Types of Radon Mitigation Systems
The basic concept of radon mitigation is to reduce the levels of radon gas within a structure. There are a few approaches to radon mitigation, but one approach far surpasses the others in terms of overall cost, effectiveness, and addressing the radon issue before it enters the structure in the first place. This concept is known as active soil depressurization. Active soil depressurization is the idea that by sealing the slab and creating a vacuum underneath the basement floor, one can use a special radon mitigation fan to create negative pressure throughout the sub-soil and ultimately draw the soil gas from beneath the home or building to safely vent it above the roofline. This method is preferred because it stops the radon before it enters the home and decays into what is known as radon prodigy. The radon decay products are especially harmful because they stick to particles in the air and are ultimately ingested into the lungs. Therefore, by utilizing active soil depressurization, one can redirect the vast majority of the radon before it enters the home in higher concentrations and ultimately decays into cancer causing alpha particles.
Types of Active Soil Depressurization
Sub-slab Depressurization Systems
Sub-slab depressurization is an extremely common way of installing a radon mitigation system. A sub-slab depressurization system is a type of active soil depressurization system that requires the radon technician to dig what is known as a suction point or collection pit under the slab. Many newer homes have sump pump systems and drain-tile systems that allow for increased field extension under the slab of the home. However, when homes are older, or if they do not have a drain-tile system, the radon mitigation technician will have to dig a pit under the slab to help create a means for good airflow under the sealed floor. The specialized radon fans then pull air through the soil surrounding the collection point and ultimately soil gases and moisture are reduced. Interestingly enough, because the fan is constantly running and radon fans remove a lot of moisture from beneath the slab, the radon mitigation system will dry out the sub-soil and create cracks and crevices in the sub-slab material that will drastically help in drawing the radon from areas further away from the collection point. Furthermore, radon mitigation systems in general, but particularly sub-slab depressurization systems, are many times used as moisture reduction systems because they help reduce moisture before it enters into the home as well.
Drain-tile Depressurization Systems
As eluded to earlier, drain-tile depressurization is an extremely successful way of creating active soil depressurization. Because the drain-tile piping is open to the soil and travels near the footing, all the way around the interior walls of the basement, one can utilize this system to pull air through the soil nearly everywhere under the basement slab. In addition, because radon gas always finds the path of least resistance, many times radon will fill the open voids of the drainage system because the soil around it is so tightly compact. Therefore, by utilizing this sub-slab drainage system as a means to collect and remediate radon, one can effectively reduce radon levels substantially.
Another way you can utilize drain-tile depressurization as a means of radon mitigation is through sump-pit depressurization. As you might see, the common theme in the radon mitigation process is to depressurize the slab. Radon technicians will sometimes use the sump pump pit as a collection point because it is directly connected to the drain-tile system, which will of course create phenomenal field extension throughout the sub-slab material.
The examples above are just a few of the common types of radon mitigation systems used today. To hear more about the dangers of radon gas exposure, to test your home, or to ask more questions about what type of radon mitigation system is right for your home, contact our courteous and certified staff today. We have been in business for more than 20 years, we mitigate thousands of homes annually, and we have never run into a situation where we weren't able to mitigate the property under the EPA action level of 4.0 pCi/L. When it comes to your health, your home and your family, why risk it?