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.
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
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."
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
The real cost is the additional heating & cooling costs you'll
incure. Running the fan sucks air from in your house and pumps it
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
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
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 &
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Or the Seller could give the Buyer a credit at closing instead of
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
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.
radon mitgation isnt a excact science, generally it must be done
before closing and reinspected to assure the mitigation was
sometimes more than one exhaust is necessary.........
buyers usually demand a retested certified install
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
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
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?
abatement, and immediately the conspiracy theorists came out to
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
(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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