Radon mitigation is the process of reducing the radon levels within a home or commercial structure. To understand radon mitigation, it is first important to understand how radon is formed and how it gets into the structure in the first place. Radon is a naturally occurring soil gas that is formed during the breakdown of uranium within the soil. Radon is present everywhere. In fact, if you tested the outside air, the average radon level would be between 0.4 pCi/L and 0.7 pCi/L. Indoor radon levels become an issue because radon is drawn into the living space through pressure differentials within the structure and the soil, and ultimately grow to higher concentrations because of the tightly sealed, confined living space. Once those levels reach 4.0 pCi/L or higher, the EPA recommends that you take action and install a radon mitigation system. The most effective way to mitigate radon gas is to install an active soil depressurization system. Active soil depressurization is found to be most effective in mitigating radon gas because it addresses the radon issue at the source (before the soil gas has an opportunity to enter the home altogether).
Indoor radon levels become an issue because radon is drawn into the living space through pressure differentials between the structure and the soil, and ultimately grow to higher concentrations because of the tightly sealed, confined living space.
Radon Mitigation System
As mentioned above, the most effective type of radon mitigation system is an active soil depressurization system. Generally, active soil depressurization is achieved through either sub-slab depressurization or drain-tile depressurization. Sub-slab depressurization is common when homes do not have a sump pump or drain-tile system. The radon mitigation technician will core into the slab of the property, and dig out what is known as a suction pit or collection point below the slab in order to create airflow under the surface and ultimately draw out the radon from within the soil. This method is very common and effective but may need multiple drop/collection points (suction pits), upgraded radon fans, or both to create the proper field extension needed (especially under large, structural footprints). Drain-tile depressurization is what is generally done in circumstances where a property has a sump crock and/or drain-tile present. Drain-tile depressurization is ideal because the drain-tile system is both open to the soil and generally spanning the vast majority, or the entirety, of the interior footprint. Utilizing the interior drain-tile system makes it much easier to get proper field extension, or suction from the entire footprint.
The radon mitigation technician will core into the slab of the property, and dig out what is known as a suction pit or collection point below the slab in order to create airflow under the surface and ultimately draw out the radon from within the soil.
Radon Mitigation Companies
It is extremely important to choose the right radon mitigation company. Whether you are looking for a radon mitigation company in Milwaukee or a radon mitigation company in Minneapolis, it is important to research the organization to ensure the company you choose is adhering to the radon mitigation standards of practice. Further, radon mitigation is a complex process involving many aspects of construction. A vast knowledge of building construction and codes is necessary. In addition, certain aspects and knowledge of basement repair and construction, carpentry, roofing, plumbing, HVAC and other trade knowledge is is also extremely important because many of these trades play into the system design in one way or another. The most surprising concept to most contractors in the radon industry is how willing many home and business owners are to have just anyone install a radon mitigation system. The installation of the system, and the design and workmanship, are perhaps the most important aspects of the project and ensure the systems effectiveness. Moreover, dangerous mistakes involving carbon-monoxide backdrafting, code violations or electrical hazards can create both liability for you, future homeowners in real-estate transactions, and the company or individual installing the system. Not to mention, the potential of poor installation can lead to system ineffectiveness and ultimately defeat the purpose of installing the radon system in the first place. Radon mitigation installation is not something to hire out without understanding the companies experience, certifications, insurance or vital contracting information.
Radon Mitigation Cost
A proper radon mitigation system should be custom designed for your home or business. Therefore, it is tough to give an exact radon mitigation system cost. However, most radon systems range from around $900-$1800 depending on what additional services or installation is needed. The main concepts that can effect the cost of a radon system are electrical work, excessive caulking or sealing, crawlspace sealing and vapor barrier, or sump pump replacement. If a property does not have a dirt or gravel crawlspace that needs to be sealed, the radon mitigation system cost will generally fall below the $1,500 mark. However, if a dirt or gravel crawlspace system installation is needed, sometimes these costs can range well above that $1,500 mark. Furthermore, if you find that a company is not in this $800-$1500 range, and their pricing is well below that, this should raise some red flags. Most contractors charging prices below market value are either cutting corners on insurance, labor, materials or are just too inexperienced to know and understand the costs and potential for warranty or service calls down the road. These companies generally go out of business quickly and are simply trying to make a quick buck. With more than 25 years of experience installing custom radon mitigation systems, Lifetime Radon can ensure proper design and installation, competitive pricing, exceptional customer service, and the best warranties in the business!