Friday, November 20, 2009

Reducing your home radon levels

We're having some work done in our house because our radon levels in the basement are too high. Our current radon mitigation system is not working well. It's an old system, so it's not too surprising. The fan has been replaced, but the soil suction radon reduction system needs to be redone. There are four types of systems: subslab suction, drain tile suction, sump hole suction, or block wall suction. According to the EPA, active subslab suction (also called subslab depressurization) is the most common and usually the most reliable radon reduction method.

Many people are living with high radon levels and they don't even know it. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer (smoking is #1).

The EPA says, "it's a good idea to retest your home every two years to be sure radon levels remain low." When's the last time you tested your home? If you have a mitigation system, are you sure your fan is working? I've seen people live in homes where the mitigation system fan had burned out and the radon levels were in the 30s and 40s.

Another common problem related to radon is this: People check the radon levels in an unfinished basement and everything seems OK. Then, they finish the basement and compartmentalize certain sections. This could cause radon to build up in specific areas and become a problem. Therefore, always recheck the radon after you finish your basement.

To learn more about radon, visit the EPA website at

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