Are Radon Mitigation Systems Effective
If your home has high levels of radon gas, your family is at risk of getting various respiratory diseases as well as lung cancer. According to EPA, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers in the country. Ensuring the house is free of the gas, or has levels within acceptable limits, is critical to your family’s wellbeing.
There are various techniques you can implement to reduce the amount of radon in your home. Some methods work better than others while a few are not recommended. For example, you should not try eliminating radon using fancy air filters, ultra-violet lights, air purifiers, ozone machines, furnace filters or other gadgets commonly sold in stores. These so-called radon abatement devices do nothing to significantly expunge radon gas from your home.
The best way of mitigating radon gas is handling it at the source, i.e., seal the particular areas through which it seeps into your house.
Seal Openings in the House
Radon mainly gets into the house through cracks and other openings in the basement. Therefore, to keep the gas off your home, you should caulk all the cracks in your basement. Inspect the basement thoroughly to identify any openings on the floor and walls. If you find any cracks or existing sump pumps, seal them off.
However, in some cases, sealing the sump pits and cracks can increase the amount of radon gas in your house. For example, the sealing can prevent fresh air from getting into the basement and as a result, contain the contaminated air. For this reason, it is vital to re-test the amount of radon gas in the basement after a couple of weeks. Sometimes, you will realize that the sealing may not have had any effect.
Keeping all the windows open, especially the ones in the basement, can help to reduce the level of radon gas. When you open the windows, fresh air will get in and dilute the radon by minimizing the pressure within the lower part of the house.
The ventilation method relies on fresh air to dilute the radon gas. However, for this technique to work, the windows should be kept open at all times. If you close the windows, the gas can quickly pile up, in as little as six hours, to dangerous levels.
One of the downsides of the ventilation method is that keeping the windows always open can be quite uncomfortable. Moreover, in the summer and winter, leaving the windows open can significantly increase your energy utility bills.
You can increase airflow into the house by using a window fan. The increase in airflow will help lower your energy costs in summer. However, make sure the fan is blowing fresh air into the basement. Otherwise, you would risk increasing negative pressure, which can increase the levels of radon in the house.
These are the two most effective radon mitigation techniques. Make sure you contact a Radon Mitigation expert if you have any questions concerning this dangerous gas.