contractors'.
Joe
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Living in an above ground trailer, radon isn't an issue for me. But I did a quick google. Aparently, there are two things needed
1) Coat the blocks in the cellar to make them vapor tight. 2) Run a power vent fan of some kind to draw in fresh outdoor air.
I'd try the vent fan first, cause it seems cheaper than coating all your cellar foundation blocks. Then try the test kit in a couple days.
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Christopher A. Young
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See, therein lies the problem, we don't have blocks. What we got here is stone and according to the "older" neighbors the stone was held together by mud and horsehair? Then the same mud n horsehair was used to parge the walls, which after 70 years is of course mostly on the floor and falling off on a daily basis. So, what I am doing is chipping away at what is left on the walls then wetting the walls and using cement to re-parge the walls. I think I am accomplishing about 6 ft a month, at my leisure of course! When thats all done is when I will seal the pargeing (sp) with the radon seal. But, in the meantime I will use the fan idea, my wifes not to keen on doing the laundry unless she leaves the door open. We really have no plans on using the basement for any purpose other than storage and laundry, but the bulk of the storage is food, ie; can goods and non perishables. I keep my paints, the heaters and the a/c's (season pending) down there as well. We WERE going to finish the basement but not for daily living use, just to make it asthetically pleasing and having built ins for the laundry units and for storage.
SD
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most (if not all) of the studies are employment-related (uranium miners) and some clusters where people tend to forget that correlation is NOT causation. When I was writing more extensively about radon in the 80s and early 90s it held the position that second-hand smoke does today as the default explanation for the unexplained lung cancers. So, going down into the basement for laundry, etc., is not going to give you enough exposure over even a couple of years (if you are REALLY being leisurely) to increase your likelihood of lung cancer. Also since radon has to get into the lungs to do its damage and there is no indication it can get through cans, etc., I would see no particular reason to worry about storage. As long as the living areas are cool, I would not worry about it until you get the rest of the basement recemented.
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on 8/8/2007 4:32 PM S H O P D O G said the following:

Radon gets in through cracks and porous materials. Seal all cracks (especially between concrete wall and floors joints) and concrete with sealing material made for Radon infiltration. This would be a type of paint sealers and caulking material. The added benefit is that it prevents moisture from getting in.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Otherwise, knock a hole in the basement floor and suck air from under the house using a low speed fan. Exhaust the air outside the house of course.
Another option is to tie a low speed fan into the drain tile if the house has one.
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"Clark" ...

drain around the perimeter of the floor slab) that had a radon issue. A hole was drilled in the center of the concrete floor, and a 4 inch plastic pipe was fitted in and sealed. There was a fan in that pipe. It ran up and out the roof. The idea is that it intercepted the radon that was under the floor and rerouted it up up and away. Worked fine. Tomes
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This probably depends on where you live. Some countries have public health authorities that can help or at least advise the householder. If there is none where you live, you could ask your political representative (assemblyman, councillor, congressman etc.)
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Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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on 8/8/2007 4:53 PM Don Phillipson said the following:

There is also tons of info on the web. Just Google radon.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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I'd be temped to google "radon mitigation". Cost you a few minutes or a few hours, and that could end up saving you a pile of money.
This looks relevant: http://www.radonseal.com /
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Christopher A. Young
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