One of the most common questions about radon mitigation we get from our clients at Pine Breeze Radon Mitigation after they see elevated radon levels and learn they need a radon mitigation system is if it’s going to require a lot of maintenance.
Fortunately, properly installed radon mitigation systems only require occasional maintenance and can easily be added to your home’s routine maintenance schedule.
In the article below, we will ask common questions homeowners have once radon is detected to give you the upper hand when tackling this potentially harmful hazard.
1. How Does Radon Enter a Home?
Soil and rocks are the main causes of radon issues in a home. Due to the pressure difference between the inside and outside of your home, your home acts like a vacuum drawing radon through foundation cracks and other openings.
Whether there are cracks in the concrete slab, pores and cracks in concrete blocks, or floor-wall joints, all exposed openings can allow radon to be brought into the home.
Additionally, an open drain tile system will allow radon to enter the home at a faster rate and increase the levels of radon. A sump can also be another area where radon can enter your home. Radon levels should be checked if either of these improvements have been made to your home since you purchased it.
Buying a house can be a bit like falling in love. You shop around, seek advice from friends, and when you find the perfect match, lay it all on the line and pop the question. But even after a seller has said yes to your offer, you’ll need to complete a home inspection, which often includes a radon test.
Radon test results usually arrive a week or two after your home inspection report and can be riddled with terrifying facts about this deadly gas. If it reveals high levels, you may be left wondering whether you should walk away from the sale. You don’t have to. Here’s why.
Radon levels are measured in picocuries per liter, or pCi/L. Levels of 4 pCi/L or higher are considered hazardous. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk and in many cases can be reduced, although it is difficult to reduce levels below 2 pCi/L.
The EPA estimates that a radon removal system costs about $1,200 for an average house. The system usually consists of one or more PVC pipes that run from the radon-emitting soil beneath a home up through the roof. An in-line fan draws air through the system so that it doesn’t leach into living spaces. Once installed, a follow-up radon test is done. Even in houses with extremely high radon levels, you can expect a drop to levels considered safe.
Similar to your chimney, HVAC system, and many other continuously used systems in your home, radon mitigation systems are self-sufficient for the most part. Outside of a regular visual inspection, there’s not much more that needs to be done to keep your mitigation system working and your level of radon in the safe zone.
The most important part of the typical radon mitigation system is the radon mitigation fan that feeds your radon pipe. Its power and continuous work keep radon from building to unsafe levels.
The fans in radon reduction systems should continuously operate, so fan upkeep and maintenance are necessary.
Fortunately, radon fans come with a warranty covering repairs and replacement for up to five years. Properly installed radon mitigation systems have a warning device to notify you of any radon mitigation system failures. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires the installation of devices with all approved radon mitigation systems, so make sure that your mitigation system has this warning device installed.
You should check the functionality of your radon warning device as part of your regular check-up and maintenance routine. Checking your warning device once every three months takes only a bit of scheduling time on your part. It is a simple and straightforward process to make sure your system is functioning correctly.
If you think your radon mitigation system isn’t functioning correctly, contact Pine Breeze Radon Mitigation for a system inspection.
When you know that your system is functioning the way it should, you will have peace of mind and breathe a little easier. If it’s been more than two years since your last air quality test, Pine Breeze Radon Mitigation can also test for radon in your home to ensure your radon levels are still safe.