Secure Your Home From Radon Gas: Discover the Best Mitigation Systems Available
Radon mitigation systems have become an increasingly important component of home safety, but many homeowners and residents are still unfamiliar with these systems and the ways in which they can help. Radon is a gas, created from natural decomposition of the uranium found in water, soil, and rocks, and is the second leading cause of lung cancer. The purpose of a radon mitigation system is to make sure that the gas is not being inhaled inside the home. Though air conditioning does not eliminate radon, there are four types of radon mitigation systems that are designed for minimizing the risk of exposure to this dangerous gas.
Active suction systems are the most common type of radon mitigation system and involve the installation of an electrical vent fan, a monitoring system, and a vent pipe that runs from the sub-slab gravel to a point above the roof of the home. This helps keep the radon gas from accumulating underneath the foundation and also helps keep conditioned air from escaping. This system is best installed in homes with a concrete slab basement or basements on a gradient. To maximize the efficiency of the system, any cracks in the basement should be sealed off.
Passive suction systems are more effective in homes with very low levels of radon, as the duct system in place takes advantage of natural air pressure differences to encourage air to travel in a particular direction. The system must be expertly installed in order to ensure that the pressure difference is not wasteful and that conditioned air is not lost. Since this sort of system must be installed the same way in any home, it is often not an option in older homes that were not built with it in mind.
The third type of radon mitigation system is the pressure system, which requires the homeowner to keep windows and doors closed more often in the lower sections of their home creating a pressure difference that traps the radon beneath the foundation. This method does not require any special hardware or equipment to install, but can be difficult for homeowners who are not accustomed to keeping the lower sections of their home closed up so often.
The fourth type of radon mitigation system is a crawlspace mitigation system, which is especially helpful for homes with a dirt or loose gravel floor in the crawlspace. A heavy plastic sheet is laid across the entrance of the crawlspace and a fan is installed to flush the radon out of the home. This system is different from the active suction system already mentioned in that the pre-vent runs through the plastic rather than concrete.
New emerging methods such as heat recovery ventilators (HRV) and energy recovery ventilators (ERV) offer potential solutions to radon exposure, although these systems are still being tested and perfected. Because they rely on temperature and humidity, they may not necessarily be viable solutions in some climates, and could potentially backfire and cause mold problems.
It is important to note that, while any of the options mentioned above could successfully reduce the amount of radon in the home, it is best practice to test for radon first, so the property owner knows what they are dealing with and can make an informed decision about the type of system they need to properly reduce the radon levels. With the threat of lung cancer posed by radon, radon mitigation systems can be an effective way of keeping your home and family safe.