I've been working in Radon Mitigation for almost a year. Posted a thread a few days ago that got deleted because I posted without the sign with my username. Had two questions: Weirdest superstitutions/misinformation? People who believe they can see Radon. What test should I buy? Don't. You can get them mailed to you from almost any mitigation company and a lot of the ones you buy are hilarious rip offs.

My Proof: http://imgur.com/a8gPOw7

Comments: 185 • Responses: 79  • Date: 

jerimiahf12 karma

Seriously, how bad is radon and does it warrant all the work people do to mitigate it with vent systems and such? If I don't detect it today, could tomorrow it just start making its way into my house?

I remember overhearing a supposed story a long time ago where some idiot was selling their house and put the detector in a plastic bag until the inspector came back. Thus the house was "clean" and they could sell the house without having to incur charges to fix the radon issue if there was one.

CertRadonTechnician11 karma

I've heard that story too. It's a lie. Any home inspector who is not just a scam artist will have a tamper evident test system and will seek legal damages against any client who tampers with such units.

Secondly, the systems cost very little compared to what else you've done to sell the house. saving a few hundred bucks is not worth openning yourself up to the legal trouble.

Radon is massive health hazard. I'm not trying to sell you on it, but it's one of the leading causes of lung cancer second only to tobacco smoke(and will overtake smoking soon in annual cases). Trust the scientific experts.

Radon won't just pop up in your house. It takes time and entry points. But if you have renovated at all since the last time(as little as painting even) get a test kit.

jerimiahf1 karma

Now you have me curious - why painting and what of? Sealing the basement walls/floor with new paint or ???

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

The EPA recommends retesting after every renovation no matter how small. Usually with painting it is block walls. The super porous "leaky" blocks need sealed with something like a solvent based concrete paint or radon from the dirt surrounding your basement may leak and you might have to have a block wall depressurization system installed. There is also the threat of emanation from building materials, however outside of Sweden that is low.

Im_not_as_weird_as_u6 karma

How often do you think that residential home owners are convinced to mitigate a radon problem that doesn't really exist?

At least in my area, it's common for a home-buyer to try to get someone selling their home to eat the cost of installation (even in cases where the tests are marginal).

CertRadonTechnician6 karma

Very rarely. There is no "safe" level of radon. The cost of an installation is amazingly marginal compared to other home improvements(I've even done installs as cheap as $400 usd).

I have never mitigated a house under the EPA's action level of 4.0 pCi/L.

Defender-14 karma

my check engine light is on, what's going on with my car?

CertRadonTechnician10 karma

Check your windshield wipers and your fluids.

nboylie4 karma

If you have the last seat on the bus, and a pregnant lady comes on, are you the first guy to offer up your seat?

CertRadonTechnician18 karma

God no. Going up and down ladders all day strains the knees something fierce. Let one of the other lazy slobs on the bus stand.

MajorMajor3 karma

What is the highest pre-mitigation radon level of a home you have worked on? What did mitigation bring it down to?

CertRadonTechnician7 karma

210 pCi/L. They lost several dogs and cats to lung cancer and didn't bother getting it checked until both of the homeowners developed it as well. I greeted them behind a scuba mask. My initial subslab depressurization brought it down to 70 pCi/L. So I added several more collection points and added a stronger fan. and now it's down to under 4.0.

microgiant2 karma

I have an active radon mitigation system installed in my house. (No crawlspace- the pipe is connected to the lid of my sump pit.) I'm thinking of installing a fan to provide ventilation for my basement in general, since it can get a little stuffy in there. (I have a couple of small windows near the top of the basement.) But I'm worried if the fan is sucking air out of the basement, that will negate the suction of the radon system and pull the radon up from underneath my house. And if the fan is blowing IN to the basement, that will result in the radon that does make it into the basement being blown up the stairs and into the house itself... how does one ventilate a basement without interfering with an active radon mitigation system?

CertRadonTechnician5 karma

If the sump is properly sealed and remains as such, you have nothing to worry about. No fan or system you buy with negate the pull on your RRS. JUST MAKE SURE YOUR LID IS SEALED.

That's a really big issue in general(can cause certain appliances to backdraft gas into your house which will kill you far faster than radon).

microgiant1 karma

The lid is sealed, but the basement was finished before the radon mitigation system was installed, so there are almost certainly some unsealed cracks hidden behind sheetrock or under the carpet.

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

Install a gas/carbon monoxide monitor in your basement. Do you have the manometer visible on your system?

microgiant1 karma

Yes, I can see it.

CertRadonTechnician3 karma

Then install your system and check the manometer to see if there is a pressure change. If there isn't you can surmise that your fan is not effecting the active system.

osu2008o2 karma

What are your thoughts on the extensive amount of scientific research that says the entire thing is a scam perpetuated by our political system for monetary profit? In fact the Health Physics Society at the University of Michigan says the health risks are either too small to be observed or non-existent.

CertRadonTechnician3 karma

Vaccines don't cause autism. Politicians don't get lobbied by any industry body. So no, that research is wrong.

Daevohk2 karma

I've a home that tested at a 7.0 but our inspector basically told us that it was no big deal and not something to be worried about.

Is spending extra time in the basement bound to be more exposure than spending extra time on the second floor by any measurable degree?

What are the common mitigation options?

CertRadonTechnician6 karma

There are four options. A passive mitigation system(which I DO NOT suggest), active depressurization system(which I do suggest), a ventilation system(which is more costly), and an active pressurization system(which is only done when active depressurization is not an option).

The way homes are built now, or any with an HVAC system newer than the 60's, you're going to be breathing in that air as it cycles through.

I would seriously suggest you make sure the inspector was properly certified and do a second test(which the RMS requires after ANY test higher than 4.0).

SchuylerL2 karma

Hello, thank you for educating the us. My fiancee and I are looking at buying a house and would like to know as much about problems a house could have before we buy it. I thought I knew about radon, but now that I recall it's all hearsay. Would you be able to correct what I think I know about radon and please teach me where my understanding is not complete?
Here's what I think I know: Radon is naturally occurring radiation from the earth. It seeps into basements and is undetectable with our senses. A simple system of fans or constant airflow through the basement can move the radiation outside making the basement of your house safe. Am I on track?

CertRadonTechnician4 karma

You've got the broad stroke of it. I suggest checking out the Home Buyers guide to Radon. Put out by the EPA.

overstable2 karma

I bought a house a while back and did not have a radon test done.

I ended up moving in with my gf less than three years after that purchase and sold the house (for a small profit!). The buyer had a radon test performed and it found the need to install a mitigation system. It makes me wonder what sort of ill health effects I might have suffered if I had stayed in that house for decades...

I will definitely be doing radon testing for any future home purchases.

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

What was the level? Anything over a 4.0 is equivalent to smoking half a packet of cigarettes per day.

EnCocytus2 karma

I have a radon mitigation system in my house. Its a large pipe that goes from the foundation in the basement to the roof with a fan in it. The sump pump was sealed. I had to remove the seal to install a new, larger sump pump because the old one stopped working. What should I do? Do I need to reseal the sump pump somehow? If so, how?

CertRadonTechnician3 karma

Silicone caulk around every perforation and between the cover and the basement floor. Go heavy and smooth it out after everything is covered.

s4v81 karma

I just had a Radon test done with a Radalink device over a 2 day period. The average reading was 1.3 pCi/L. How does having a forced air heating system affect the results?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

As long as the test was placed within compliance to the RMS testing procedure, it wouldn't effect it at all.

If the device was immediately under a heat duct, I would expect it to be higher.

gosu_gosu19891 karma

When going to test for radon are you exposed to it? or what measures do you take to mitigate exposure?

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

I am exposed, normally. However when working in a house over 30 pCi/L OSHA requires I wear a respirator. In environments over 100 I wear what amounts to scuba equipment. Besides that I keep track of my "working level months" and take a small vacation when it gets close to the standard cut off.

NikOnDemand1 karma

Hi I am a surveyor in training, I learnt about natural radon deposits in the earth (In the UK), I have two questions regarding this, how does it get their and without technical equipment can you detect it easily?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

Essentially radon "Gets there" by being there. It's a decay product. Radon is invisible to our senses and we have to use either test kits or a variety of electronic testing devices.

DesertTripper1 karma

If there is enough radon in one's house to be harmful, can its radiation be picked up with a Geiger counter, or does it have to be detected chemically (probably not easy as it's a noble gas?)

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

Depending on the counter used, yes. And it can be picked up chemically with fairly decent accuracy using liquid scintillation charcoal and activated charcoal tests.

I_hate_spiderz1 karma

Boxers or briefs?

CertRadonTechnician4 karma

Free ball.

fender4life1 karma

If I live in an apartment on the building's lowest level, should I get a kit for testing? Or this something that landlords generally test in accordance with local renter's laws?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

Your landlord likely does not test. You might want to check with them about whether they do or not.

brainchasm1 karma

I live in Las Vegas and have no basement. Do I need to worry about radon?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

Nobody needs to worry. Every home is at risk and you may want to test.

ForgedIronMadeIt1 karma

How did you get into this field? Any specialized education/certification?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

I got hired in with no existing degree or training. I am certified through the NRPP but that happened about two months after I got working.

Realworld521 karma

I have a Radon Mitigation system in my house on one side of my basement. It is a pipe from below to a fan blowing on my roof. Is this certain to eliminate the radon in my entire house? I wonder if the other side of my basement may still have radon.

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

A subslab depressurization system is 99.99999999-% effective at reducing radon in the home's air. If your basement has multiple footers, different foundations, or areas with sharp elevations, you may want to have a certified professional do a communication test and a pressure field extension test.

Hoptoitmofo1 karma

Have you ever cheated on your wife?

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

I'm not married. But if I was I would not.

s4v81 karma

Does basement temp/humidity increase/decrease radon levels?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

If it is enough to effect the air pressure inside the home, yes. But so does every area of the house.

ktownhero1 karma

When I bought my house I tested at 3.1. A more recent test measures 2.1. I understand that this is below the EPA's action level, but I'd like to do some light mitigation regardless. My sump pit can be sealed and I have a basement window right above it that I think would be a good place for a fan.

Do you have any recommendations on a DIY set up for this?

I appreciate your time an expertise!

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

Seal the sump with some basic silicone caulk. but leave yourself a window to check to ensure your sump is still working. Do that by jigsawing a 4" hole and sealing it over with 5" of 6 mil thick clear poly/painters plastic. I don't suggest ventilating except during the times when you'll be down there. Remember though that neither of these are "mitigation" but prevention. And ventillation alone can increase the pressure differential and raw more radon into the house.

radonmonitorguy1 karma

I actually work for a company that manufactures radon monitors, What type of devices are you using to detect the radon?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

I use the Air Chek activated charcoal test kits.

Jackandahalfass1 karma

Any idea what this thing is? Moved into older house a few months ago. It's in one of the basement windows. Is it just a regular vent of some sort or could it be someone's idea of a radon vent? The pvc pipe runs over down into the sump hole. We tested below level of concern at inspection. It's never been plugged in. The hand-written markings on the dial make me curious because they're not like 'high, low, off'. There is otherwise no ventilation in basement. Thanks!

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

Looks like an old E/HRV. Take it apart and see.

Jackandahalfass1 karma

Nothing even comes up when I first google that. Do you mind explaining what an E/HRV is and what it means? Thanks!

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

Try Energy Recovery Ventilator. The E/HRV is Energy/Heat.

nbsixer1 karma

My house was unoccupied for several years (5+) and then sparingly for 2-3 months out of the year before that. Before we bought the house, we found it had levels of 21pCi/L. Could this high of level be from lack of airflow in the house since nobody was living there?

Also, we are renovating some things...should I wait until after renovations are complete to work on getting a mitigation system installed? Once installed, do I still need to retest after every renovation?

Finally, what is the typical cost of a system that you install and what factors will make it more or less costly?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

This is a common misconception. But no, the house being closed up won't really effect the outcome of the test(it can but it's not a significant amount). By all means, retest if you have any doubts.

Once installed you must retest after every renovation. But nobody is going to come in and ask for a record of your results. so a single test done after all the renovations would be acceptable to any potential buyers.

I would highly suggest having the system installed before your renovations are finished. It's much easier and cheaper to have a carpenter or electrician provide services, such as boxing the system in, when they're there than waiting until they're gone and dealing with it after.

Systems cost anywhere from 700(if you have an existing passive system) to 4000(if you have well water that needs treated). Budget out 1500(the high end of standard systems) and haggle. The less work I do the less you'll pay.

mike737371 karma

Is there any way to make the mitigation system more attractive? I live in a house from 1925 and am not excited to have a giant PVC pipe jutting up, around and over my roof.

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

Paint the pipe, or see if the installer will use something like gutter downspout.

goldsmobile1 karma

Mine's built in 1927... poured foundation walls solid floor, no sump. Walls sealed with drylock maybe 13 years back. Only hole in the basement floor is the drain to the sewer. I've read a lot about folks with crawlspaces, sump pumps, etc... but what about a (mostly) sealed basement?

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

You never know unless you test. But a lot of the basements I go into are completely sealed.

Trek75531 karma

Are there any inexpensive tests I can use at home to test it myself?

I bought a house a couple years ago. The radon was a little high initially and a mitigation system was installed. After they installed it, they left a little metal puck that I was supposed to mail in to make sure it worked. I never did mail it in and I've done some renovations since then, so I'm thinking a retest might be smart.

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

There are a few cheap ones. I suggest calling a radon mitigation company and seeing if they'll send you one for free or at cost.

mental1591 karma


I bought a house last year and by requirement, all houses built since 2000 in my new city have to have a passive radon system installed (Midwest, and we are apparently over a huge uranium deposit). I wanted a radon check regardless and it was like 14 pCi/L, so i had them install an active system. As part of this, they completely sealed my sump pump in with a clear silicone.


  1. Is this normal? I cannot access my pump for maintenance if necessary without cutting off a half inch layer of silicone, and then I presume I have to replace this layer and test again to ensure it is resealed?

  2. I have started to develop some cracks in my basement floor. Most are hairline, but some are as large as 3mm in width (I cannot gauge depth). Should I be concerned about Radon resurfacing in my basement or should I not care unless I see my pressure gauge indicate loss of pressure?

  3. My previous neighbors before I moved had a 46 pCi/L, how does that compare to what you have seen? They told me the mitigation specialist who was installing their system flipped shit when they told him the values as he had been working without a mask since he didn't know how bad it was prior (they apparently had a crack in their floor almost an inch wide). He compared it to smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day type of exposure on the lungs.

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

  1. It's normal. And yes.
  2. If you can't see dirt don't worry. But feel free to seal those cracks.
  3. That's about right. You never know how a home will test compared to the neighbors. And the tech was about right in his assessment. I always ask the level before I enter a home.

jimboolaya1 karma

Our radon system is quite noisy and prone to doing the "wow" thing where the vibrations go in and out of sync in some sort of sympathetic vibration pulsing. What's the best way to mitigate this noise and make the system quieter?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

Place significant insulation between the pipe and the wood. Besides that call the installer back and see if they have a way to quiet it down.

lookinforabean1 karma

Thanks for doing this!

My husband and I are buying a home and the house tested at about 5.5.

The seller is putting a mitigation system in, but out of curiosity, on a scale of healthy to ass cancer, how bad is that? What's the highest number you've seen?

Also, half the basement is finished, should we get a test done in the finished area as well?

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

Anything above a 4.0 is about half a pack per day and then increases every 6-10 from there another half. It's not bad but I would suggest mitigating. I've seen numbers in the 300's but the highest I've been in is 210 pCi/L.

And no, one test in the unfinished area is sufficient.

Esquire991 karma

There's a good deal of scientific literature out there that basically says radon mitigation is a scam, and that indoor radon does not pose a significant safety risk. How do you respond?

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

Anyone who says it is a scam disagrees with the EPA, the WHO, the CDC, all European medical bodies, the AMA, the ACA, and literally thousands of scientists. It's like people who oppose vaccines.

Esquire992 karma

So you believe the scientific studies from the 90s that found no correlation, or even an inverse correlation, between indoor radon and lung cancer are illegitimate? Can you point to some actual scientific sources, not just conclusory but with data, that you believe support the idea that radon causes lung cancer?

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

There was a study in the 90's that "conclusively" proved vaccines cause autism in healthy people. Will the CDC work? http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/radiation/brochure/profile_radon.htm

Esquire991 karma

Fair point on vaccines and autism. But One problem some people have with the EPA and CDC's information is that it lacks any source data. All you get are conclusory statements that "radon is bad." The scientific literature that says radon is a scam is backed up with actual data.

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

Which scientific literature? Because the EPA sources every claim they make in everything they put out.

ccritter1 karma

I scheduled my abatement during the Radon awareness month for this April. Our basement tested higher than what my wife and I were thrilled to see so that's why we took the plunge. If I was more aware of Radon I would have tested it going into the purchase process of my house.

Do you think Radon testing should be mandatory for any buy/sell situation? Also, do you perform abatement for businesses as well?

Thanks for the AMA!

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

I do commercial work about once a month. I don't personally believe that testing should be mandatory. However, a home inspection should be and every home inspector should test.

pclabhardware1 karma

Any suggestions on fan noise? We've got a radon mitigation system - the pipe comes up from the basement through a closet and there is a fan in the attic. Especially at night you can hear the constant hum of the fan (not sure if it is vibration off the pipe or the fan itself) which can be a bit annoying.

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

Insulate around the fan and anywhere pipe touches wood. Besides that you may want to see about changing the fan.

Ehrre1 karma

Hi there,

I didn't know what Radon was until I searched it up and it turns out that I live in an area of Canada that is pretty saturated with it.

I looked at a diagram of points of entry, and it showed basements and basement windows.

Is it dangerous to keep basement windows open for long periods of time? My bedroom was in a basement for about 10 years and I almost always had the window cracked so it didn't get stuffy. Now my younger brother has that same room and I may be moving back home into the other basement bedroom. Do you think it will be a problem?

How come the public isn't made more aware of these things?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

Whenever anybody makes money you get tinfoil people coming out the woodwork to debate them. My own parents thought it was a scam and delayed their own system.

I do strongly urge you test that basement and if over 4.0 pCi/L get some mitigation. But systems up there vent at grade so see if the tech will take it above the roof.

Ehrre1 karma

Would you recommend a self-testing kit or having someone come in and do the test?

I've found a self-testing kit I could have mailed to me and it says we would need to leave it for 91 days before sending it back.

Would having a technician come in give us immediate results?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

The self test is just fine. Getting a technician does not get you immediate results. All testing devices I am aware of require at least a day.

InternetJuice1 karma

Has constant exposure to radon given you any super powers? Conversely, has it had any detrimental effects, such as making your hair fall out or making you grow a third testicle?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

I have not noticed anything, no.

AssortedFlavours1 karma

In a fight between Radon and Mothra, who would win?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma


MrWhiskers51 karma

What's the most traumatizing experience you had with turtles as a child?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

Never experienced turtles in person.

souHad1 karma

What do you do in your spare time?

CertRadonTechnician3 karma

I listen to audio books and masturbate to pornography when I'm not working or trying to find love.

hooligan3331 karma

Is radon the reason why houses in L.A. never have basements?

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

No. Cheap builders and faulty sewage lines are.

Alan_Smithee_1 karma

I have been using an electronic detector like this.

It's been reading quite high - 400-500 or so Bq. I would like to get a different tester to just make sure it's accurate, but my area is known to be bad for Radon.

I have considered a sub-slab venting system, but I'd probably end up having to do it myself, and I'm not sure I want to go there.

What I think I'd like to do is go with an HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) as I'd been considering one anyway. I do also need to add make-up air (I have a wood stove, for one thing) which I realise is a separate issue.

What are your thoughts on an HRV as Radon mitigation?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

HRVs are not effective at anything above 12.0 pCi/L(and I'm not sure about the conversion to BQ so). They are far more expensive than subslab systems too. I urge you to reconsider.

But always retest.

classycactus1 karma

If I detect Radon, and I am renting, does my landlord have to take care of mitigation?

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

Depends on the local laws and your rental agreement. Ask a lawyer.

Lord_Raiden1 karma

Our house has an active mitigation system. I am told by the daughter of the previous owner that her mom had it installed because she blamed radon rather than her chain smoking for her lung cancer, and so it may not have been necessary. I'm thinking of unplugging it and doing a test to see if the need is really legit, since the system is in the way of some renovations I'd like to do. How long do I need to wait after unplugging and before testing? If there is radon, will it need time to accumulate to some level to be detectable? Thanks!

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

I'd give it a week. But before you do realize that active depressurization a systems are designed to run continuously and pulling the plug may allow water to build up and short the fan or fill the pipe.

mikeisboris1 karma

When my girlfriend and I had our new home inspected before purchase last spring, we had our inspector do a radon test. He got a result of 4.5 pCi/L, but said that he wasn't concerned because it had been raining for the past several days, and that we were probably under 4.0 in normal conditions.

Was he correct, or should we retest?

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

If there's any question: retest. But he was right. Storms change the air pressure and that draws Radon into the house.

halofreakrun1 karma

Favorite pizza topping?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma


anbrew81 karma

If I have a pier and beam house do I still need to test for radon?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma


pogiface1 karma

Is this just an issue for people with basements? If a house is above ground could it have Radon?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

Radon is an issue with every house and building no matter the foundation type.

febm1 karma

I live in a double wide trailer, is radon an issue with these types of homes? It's not exactly touching the foundation yknow?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

All houses with all types of foundation. I have mitigated trailers before.

fruitsforhire1 karma

Is frequently airing out the lower parts of the house at all useful in reducing the concentration of radon? Apparently radon is significantly denser than air and pools on the ground, so in theory shouldn't there be some benefit in opening the doors/windows every so often?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

Depending on the air pressure you may be causing some stack effect infiltration. Ventilation in this manner is merely prevention and not mitigation however.

sharkytm1 karma

Where in the NE are you? PM me if you do work in SE Mass, our house tested at 7.2 a few years ago, and we're finally looking to get it mitigated.

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

I'm not in the North East. I suggest just googling "Radon Mitigation near me" and call the first few companies.

Thomas_6331 karma

Do you have a basement? (I am genuinely curious, as that's where from memory radon builds up.

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

I do, and a sub basement. But every home, even those without basements, are at risk.

saxman_nh1 karma

If there is a moderately high radon concentration in the well water (~4,000 pCi/L), would using a vaporizer in a closed room cause the radon in the air to become high?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

The ratio of water to air radon infiltration is about 10,000 pCi/L in water = 1 pCi/L in the air. So no, you might cause a slight "spike" but it would be somewhat negligible.

mentosaregood1 karma

Why not post this in /r/HomeImprovement ?

CertRadonTechnician5 karma

I may post there later. The main reason is that this is exposure. More users here, higher possibility of finding someone who has a question.

And in my opinion Radon Mitigation is not always pertinent to just the residential market. A lot of my work comes from commercial properties(hotels, dorms, and apartment complexes).

UntitledNotepad1 karma

How common is Radon in Northern MN?

Are there pockets of Radon in like a Map format, or is Radon pretty much everywhere ?

CertRadonTechnician3 karma

In the US the EPA "grades" regions based on the likelihood and known concentration of radon. I don't know your specific area because I'm on the BEAST COAST, but do consider calling a radon mitigation and solicit a test kit from them. Here's the EPA's map

Baial1 karma

I am in a lovely zone 1 county. My basement floor has large enough cracks that water will drain out of my basement. Could my old furnace in the basement spread radon through out my house?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

Seal the cracks and get a french drain or similar, or even just call a basement waterproofing company. And yes your furnace can.

Cutlasss1 karma

Can you predict anything about radon risk by the type of terrain the house is sitting on? According to the EPA map you linked, I'm in a Zone 3 county. But I do see some houses in the area with radon mitigation systems installed. Not many, but a few.

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

I'd love to say yes. Really. But no. There are some neighborhoods where every house has one and some where the system I'm installing is the first of it's kind. There's a lot of factors that go into radon infiltration many of which will actively change once a house becomes occupied. The best indicator, but is not by a longshot a definite, is home age. Older homes built before the aggregate code change(which varies by area) will often have much higher concentrations.

Cutlasss1 karma

This house was built around 1960. Does that suggest anything?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

You should likely get a test kit. Do you know what is under your basement floor?

Cutlasss1 karma

No. The hill is I think primarily clay.

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

Well if you're curious go ahead and get a test kit. If nothing else it's just peace of mind.

Cutlasss1 karma

I don't really know if it's worth it to be worried or not.

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

Well it's up to you. I will say this, it's better to know early than find out in the doctor's office. 4.0 is the EPA's action level. But WHO suggests 2.7. But I've been in houses over 200 pCi/L talking to people who, have had multiple pets die of cancer, say the same thing.

Pickleodeon091 karma

So what's the best way to get a home checked? Just find a company that will come out and test the home? What about houses that don't have a basement? Are they at risk too?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

The current science says all homes are at risk. You can buy your own test kit at an home improvement stores. You can also call a mitigation company who will often send a free test kit. Or you can get a home inspection done by a certified and licensed radon measurement professional. I highly suggest getting an inspection once a decade. Codes change and roofs develop leaks and that's a great way to catch issues.

Jamon251 karma

So when you install ventilation for radon mitigation what are you putting in , what is your target ventilation rate and how do you evaluate/confirm the results?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

I do not install ventilation systems. They don't work to reduce radon levels over 10 pCi/L, they cost a lot more to run, and they require a lot more space.

The E/HRV systems that are the standard ventilation approach are a big mystery to me. We covered them for five minutes in my certification course and that was filled with a lot of reasons to never touch them.

As for evaluating the results, I leave a test kit at every job. The RMS requires that somebody test and NRPP takes a very negative view of everyone who returns to their jobs to run the tests/has deals with a tester. So hands off and the test goes to a third party lab just so no one can claim I'm lying.

todor_wedding1 karma

Can you please give me the TLDR of what Radon is, should I be concerned, where do I find it, and what do you do?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

what Radon is

Radioactive gas.

should I be concerned,

Well are you concerned about dying of lung or stomach cancer? relatively younger than your natural lifespan would suggest?

where do I find it

It's everywhere. But test in the lowest lived in level of your house.

what do you do

I install a system, usually a three inch pipe with a fan and more pipe going over your roofline about two feet.

todor_wedding1 karma

Thanks for the reply! Realistically speaking, is this system actually recommended? Where does the gas come from and what can you do to minimize it?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

The subslab depressurization system is the most successful radon reduction system. The gas comes from the decay of radioactive materials in the soil(and other sources). What I do is I install a system that creates a pressure field and draws the radon out.

Regency1011 karma

Opinion on Mallow Ireland? Highest levels of radon in the world

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

I'd love to work there but the Irish have some nutty standards. Any place that lets you vent the air at grade is a place that will have some bad cancer numbers.

Regency1011 karma

Tell me more about the standards, I live here

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

It's my understanding that in Ireland, and most of Europe, the gas vents are all placed at grade(on the ground) and the fan is inside the thermal pocket of your house. Which is terrible as both can increase your radon exposure.

Regency1012 karma

Yes the vent in my house is like 25cm off the floor

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

Check your local building codes. That's a little concerning.

wafflefries2k141 karma

Radon and Granite counter tops. Comments?

CertRadonTechnician2 karma

If you can get a different counter top. Anything that screws with radioactive material testing is a big no for me.

sadcatscry4you1 karma

If the granite is located at a different level than the basement, will it still throw it off? And does it usually screw with the testing in a way that makes the house test higher or lower?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

Normally granite will only throw off tests left on the granite themselves, but don't take chances and just keep it away.

todd10k-1 karma

How old were you when you lost your virginity, and do you regret it?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

16 and no.

todd10k-1 karma

Who was the lucky guy?

CertRadonTechnician1 karma

Your father.

todd10k-1 karma


CertRadonTechnician2 karma

You know what he likes to be called while getting railed?