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curtis596

Radon mitigation system doesn't seem legitimate

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That's somewhere near the center of the worldwide disagreements about what constitutes a hazard.

By making the thresholds so low, the agencies are saying in effect, they accept "no" level as "safe"....there's always risk according to their assessments.

Which is why I tend to glaze over about folks quibbling about 3 or 4. It's essentially the same number, with regulators doing what regulators do.

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After figuring out the costs for the throwaway charcoal tests we purchases an electric one called Safety Siren Pro 3 (pretty much the only one on the market). To make sure we have a long term reading it's been turned on and running for a few months now. At first the readings were 4.0ish around the stairs, but when moved towards the sump pit the readings increased. Location aside, the seasonal change between winter and summer also seemed to have an effect. As of this morning the reading on the unit was 7.4 picocuries, and had been hovering around 6.9 pCi/L for at least a week.

Considering that the mitigation systems have dropped down to affordable levels for installation, and regulation has been established, there really wasn't any reason for me not to address this now. In fact, I honestly consider this a home improvement...much like a new roof, or fresh paint, this is a fundamental upgrade to the house and if we should ever move, a selling point.

I checked the Illinois IEMA website for a list of registered mitigation professionals, hit the yellow pages, and settled on Radovent after sending off a request for a quote. Travis from Radovent called me back, let me chew his ear off for a while, and today Ryan/Radovent came out to install the radon mitigation system (Travis also stopped by just to say hi).

Now our basement is not finished, and we spent the holiday weekend cleaning it in preparation for this....so in our opinion this was a pretty straight forward job. At least that's how I explained it to Travis over the phone, and they seemed to agree when they got onsite. So here is a picture of the sump pump area (where I had thought the mitigation system would go) before any work was done on it (except vacuuming up spider webs):

So the goal basically is to seal any cracks/hole in the floor, drill a 3" hole in the ground, and have a fan create a negative pressure (suction) underneath your house and expel the radon gas outside (away from any windows or air intake sources) to dispel naturally. It's pretty straight forward as you can see by the pictures they adjusted the piping a bit (got rid of the black ribbed flex tube) and then hermetically sealed the sump pit (the caulk will dry clear) with a clear  square.

Now that the basement is squared away, lets take a look outside where the fan unit and ducting is located. There's really not a lot to it, there is a service switch for shutting off power to the fan and that's about it. They did spray paint the couplings because they were black and the fan unit because they tend to yellow in the sun. They also offered to paint it to match my siding...but honestly I think white looked just fine in this application.

The setup looks pretty straight forward but took about five hours for Ryan to install, which is probably about three times as fast as it would have taken me to do. I also kind of messed him up by asking him to shift to outside work while our son Connor was napping...I felt bad asking that, but Ryan was really nice about it. Honestly, I really wanted to do this myself, but I had to sit down and have an honest talk with myself about my ability to pull it off. By the time I bought all the additional tools necessary and factored in my time any savings I'd see would be lost. Plus really it's the little things that I wouldn't have learned that would have cost me. I probably would have tried to use plexiglass instead of lexan, which would have resulted in lower weight bearing abilities. That's a big deal with little kids and sump pits. I also might not have thought about putting silicone caulk between the joints in the outside piping to reduce vibration transfer.

In the end we walked out for under a grand on this, and it was a good situation to let the experts handle. Radon takes about 4 days to dissipate fully so after that we'll test and see how the levels are now that the system is in place

Edited by albertstanley

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