How do you mitigate residential radon?


Quick Answer

The three basic types of mitigation including sealing to prevent radon entry, removing the radon at ground level before entry and removal by ventilation after entry. Both types of removal systems are available in active or passive configurations. Methods available to mitigate residential radon depend on the house's construction.

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Full Answer

Seal any cracks or foundation openings with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved materials to restrict the flow of radon entering the house from the ground. This method is typically not effective enough by itself, but is recommended in conjunction with other mitigation systems.

Houses are built with one of three foundation types, including basement, slab on grade and crawlspace. Some houses may have multiple types of construction, such as a split-level where half the house has a basement and the rest is another type. The mitigation methods are similar for each, but the system can vary.

Ground removal active systems, which use vent pipes and one or more fans to draw radon out of the ground before it enters the house, are typically the most effective. In basement and slab designs, piping is inserted below the concrete flooring, and negative pressure is generated to remove the radon. In crawlspace designs, a heavy plastic sheet is used to cover the ground and provide a seal with the pipes underneath.

Passive systems are similar in design, but use natural pressure differentials and air currents to draw the radon. Ventilation systems exchange interior and exterior air, but can cause high utility bills.

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