What Is a Radon Mitigation System?

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Radon is a radioactive gas released as uranium decays in rocks. The National Cancer Institute calls this gas the second-leading cause of lung-cancer deaths after smoking. Because radon is odorless and hard to detect, many people are unaware that they are being exposed to it. Because radon can rapidly reach hazardous levels, homes should be checked for the presence of this gas.

Radon Mitigation System Explained

  • Radon can easily penetrate buildings and households. It enters through cracks in the walls and floors, especially basement floors. A radon mitigation system is any system used to reduce the amount of radon that a building's occupants are exposed to.

Types of Radon Mitigation Systems

  • Radon mitigation systems include active soil depressurization, block wall depressurization, sump pump depressurization, baseboard depressurization, subslab depressurization, drain tile depressurization and submembrane depressurization. The most common---and most effective---is active soil depressurization, which is believed to reduce radon infiltration by 99 percent.

Passive Radon Mitigation System

  • Radon mitigation systems can be further classified into two main types: passive and active. A passive radon mitigation system retrofits a building to minimize the entrance of radon. This involves sealing holes and caulking cracks in order to close radon entry routes. If the air pressure of a house is lower than the air pressure in the surrounding soil, the house essentially sucks radon gas into the home's interior, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Active Radon Mitigation System

  • This type of radon mitigation system uses a fan to redirect radon gas from beneath the building and into the outside atmosphere. This system features a pipe that extends through the roof of the building to vent the harmful gas. This type of radon mitigation is highly effective.

How Radon Mitigation System Works

  • Most radon mitigation systems attempt to minimize radon penetration by addressing pressure differences between the building and the soil underneath it. Radon mitigation systems work by redirecting the radon and changing its course before it enters the home.

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