Found out you need to lower your home’s high radon levels? This is often called radon mitigation or radon remediation. What do these terms mean? First of all, good news: fixing radon is normally a very straightforward process, and we can typically get the job done in just a few hours.
99%+ of all homes with high radon can be mitigated or fixed by installing a permanent radon system. This system is designed to create negative vacuum pressure in the dirt under the lowest slab and vent these soil gases at the roof line. This process is called active soil depressurization (ASD).
So to be clear, the radon system is sucking the air under the house and not inside the house. The system will not be pulling out your air-conditioned or heated air. The radon system runs 24/7, can last for decades without maintenance, and only costs a few dollars a month in electricity.
Since this is a permanent new addition to your home, radon systems should be installed as hidden as possible on both the inside and outside of the home. The last thing you want is a permanent ugly pipe in the middle of your downstairs family room or in the front of your house. Hiding the radon system is a little bit of an art form. This is where we come into the picture. With thousands of mitigations under our belt and over 850 5-star Google Reviews, you can rest assured you've hired the most trusted radon mitigation company in Utah.
A radon system consists of pipes to direct the air, an inline fan to pull the suction, an electrical switch to turn the system on and off, and an airflow gauge to monitor the system’s performance. Let’s talk about each of these:
The first thing we do is evaluate your home to determine the best location to hide the system both inside and out.
We drill a hole into the lowest slab to install the piping. Once the concrete is removed, a suction pit must be dug in this hole to provide adequate surface area for maximum suction. We dig out 15 gallons (3 Home Depot buckets) of material under the slab to create as much surface area as possible for the fan to suck on. The harder the digging, the more it is needed.
The radon piping can go either to the outside of the home at ground level and run up to the eve of the roof, or it can be routed inside the home through a chase, closets, the garage, or other creative ways. Our goal again is to hide the system.
We install either 3” or 4” schedule 40 PVC into the hole and connect it to a PVC bushing to house the pipe. Which pipe size to use? It totally depends on the size of the slab, how long the pipe run is, and the material under the slab.
Exterior systems are when the piping is on the outside of the home. The radon fan is installed as low as possible but above the ground to not be an eyesore. It looks like a basketball on a pipe. Above the fan, the piping should be directed up against the house and then transition to an aluminum downspout (which can be painted to match the home) or stay PVC which is a little quieter but not as attractive. We include a proprietary sound muffler in the piping above the fan to quiet the system down.
Interior systems are when the piping can be kept hidden inside of the house. For example, a common interior system route would be from the basement mechanical room up into the attached garage, running up the garage wall (since no one cares about a pipe in the garage), and up into the attic space above the garage. The radon fan would then be installed in this attic space, and then a pipe would exit the roof with flashing around it to weatherproof it.
Radon fans actively suck on the dirt beneath the slab and deliver the radon gas above the roof level where it dissipates into the outdoor air. Fans typically last 10+ years.
Radon fans must be able to be turned on and off. A simple switch can be installed next to the fan, or the fan can have an electrical whip installed (think a 3-prong plug), and it can be plugged into an outlet next to the fan.
The final components of the Radon Mitigation Installation would be the airflow gauge called the manometer and the appropriate stickers for the system. The manometer is a clear bent tube with colored liquid in it. One end of the tube goes into the system pipe, and the other is left open. The pipe suction will pull the liquid up, and there are markings on the manometer.
The markings are normally in tenths of an inch of water column. The higher the reading, the greater the suction and less airflow. The lower the reading is less suction but greater airflow. This seems counter-intuitive. The lower the number means more porous dirt under your home, and more air is moving through the system. Please note the manometer reading is NOT the radon level. It is only measuring the amount of suction in the pipe. We install a manometer on every system.
Hopefully, this information helped describe the radon mitigation process. Some cases are different, like when homes have crawl spaces, multiple slabs, extra large houses, etc. We can answer any of your questions about these situations or others. Utah Radon Services is here to help you with your radon testing or mitigation needs. Please contact us at 801-871-0715 or go to utahradonservices.com.