Most people are familiar with the dangers of radon, but many don’t know what to do about it. The good news is that there are several methods for mitigating radon exposure, and this article will explore everything you need to know about radon mitigation in Louisville, KY. Read on to learn more about how to reduce your radon exposure.
Let’s start by understanding what radon is.
What Is Radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring, colorless, and odorless gas that seeps up from the ground as uranium decays in soil, rock, and water. This gas can enter your home through cracks or gaps in the foundation and accumulate to unsafe levels if not adequately mitigated.
What Makes adon Hazardous?
Radon breaks down into radioactive particles that can attach to dust and other particles. When inhaled, these particles can damage the cells in your lungs, which increases your risk of developing lung cancer.
Now that we understand the basics of radon, let’s understand what radon mitigation is and explore the most common method for mitigating it.
What is Radon Mitigation?
Radon mitigation is reducing the concentration of radon in the home. You can achieve this through various methods. The type of method and its effectiveness will depend on a home’s foundation design. Generally, three common types of foundation designs influence the type of radon mitigation used:
Radon Mitigation For Slab-on-Grade and Basement Homes
The following methods are recommended for homes with a basement or slab-on-grade foundation:
-Sub slab suction
Sub Slab Suction
Sub-slab suction, or active sub-slab depressurization, is the most widely used method for radon mitigation. This involves installing suction pipes beneath the basement floor into the soil. The number of suction points depends on the ease of air movement beneath the basement floor. The suction pipes are connected to a fan, which creates negative pressure beneath the basement floor and draws radon-laden air out of the home.
A certified contractor can determine the degree of radon infiltration in a home and the number of pipes needed for proper radon mitigation. They will carry out diagnostic tests and visual assessments to assess the degree of infiltration and recommend radon mitigation. Generally, a single PVC pipe and exhaust fan system are sufficient for most homes.
Passive sub-slab depressurization – Alternatively, passive sub-slab depressurization can be used. This method is similar to active sub-slab depressurization. However, it does not require an exhaust fan. This system relies on natural air pressure differences to draw the radon out of the home.
As mentioned earlier, sub-slab depressurization is the most common radon mitigation method, with about 95% of homes using this method. However, let’s look at the other mitigation methods.
Block Wall Suction
The block-wall suction method is ideal for basement foundation homes with hollow block walls. This method is similar to sub-slab suction because it eliminates radon and reduces pressure inside the blocks. Generally, block-wall suction is used in conjunction with sub-slab depressurization.
Drain-tile suction is ideal for homes with perforated pipes or drains tiles around their foundation walls. In this method, suction pipes are installed to draw out radon-laden air from the soil.
Sealing is a radon mitigation method that applies to any foundation design. In this method, cracks, gaps, and spaces in the foundation walls are sealed to prevent radon infiltration. However, You should use this method in conjunction with other radon mitigation methods as it only reduces, not eliminates, the concentration of radon in a home.
This is partly because the normal settling of soils and the movement of hydrostatic pressure in the ground can cause new cracks, forming new pathways for radon infiltration.
You can naturally increase your home’s ventilation by opening windows and doors. This allows fresh, clean air to enter the home, diluting any radon that may have seeped in. However, once the windows and doors are closed, the radon concentration will start to rise again. Therefore, natural ventilation should be used as a temporary solution.
Several radon mitigation methods are available depending on a home’s foundation design. Sub-slab suction is the most common among them, and it involves installing suction pipes beneath the basement floor into the soil. On the other hand, the block wall suction method is ideal for homes with hollow block walls, while drain-tile suction works for those with perforated pipes or drain tiles around their foundations. Sealing cracks and gaps in the foundation walls also help reduce radon infiltration. Still, you should use this in conjunction with other radon mitigation systems as it only reduces and not eliminates the concentration of radon in a home. Ultimately, the effectiveness of any radon mitigation system depends on how accurately it’s installed and maintained by a certified contractor.