Radon in ranch style house - NE Ohio

Just got our buyer's inspection report, which shows 7.1 pC/l average radon level during 48-hour test. The house is a ranch, built on a slab (no crawl space, no basement). Remediation contractor will test for radon after installing his stuff. He's willing to test before at extra cost, but cautioned us that if his results are substantially different than those of the inspector, we just get into a stand-off as to whose test is right.
Anybody heard of high radon in a ranch?
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On 6/26/2012 6:10 PM, Bryce wrote:

Nothing says there can't be high radon in any style construction; it could be in the aggregate in the slab, or maybe it's brick and it's the culprit--who knows? Then again, is the test performed reliable or are the inspector/remediator/realtor in cahoots?
There are typical soil concentration maps at the EPA radon site iirc; you could at least see if the area you're in tests high or not.
I've always felt that it is all a tempest in a teapot for the most part unless it were _extremely_ high and never ventilated the house, etc., ...
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Believe the guy who has no financial interest in your radon level.
And, do some internet research.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Just got our buyer's inspection report, which shows 7.1 pC/l average radon level during 48-hour test. The house is a ranch, built on a slab (no crawl space, no basement). Remediation contractor will test for radon after installing his stuff. He's willing to test before at extra cost, but cautioned us that if his results are substantially different than those of the inspector, we just get into a stand-off as to whose test is right.
Anybody heard of high radon in a ranch?
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On Jun 26, 6:46 pm, "Stormin Mormon"

Tell us how the original test was performed, there are as many ways to do them wrong as there are to do them right.
Are there ANY penetrations into the slab, like for water or heating/ cooling pipes or hot/cold air heating ducts, anything at all???
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Me, but I got a basement. The stuff under your house is likely completely different than mine, and I would expect a high water table in your area. Near the lake ? I'm near Pittsburgh in the hilly south east. I'm on top of a hill. My radon level this time a year is ok. From October to sometime in April, my levels can peak well over 20, maybe over 30. When I moved in I thought I was good to go. When levels shot up over 20 , I immediately installed a temporary system. That helped a good bit. Just drilled holes in concrete, blew out, glued PVC pipe to cement, to fan, out backyard. I have a better permanent system now. Generally, summer months produce less radon. Day to day, month to month, atmospheric pressure, rain, all affect readings.
If your slab can be dug under, an external system would seem easier to build. A radon monitor can be bought at a price reasonable, considering overall costs. About $130-140.
Greg
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It's your money. You're right. Stand your ground and if he won't budge, walk. At least telegraph that attitude to him. I don't care what his "results" are. You're in the driver's seat.

Sure. The house style has little to do with it. The chances are that it's percolating up from the ground, though the slab. It's almost a sure thing that a sub-slab evacuation pump will fix it. Be aware that they aren't free to operate and they do make noise.
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On Tue, 26 Jun 2012 19:10:43 -0400, Bryce wrote:

Many remediation contractors will not test before or after. There is an obvious conflict of interest, so they make a disinterested third party do the testing.
Ohio may give away free tests that are read by an independent laboratory. I know that both KY and Indiana does. Of course, if the Realtor comes by and opens windows and doors, the test results won't mean much.

I had high radon in my ranch, although I have a basement. The house was a HUD repo, and I had previously tested for radon many places where I lived with no bad results, plus HUD won't make repairs. So I skipped the pre- purchase radon test.
The EPA recommended action level is 4.0 pCi/l, so you don't want to buy that house until it is fixed.
A few years after I bought the house, I tested it with two free kits from the state. My β€œupstairs” (from the basement) radon levels were about 20 pCi/l The basement was about 35 .pCi/l Post mitigation levels were about 1.5 pCi/l upstairs and 2.5 pCi/l in the basement.
Cost of the mitigation system was $780, installed by a state certified radon mitigation contractor.
Cost of running the 65 watt fan 24 hours per day works out to $3.69 monthly cost at Louisville Gas and Electric rates.
I also bought one of these for continuous monitoring:
(Amazon.com product link shortened) />/ ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid40774942&sr=8-1&keywords=radon+tester
If it wraps / breaks:
http://tinyurl.com/79km7dg
--

Tony Sivori

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HD, Lowes, etc have DIY radon test kits for $15 or so. You mail the sample in. Could be a cheap way to confirm the test. AFAIK, there isn't anything sophisticated about the testing device. It's just a canister with some absorption material inside, like charcoal? The canister goes in the house for X hours and the lab then uses that to do the test.
You could have radon in a house on slab. Probably more likely in a basement, since it's deeper, more area exposed, etc. And I would guess that remediation in a house on slab could be more difficult/expensive.
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Thanks for your comments.
We are the sellers and in a neighborhood in decline, so we are anxious to complete the sale: tough to find buyer and we already have a new house awaiting.
Radon test was done in the middle of the house with A/C running. Downdraft furnace (in interior room near one end of house) feeds conditioned air through metal ducts under the slab, which is about 2' above grade, no crawl space. No vents through the foundation walls. Return air to furnace via ducts in attic. House was built in 1960.
Remediation contractor (not affiliated with inspector to our knowledge) proposes to install suction system next to furnace and test afterward. Cost ~$1000, "30 year guarantee"
I have a hunch that the suction will be overpowered by leaks in the heating ducts. For sure, we will run A/C during test, pay by credit card.
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This is a good place for it. The chimney chase can then be used for the pipe, up to the roof. The suction is from under the slab so any leaks in the heating ducts are irrelevant.

Paranoid is sometimes justified but this plan has a 99% success rate. Radon remediation isn't difficult. You'll be fine.
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You never answered my question. If water ever comes up to slab, you also need a sump pump, and that makes it tricky.
Greg
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radon remediation in a home with a underground sump pump is deade easy..... and done all the time.
just connect the radon vent fan to the interior french drain, and seal the sump pump so a minor vacuumn can be created.....
radon fans get installed above ground level so they cant get flooded and are designed to exhaust wet moist air
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gregz wrote:

Sorry!
Slab is about 2' above grade. If water gets that high, we have a lot of problems! We've never had water problems in 17 years and this summer is the dryest in memory.
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I have often wondered if you owned a high radon home that sat at least a couple feet above street level.....
You could combine a interior french drain , with a outlet at street level to daylight and perhaps a fresh air intake at the far end of the french drain, making not only a passive radon gas exhaust but also a passive interior french drain? radon gas is heavier than air, and gravity tends to be highlly reliable for water. no sump pump or power needed. I came up with this idea years ago when a big storm knocked out power, and sump systems overflowed....
i started some of this years ago but divorce and life got in the way
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I put a 4-inch duct booster fan in a 4-inch dryer vent pipe and connected that from the top of my sump pump cover to an outside wall just above the concrete foundation. It basically gives a slight negative pressure to the drains around and under the house and any radon that comes up thru the ground is exhausted to the outdoors in a location where no one ever goes so I don't worry about the low physical level of the output pipe.
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