”How is Denver Radon Mitigation Like a Juice Box?”
Radon comes into the house due to the difference in pressure between the inside of the house and the outside of the house. The house works like a vacuum sucking radon out of the ground beneath it.
1 in 15 homes will have elevated radon across the US. However, when you are in a state like Colorado it will be higher than that. Estimates for the Denver Metro Area are between 75% to 85% of homes have elevated radon.
So when you test the home and it is above 4 pCi/L (EPA says action then but recommends anything above 2.7 pCi/L) it is time to set up a Denver radon mitigation system.
On Radon-I-Nator’s Website (http://radoninatorllc.com/) there is a 4:40 RadonAway Informational Video that gives you a quick overview of how the radon enters the house, can injure you, and how a system might be set up.
When doing radon mitigation the mitigator is setting up so that the radon is predominately sealed under the slab or under the crawlspace or a combination of the above (or even in cinder block walls). Then they create a suction that takes it up above the roofline (away from windows, doors, etc.) and vents the gas (remember gas rises) so that it continues up into the atmosphere. They are getting it away from the living areas and controlling radon pathways into the home.
Below are the two most common illustrations of a Denver radon mitigation system in an existing house.
Please note that sealing alone will not solve the radon issue. It can improve the overall quality but is not be a standalone solution.
Each house is unique and an experienced mitigator can spot and work with the things that are part of the distinctiveness of the house.
There are many EPA protocols that must be followed in order for the system to work, stay working and create a safe environment for the people living there. Here a just a few:
- Properly sealed and lapped crawl space membranes
- PVC pipe (NEVER downspout piping)
- Pipes supported: 6’ on horizontal runs, 8’ on vertical runs, and on structural members
- Fans must be outside and above conditioned space and wired to code
- Properly vented 10 feet away from any opening into condition space and at least 2 feet above it
- Properly sloped pipe to allow condensation to drain away
- Proper codes followed including for FIRE if going through a fire wall
- Appropriate caulk used to seal sump covers
- A U-Tube to mark the operating point
- Labels with things like the installer’s information
Here are some pictures of what the finished product might look like.
Remember the mitigator is creating a house vacuum with the amount of suction force exerted on the soil. He is creating a “juice box” to seal and suction the radon up and out of the home. The mitigator is sucking up the radon and venting it out the top away from the living spaces. The system is changing the amount of air in the home and thereby possibly saving the lives of the people living in that home.
Denver Radon Mitigation (Spruce Environmental Technologies) p. 2
*Next month: What to look for if it is not done right”
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