Radon mitigation


I've got to have the radon problem taken care of in my house. Where is the real "cost" of the project? Is it putting in the pit, running the pipe, the expertise, etc, etc.? The reason I ask is I have a sump pit already available, a pipe that runs through the house to the attic, and the electrical hookup. I think I just need a pipe from the pit, a fan in the attic, and the hole punched in the roof. Getting estimates next week.
Thank you for your time.
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Jack wrote:

Not speaking from expertise but it's just ventilation and venting of gas. Don't know how serious your problem is but I would do minimal required. Some stuff I've seen appeared to be overkill and generally not being an emergency you could take your time, maybe doing minimum and retesting.
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You might want to minimize use of the basement and add insulation between the basement and the first floor (ASSuming that's your situation). If your furnace is in the basement the compustion air alone will take out a lot of the radon. It will tend to suck air out of the living spaces where is is replaced by window/door leakage. If you have some kind of air exchange for your home make the intake as far above ground as you can manage.
Radon is very heavy and tends to stay in the low spots. On "good days" you might want to air out the basement and even the whole house.
Radon itself isn't the problem. But radon is subject to radioactive decay and it leaves single atoms of very bad stuff that will either be absorbed in your lungs or settling down to increase the "background radiation."
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I put a 4in duct from a new hole I made in my sump pump cover up to the basement ceiling and then over and out the side of the house behind some very large and dense shubbery. I put a "duct-booster fan" in the 4in line that is permantently on as long as there is electricity. Since most of my radon came in with groundwater, (my pump runs summer and winter at least once an hour) the fan blows out the radon before it leaks into the actual house. I don't lose much heat as the rest of the sump cover is closed and so the vacuum caused by the fan isn't allowed to suck heated air from the house.
Radon stays consistently below 3 where it was slightly above 4 previously consistently.
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The real cost is the additional heating & cooling costs you'll incure. Running the fan sucks air from in your house and pumps it outside.
You probably shouldn't run the pipe from your sump pit. All that damp air probably isn't good for the fan. There is also the remote chance that if the water gets high enough it will block the pipe.
Every situation is different but here is what I did: Sealed sump pit. (I don't have a water issue) Drilled hole in the basement slab (multiple small holes then broke out the middle) You need to get down to the gravel below the slab Inserted 4" pvc into slab and caulked around it Ran pipe out into garage and mounted the fan in garage (outside the living area) Ran pipe out through garage roof This was ok for me because I had no nearby windows Mounted a manometer to the pipe in the basement You can buy fancy alarms and other items but this is cheap & accurate http://www.iaqsource.com/product.php?p=radonaway_50006-1&product=173613
When summer came the pipe in the garage and outside would sweat because of all the cold air I was blowing out. Called the place I bought the fan from and they told me to sprinkle mortar all around the slab except a foot in each corner and spary gently with water. Once I did this the pipe wasn't nearly as cold and lowered my reading even more.
I don't remember the exact reading was but I cut my readings well below the *danger* level.
The whole thing cost me less than $300 including the 4" hole saw I used to make the hole in the roof.
The costs vary greatly depending on your home's construction but googling puts a reasonable cost at $2,000 unless you have unique construction.
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around pittsburgh pulling air from the sump system is standard operating procedure
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Jack wrote:

So you want to blow your heat outside? Costly. If you have a dryer down there it takes care of it if you exhaust it outside. Radon leaches very slowly. You can evacuate the air out in 5 minutes and be clean for a week.
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wrote:

radon tests prohibit any kinds of exhausts, homes must be closed and sealed during test period. mostly this comes up at home resale time. new buyer demands test
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bob haller wrote:

home. My small basement was 0.1 picocurries over the limit, which I think was 4 in the Chicago suburban area. It cost me $850 to have a 4" hole drilled with a pipe going outside. Outside was a fan which then ran up the wall through the eave and out above the roof. The fan used something like 60 watts 24/7, to say nothing of sucking heat out of the basement and heating the outside air. They also sealed the sump pit, which, now, if there's a sump problem, it will be a pane to fix. They had to re-do the hole in the floor because the original was causing the water in the sump to swirl which was causing the pump to short cycle. BTW, I heard that in Canada the limit was 20, while in the southwest, where there is more radon, it is 7, but I don't remember if I checked these numbers or not. If the test were done in the summertime, it would have probably passed as my heating system combustion blower sucked in combustion air from the basement, leading to a negative pressure. I shut it off until the day I moved. Besides using power and waisting heat, it hummed and drove me nuts.
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since it sucks from under the slab it shouldnt be exhausting warm air....
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bob haller wrote:

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bob haller wrote:

the wall attaches to the floor. There might also be cracks in the floor itself. So rather than the radon coming up into the basement, basement (and house) air goes into the crack.
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Sealing all cracks is also part of the standard radon mitigation. beyond which the fan, designed to run in a moist environment just pulls a minor suction on underslab, having felt the exhaust its just a small amount.
Many lung cancer cases of non smokers ot exposed to smoke are traced back to high radon levels in homes.
in the case of homesale time seller has no choice but to spend the money to get home sold.
my home sits above road grade and has basement water issues.
I have started installing a interior french drain and have been thinking if it flows to daylight radon too would be naturally exhausted, no fan or expensive system.
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Or the Seller could give the Buyer a credit at closing instead of performing repairs.
This benefits both parties buy not having the Seller subject to reinspection or "this wasn't fixed well enough". The Buyer also can perform the repairs themself or hire a contractor they are comfortable with.
There is always the chance that the repair could cost more or less than the agreed amount but sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you.
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radon mitgation isnt a excact science, generally it must be done before closing and reinspected to assure the mitigation was successful....
sometimes more than one exhaust is necessary.........
buyers usually demand a retested certified install
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Like Art said the fan connected to pipe in the slab creates negative pressure under the slab. This causes air in the house to force it's way under the slab either around the edges, through cracks, or the sump pit. The only way you might be able to prevent this is to have a 'fresh air' intake for the underside of the slab.
New construction in many places now requires that a loop or loops of radon pipes be placed in the gravel under the slab. This effectively creates a passive exhaust system that may eliminate any potential high readings. If there are high readings when the house is done it is easy to connect a fan to theses pipes and theoretically eliminate all interior radon.
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All depends on your situation. There is less concern if you do not smoke, no potentially women who can get pregnant, time spent on the bottom floor, etc. Some fresh air will bring the numbers down, of course you need to keep testing. A good idea to test for radon before buying a house
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Phisherman wrote:

You get more radiation from the sun on a sunny day.
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On Wed, 30 Sep 2009 15:33:28 -0400, Van Chocstraw

Technically, that it true. However, the sum emits useful radiation like heat and light. Radon can get stuck to particles that get stuck in your lungs. A few nearby lung cells then get bombarded with ionizing radiation. That's very different from what the sun emits on a sunny day. Why take a chance?
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abatement, and immediately the conspiracy theorists came out to play...
Let's address some issues here.
(1) Radon in high enough concentrations is a legitimate concern, particularly for people with existing health issues and, apparently, pets. (Smaller animals, higher metabolism, higher risk.)
(2) Radon is found in higher concentrations in rockier soils, especially around mountainous or hilly areas with a high presence of granite (the source of much radon leaching).
(3) The reason we didn't hear about radon years ago or in older houses is because it builds up in areas not properly ventilated. Old houses were leakier; new houses tend to be more air-tight to conserve on energy usage.
(4) You're going to see more houses testing positive for elevated levels of radon as we have a higher percentage of foreclosures - empty houses - sitting on the market for months. People aren't going in and out as much (less air exchange with outside), and the HVAC isn't running as often to "stir up" the air.
Do NOT make a hyperbolic claim about radon abatement being a scam. I know of a couple in Colorado whose house tested for something like 120 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) which is 30x the maximum acceptable level according to the EPA. THAT needs abatement.
Did my own house, which tested at 12-13 pCi/L after sitting, foreclosed, for 6-1/2 months need to be abated before we moved in? Probably not, but we had it done anyway because one of our cats has allergies and asthma and my immune system makes me susceptible so why take the risk if we were getting a credit for it at settlement?
My one dislike is the noise of the air exiting the pipe on the roof. We vented it out through the basement wall into the garage and then through the garage roof. The part of our deck where I have the grill is where the garage roof is ~4 feet above the deck, so you can hear the muted roar/rush of the fan venting the air. I'd like to crank the rheostat on the fan down to a slower speed to see if we can alleviate some of that white noise on the back deck...
But otherwise, I don't have any problem with the abatement.
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