What needs to be done?
If a home’s radon level is 4 picocuries per liter or more, the EPA recommends a radon mitigation system (sometimes called radon remediation) to be installed.
A common method utilized to reduce the radon level is “sub slab depressurization”. In this case, a suction point or points are determined and a pipe is inserted through the concrete slab floor. This pipe is connected to other PVC piping and a fan is positioned on the pipe outside the living area. The fan then draws the radon gas from beneath the home and vents it to the outside. A radon mitigation system can cost between $900-$2500.
Choosing a Mitigation Company
A qualified mitigation company is your best choice for installation of a radon mitigation system.
In many states, these companies or individuals are certified by a state regulatory agency such as the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection). If this is not true in your state, then you should look for a qualified mitigator who is NEHA (National Environmental Health Association) certified. When choosing a radon mitigation company, you should ask for their state or NEHA certification number, if they offer free estimates, and a warranty on the system.
Typically, the mitigation company will visit the home to determine the best configuration of the system and the size of the fan for the type of foundation the house is built on. An estimate of cost for a system can then be determined. After choosing the contractor, plan on 1-2 days for installation.
As always, beware of the lowest bidder. Check for references, job examples, and the amount of time the contractor has been in business.
Life After Radon Mitigation
It is recommended that a radon mitigation system be tested after installation. A test may be performed after the system has been operational for 24 hours or more. A short-term test is usually used for the initial test. In some cases, the estimate given by the contractor may include the retest by a professional company or radon test kits.
A follow-up test is suggested every year to monitor the system’s continued effectiveness.
Arick Amspacker is a certified radon technician and home inspector. Over the years he has taught continuing education courses for Realtors and many first time home buyers seminars, as well as a Community College course on inspections and radon. His website http://www.homeradontest.com sells various types of inexpensive, easy to use radon testing devices, and http://www.radonreporter.com offers a resource for radon information.