Can a detached basement have a radon problem?

Radon is an invisible and odorless gas that is commonly found in the soil and rock beneath your home. Basements and crawlspaces are susceptible to radon problems because they are below ground level or have more contact with the soil. It is important to be concerned about the presence of radon in your home since it is a health hazard that can cause respiratory problems and terminal illnesses such as lung cancer. If you have detached your basement or thinking about detaching it, you may be curious to know whether radon can still be an issue once you have accomplished the project. In this article, we will be discussing whether a detached basement can have a radon problem and how to deal with radon in your home.

A radon problem in a detached basement

A detached basement can have a radon problem because radon can enter through gaps around the pipes, cracks in the foundation, and other openings. A basement that isn’t well-ventilated can increase radon buildup to dangerous levels, posing a greater risk to your family’s health.

detached basement

Radon can be found in the attached or detached basement

A basement can either be detached partially or fully based on individual reasons and preferences. Even if your detached basement isn’t connected to your home, it is still important to perform a professional radon test. Testing for radon is the only way you can know its state because its odorless and colorless nature makes it difficult to detect until it is too late.

Testing for radon in a detached basement

There are three major ways to test for radon in a detached basement. These include short-term testing, long-term testing, and continuous radon monitoring. A short-term test is the most common type of radon test that you can do yourself by purchasing a test kit from an online or hardware store. It can take between 2 to 7 days to get the results of the test once you send the report to the lab. A long-term test is more accurate but can take up to 90 days to complete. It is what most professional radon testing companies use to determine the presence of radon in your home.

Another option is to use a continuous radon monitor which is a small device that can test radon levels in the air while displaying the results on a digital screen. It is always advisable to contact a radon mitigation contractor if you are concerned about radon exposure in your detached basement. They can always perform the test and recommend the best ways to reduce radon levels to a minimum.

How does radon affect your health?

Several studies have shown that radon is one of the major causes of lung cancer besides cigarette smoking. The risk of developing serious respiratory problems increases every time you are exposed to higher levels of radon. Most of the symptoms of radon exposure are usually seen in the long term. That is one of the reasons why testing for radon earlier and finding a solution to minimize exposure can be beneficial to you and your family’s health.

How to minimize radon exposure in a detached basement

  • Sub-slab depressurization systems

A sub-slab depressurization system works by installing a pipe in the basement that extends below the foundation. A fan is attached to the pipe to extract air out of the soil and out of your home. This system creates a negative pressure that pulls radon gas out of the soil beneath the home, therefore, minimizing radon exposure in a detached basement.

  • Sump pump radon systems

A sump pump radon system works by installing a pipe in the sump pump pit. A fan is attached to the pipe to draw out air from the sump pit. A sump pump radon system creates a negative pressure that extracts radon gas out of the soil and away from your home. Not only is it easy to install but can also be installed in any type of foundation.

  • Seal cracks and gaps

A detached basement can still cause radon exposure if there are cracks and gaps in the floor and walls. Before you seal any cracks and gaps, it is important to address the root cause of the problem such as eliminating sources of moisture and installing mitigation systems that extract radon from beneath your home’s foundation. Sealing cracks and gaps should only be performed as a supplementary mitigation technique to minimize radon exposure.

A detached basement can still have a radon problem. The only way to be sure about radon levels is to perform a test. Not only will the test results give you a clue about the radon levels in your home, but will also help you determine the best mitigation techniques to minimize radon exposure.