A radon mitigation system is a system designed to reduce the levels of radon gas in a building. Radon is a radioactive gas that is produced by the natural decay of uranium in the soil. It is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, making it difficult to detect without proper testing. These systems are not cheap, but they are necessary. What goes into the cost of a radon mitigation system? Aesthetics, radon levels, dirt, venting, foundation, and sealing.
What Is a Radon Mitigation System?
A radon mitigation system is a set of techniques and equipment used to reduce radon gas concentrations within a building. These systems are typically installed in buildings with elevated levels of radon, which can pose a serious health risk if not properly addressed.
What Drives the Cost of a Radon Mitigation System?
The cost of a radon mitigation system can vary depending on several factors. Some of the main factors that contribute to the cost include:
1) Balancing Aesthetics With the Features of the Building
For example, we try to avoid putting the system on the front of the building; often tt makes sense to put the radon fan next to the a/c compressor.
2) The Radon Level Can Affect the Costs
A higher radon level often will require more work and therefore a more robust and costly approach. In general, a house with a radon level over 50 pci/L will be more costly to fix. The layout of the foundation can also impact the cost of fixing the radon problem.
3) Radon Travels Through Soil
Radon travels through the soil as a gas so an area of exposed dirt like in a crawl space will require plastic to be installed to reduce the flow of radon.
4) Venting Requirements
Sometimes it can be difficult to find a radon vent location that complies with radon regulations. Special equipment such as a high lift can be required for taller buildings.
5) Foundation Layout
The layout of the foundation is key in radon system design. For example, a weight-bearing wall that divides a basement into 2 will have a footing to support the wall. The footing can be a substantial structure under the slab that may block the radon system from depressurizing the other side of the wall. Additional suction points may be required to draw the radon from the other side of the wall.
The most important sealing is at the wall-floor joint, but additional sealing may be required, i.e. any openings in the slab, sump, or walls.
7) Size of Pipe for Existing Systems
We have found that using a 4” pipe works better with most of the radon fans we use. Sometimes if the radon levels are high we will recommend installing a 4” system if the existing passive system is 3”.
8) Some Factors Cannot Be Determined Before Installation and Retest
Since we cannot see the amount of stone under the slab, the soil type, or exactly where the radon is entering the home, we sometimes quote the system installation in phases
Three Types of Radon Mitigation Systems
There are three main types of radon mitigation systems:
- Sub slab suction: This technique involves creating a vacuum beneath the building’s foundation by installing pipes and a fan system. The vacuum helps draw radon gas from the soil and prevents it from entering the building.
- Drain tile suction: This method utilizes the existing drain tile system in the building. A fan is installed to create a negative pressure, drawing radon gas from the soil before it enters the building through the drain tiles.
- Sub membrane: This approach involves installing a gas-permeable layer (usually plastic) over the soil or gravel beneath the building’s foundation. A fan system is then used to draw radon gas from beneath the membrane, preventing its entry into the building.
Components of a Radon Mitigation System
A radon mitigation system typically consists of several components, including:
- Pipes: These are used to create a pathway for radon gas to be directed away from the building.
- Ventilation fans: These fans help create suction or positive pressure to draw out or prevent radon gas from entering the building.
- Sealing materials: These materials are used to seal any cracks or openings in the building’s foundation, preventing the entry of radon gas.
- Manometer: This device measures the pressure within the system and ensures it is functioning properly.
- Radon monitor: A device that measures the levels of radon gas present in the building.
Cost of a Radon Mitigation System
The total cost of a radon mitigation system can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Factors that influence the cost include the size of the building, the level of radon gas present, labor costs, and any additional modifications needed to install the system.
Here is a video below about the cost of a radon mitigation system. Remember, the cost will vary according to what part of the country you live in as well as the other aspects that drive the cost.
Other Recommended Maintenance
Now that you know about radon mitigation systems, let’s take a look at a few other areas of maintenance. One of those is does radon smell? It does not smell. Additionally, it is odorless, colorless, and tasteless and is found in the soil.
Another area is buying a home with a radon mitigation system. This is a great idea as it can protect you and your family. You will also find that the homeowners are concerned about the well-being of others and it is a great safety feature.
Lastly, in addition to radon, thinking about carbon monoxide is important. One area you don’t have to worry about is whether air conditioning has carbon monoxide. Also, the good news is it does not as it is run on electricity and doesn’t emit carbon monoxide into the home.
When to Contact a Professional
If you suspect high levels of radon gas in your building, it is important to contact us at Enviroquest. We are radon mitigation specialists and have the expertise and equipment to accurately test for radon. Also, we can determine the best course of action to reduce its levels.
Radon gas poses a significant health risk and should not be taken lightly. Investing in a radon mitigation system can help protect the occupants of a building from this hazardous gas. By understanding the different types of systems, associated costs, and when to seek professional help, individuals can ensure the safety of their indoor environments. Reach out to Enviroquest Home Inspections for a radon mitigation inspection as well as a complete home inspection in Harrisburg, PA.