Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can seep into homes from the soil. Occupants of homes with elevated radon levels are at risk for lung cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends taking action if a radon detection test shows radon levels in your home at four Pico curies per liter or greater. One way to take action is by installing a radon mitigation system designed to redirect the radon in your house into the outside atmosphere. While many experts suggest hiring a professional to install radon mitigation systems, those with home improvement skills and attention to detail can install such a system themselves.
Things You'll Need
- Enough 3- or 4-inch PVC pipe to run from your basement to your attic
- Power drill and/or chisel
- Backer rod
- Sealant such as hydraulic cement
- Electric fan
- Manometer or other pressure-measuring gauge
Drill a hole in your basement floor large enough to fit the PVC pipe. To accomplish this, place the PVC pipe on the floor, draw a circle around it, and drill out the circle using a power drill or chisel.
Remove dirt from inside the hole. In the soil beneath your hole, dig out a pit about 20 inches in diameter. The goal is to create a significant space to allow any radon gas in the soil to move into your PVC pipe, through your house and ultimately out the top of the attic.
Insert the first piece of PVC pipe into the hole. Route the pipe up through each floor and into the attic. Some homeowners run the pipe through closets, garages, or inside walls in order to keep it hidden from view.
Seal the space around the PVC pipe in your basement floor. You may want to insert a piece of backer rod just below the surface of the hole, then use hydraulic cement to securely seal up the hole.
Connect an electric fan to the PVC pipe in the attic. Route the rest of the pipe from the fan out to the top of the attic. The fan helps force any radon gas out through the roof and into the atmosphere. The pipe should extend at least a full foot above the roof of your house.
Install a manometer or system monitor gauge on the PVC pipe in the basement. This device displays the level of air pressure inside the pipe, providing reassurance that your mitigation system is functioning properly.
Tips & Warnings
- After installing the radon mitigation system, continue checking the level of radon in your house by conducting periodic radon detection tests to make sure the mitigation system is working to reduce your indoor radon level.
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