If your home was tested and found to have high levels of radon gas, talk to a radon mitigation contractor about options for dealing with the problem. A mitigation system can be installed on just about any type of home no matter how old it is, so you don't have to move to get away from radon. Besides, a new home can have a radon problem too. Here are a few options for residential radon mitigation.
If Your Home Has A Crawlspace
Radon is a gas that seeps up through the soil. The gas then rises from your crawlspace to your home above. Your contractor might recommend crawlspace encapsulation, along with venting the gas to the outside. Encapsulation involves placing a vapor barrier on the floor and walls of the crawlspace and sealing it so no gas can rise above it.
A PVC pipe is inserted through the barrier so it's near the soil, and a fan is placed in the pipe system that creates suction under the vapor barrier. This suction pulls the radon up and out the top of the PVC pipe.
The pipe extends from the soil to the top of your roof so the gas can escape safely without being pulled back into your house. The radon mitigation pipe can be installed on the exterior of the house, or it can be installed inside so it is out of sight.
If Your Home Is Built On A Slab
If your house is built on a concrete slab on grade or a concrete foundation with a basement, encapsulation isn't necessary. Instead, the contractor drills a hole in the concrete where the radon mitigation pipe is installed. The fan then pulls the radon out from under the concrete and sends it into the air above your house.
The pipe and fan system rely on the fan working properly. If the fan stops working, radon won't be pulled out of your house. For that reason, the pipe has a manometer on the side that lets you monitor the fan. The manometer consists of small tubing bent in a U-shape and filled with colored water. It's mounted on the side of the pipe. One side of the tubing is inserted in a small hole in the pipe to detect pressure inside.
If the fan isn't working, the level of water in each side of the pipe is the same. If the fan is running, the water in the U-tube manometer is higher on one side than the other.
Another step in radon mitigation for a house built on a concrete foundation is to seal all the cracks in the concrete. This alone doesn't solve a radon problem, but it's an important step in mitigation along with a fan and vent pipe. The cost of residential radon mitigation and the type of system your home needs depends on the size of your house and the way it's built.
Once you've chosen the mitigation method and had it installed, check the radon level again in a couple of weeks just to make sure the system is working properly.