Outside of smoking, radon is considered to be the leading cause of cancer. It’s a carcinogen that most people find in their homes. In order to reduce this, you have to properly vent your home and minimize the radon levels. Did you know there are guides to do this properly? It’s not something most people know about, but there are also professionals who assist you as well.
The bad thing about radon is it’s not something you can see or smell. In fact, it’s so undetectable to our regular perception; you need special equipment to realize its present. There are several different devices out there, but some include; alpha-track detectors, charcoal canisters, or charcoal liquid scintillation devices (which are passive). The good news is they don’t need an ounce of power to function. However, if you want something that continuously monitors radon then you will need one that uses power.
If you do this and realize radon is present, it’s important to figure out if they are at harmful levels. If so then it is time to figure out how to reduce it as much as possible. Your choice of remedies will depend on whether or not you want to prevent radon entry, or if you want to reduce it after entry. If you’re on the prevention line, the EPA suggests soil suction. However, this is going to depend on what type of house you own, because there may be better techniques for your situation.
It all starts with the foundation. Head to the basement and start using the soil suction on the sub slab, drain tile, sump hole, or even block wall suction.
If by chance you have crawlspace housing, try converting the dirt floor with a plastic sheet of high density. Once everything is in place you can grab a fan and vent pipe, then draw the radon out from under the sheet and vent it out. This is actually considered the best recommendation for crawlspace houses (called sub-membrane suction). Then of course you have depressurization where the air can be removed from the crawlspace with a more powerful fan. However, just opening vents or installing more can help to reduce radon in crawlspaces.
There is also the opportunity to use outdoor air and warm it with a heat recovery ventilator. This helps to increase the overall ventilation and minimize the radon levels in your home. While this can be done in any part of the home, it usually has the most benefits when working with basement projects.
When all else fails or sounds too difficult, the best place to come back to is natural ventilation. If you open vents, doors or windows on the lowest part of your home, it can definitely help. Once you’re able to mix both indoor and outdoor air together, it will basically saturate the radon levels. Keep in mind though that they will return within 12 hours once you close everything up again. So this is a short term solution.
In the end it’s just important to use the option that works best for your situation. Whether it’s the various ones we mentioned above or something like sealing and house/room pressurization, they all work. If you can figure out which option is geared for your home, the radon levels will soon diminish and you will feel much safer.