What to Do if Radon Levels are High
You have tested your home for radon and confirmed that you have elevated radon levels — 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher. The EPA recommends that you take action to reduce your home’s radon levels if your radon test result is 4 pCi/L or higher. High radon levels can be reduced through mitigation. CLICK HERE to order a test kit
- Select a licensed or certified radon mitigation contractor to reduce the radon levels
- Have a mitigation contractor determine appropriate radon reduction method
- Check the system’s pressure gauge on a regular basis to ensure it is operating as normal and re-test every two years to ensure that the system remains effective.
Select a Licensed or Certified Radon Mitigation Contractor
It is recommended that you have a licensed or certified radon mitigation contractor fix your home because lowering high radon levels requires specific technical knowledge and special skills.
Many states require radon professionals to be licensed, certified or registered, and to install radon mitigation systems that meet state requirements. Contact your state radon office for a list of certified radon service providers doing business in the state. In states that don’t regulate radon services, ask the contractor if they hold a professional proficiency or certification credential. You can contact the National Radon Safety Board (NRSB) for certified professionals in your area. Certification programs usually provide members with a photo-ID card, which indicates their qualification(s) and the ID-card’s expiration date.
CLICK HERE to contact RMCA or call 914-420-2051 to speak with someone right away. For help in New Jersey, dial 845-376-2480.
CLICK HERE to find a Radon Mitigator in My Area.
Determining Appropriate Radon Reduction Method
Your house type will affect the kind of radon reduction system that will work best. Radon reduction systems can be grouped by house foundation design.
In houses that have a basement, crawlspace or a slab-on-grade foundation, radon is usually reduced by one of three types of soil depressurization: sub-slab, drain tile (often using sump hole), or block wall. Active sub-slab depressurization is the most common and usually the most reliable radon reduction method. One or more suction pipes are inserted through the floor slab into the crushed rock or soil underneath. They also may be inserted below the concrete slab from outside the house. The number and location of suction pipes that are needed depends on how easily air can move through the substrate under the slab as determined by airflow testing. Often, only a single suction point is needed and very rarely must piping be installed in the finished areas of basements.
Other Types of Radon Reduction Methods
Other radon reduction techniques that can be used in any type of house include: heat recovery ventilation and natural ventilation.
A heat recovery ventilator (HRV), also called an air-to-air heat exchanger can be installed to increase ventilation which will help reduce the radon levels in your home. An HRV will increase ventilation by introducing outdoor air while using the heated or cooled air being exhausted to warm or cool the incoming air. HRVs are more effective in reducing radon levels when used to ventilate only the basement and when the radon level is less than 10 pCi/L.
It is a good practice to correct a radon problem before you put your house on the market. High radon levels have been known to negatively affect home sales. Radon mitigation systems do not require major changes to your home and do not adversely effect the value of your home! Homes mitigated to acceptable levels have added protection against radon and therefore make the mitigation system an excellent selling point.
Note: Sealing entry points does not lower radon levels reliably or consistently and is not recommended by the EPA as the sole method for mitigation. However sealing may enhance the performance of the mitigation system.
CLICK HERE to go to the EPA’s publications site for more information about mitigation systems.
Installation of a mitigation system is not expensive compared to removing other environmental hazards in your home and has a dual benefit of reducing risk of mold and moisture in your home.
How to Maintain Your Radon Mitigation System
- Check the manometer. The manometer is a pressure gauge mounted on the pipe to determine if the system is operating properly and the fan is working. The manometer should not read zero; this indicates the fan is not pulling air through the pipe.
- If the manometer is reading zero, check the GFI outlet the radon fan is connected to to make sure that the electricity to the fan has not been interrupted. This is important especially if you have had a power outage. If your fan is not outside or not connected to a GFI, contact your mitigation company.
- Conduct a radon test every two years to make sure that radon mitigation system is operating correctly and reducing radon concentrations to below 4 pCi/L.