Activate a Passive Radon Mitigation System

Many new homes today are built with radon resistant new construction techniques. The common phrase is passive radon mitigation systems. This is good because home builders across the country are starting to take action to reduce radon gas exposure in homes. What is bad is that they don't always work to reduce radon gas levels. Not necessarily because they were installed incorrectly but sometimes passive is just not enough.

What are passive radon mitigation systems?

Passive radon systems are intended to reduce radon gas by ventilating the soil without the use of a powered vent fan. If designed properly and under ideal conditions, these systems can mitigate radon levels through the natural convection of air within the pipe which creates suction on the soil below the home's foundation. There are several radon resistant new constructions standards, codes and recommendations. Some states now have passed laws requiring that new homes be built radon resistant. 

Do passive radon systems work?

Passive radon systems can work if installed properly. Passive radon systems also might not work if installed properly. Some systems are labeled as radon systems and are not installed correctly and do not work at all. Many factors come in to play with radon gas entry behavior and mitigation systems. Sometimes the radon source is too strong or the positive pressures below the house are greater than the ability of the passive system. The only way to know if your passive system is working is to test for radon gas.

How do I know if the passive radon system is working?

The only way to know is to perform radon tests. Don't assume your radon levels are low just because there is a radon system in your home. The EPAsuggests to re-test for radon every two years and we suggest every year. Radon professionals can perform electronic measurements and homeowners can perform do-it-yourself radon tests. These kits can be purchased at big box stores, local health departments and online retailers like www.DIYradon.com.

How do you make a passive radon system work?

Passive radon systems can be activated to reduce radon levels by installing a radon specific, in-line fan. These fans create suction within the system that draws radon gas out of the soil and vents it above the home. Passive systems can only be activated if the were originally installed correctly. The pros at RadoVent can inspect your passive radon system and activate it to reduce radon gas.

 

RadoVent® passive ACTIVATION

  1. Inspect the previously installed "passive radon mitigation system."
    1. Make sure the PVC pipe is the correct size, thickness and has slope.
    2. If available, inspect any blueprint or photos of radon resistant new construction.
    3. Cut suction pipe and verify suction point is adequate to depressurize soil.
  2. Seal radon entry points.
    1. Seal any accessible crack in the concrete floor and along the cold wall joint. 
    2. If applicable, seal the sump pit and/or any plumbing sub rough or french drain.
    3. Seal dirt/gravel crawlspaces with an airtight vapor barrier. 
    4. Seal any gap around plumbing penetrations in the floor or foundation walls.
  3. Install the proper radon vent fan for the soil conditions and size of footprint. 
    1. RadoVent techs select the proper fan to best reduce radon gas levels based upon the soil conditions observed during suction point investigation.
    2. Some radon fans are designed for high flow and others for high suction. Some fans more energy efficient and will boost a closely performing passive system to maximize radon reduction.
  4. Install a system pressure gauge and instructions. 
  5. Provide a materials, craftsmanship and radon reduction warranty.
  6. Provide radon testing options from DIY radon test kits to professional radon measurement providers.
  7. Honor the warranty.
    1. RadoVent stands behind our written radon reduction warranty.

 

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