Safe radon levels

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  #1  
Old 09-19-14, 04:58 AM
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Safe radon levels

Hi,

We bought a new house last month and observed high radon levels. We installed a mitigation system, but the levels still seem high.

Pre-mitigation levels (electronic test) - Avg: 4.4, high: 8.5, low: 2

Post-mitigation levels (carbon test) - Canister 1: 3.6 Canister 2: 3.9

A few questions:
- Should I expect better mitigation?
- Should I be worried at these levels? Both these tests were done in the basement, where we don't live.
- Should I do another electronic test?

Thanks,
PB
 
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  #2  
Old 09-19-14, 05:30 AM
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Not a pro on this subject, but from what I understand, the lower the better and any level of Radon is a health risk, although zero may be less than the outside air. I'll add a reference link below.

When you say a new home, it is just new to you, and when it was built there are measures that help in the remediation process, like a good gravel base and plastic vapor barrier. If the builders were not targeting a minimal Radon level, those measures were probably not attended to at the now desired level.

Although your mitigation shows some improvement and may technically be below the 4 level, I would be pushing the issue to find out why it isn't lower.
What negative pressure is your new system running at?
What did they install?
How old is the home?
What is the outside reading?

I will watch to see what the pros have to say.
Bud

Acceptable radon levels vs. Safe radon levels
 
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Old 09-19-14, 10:28 AM
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Thanks for your reply. I called the company that installed the radon mitigation system. They said that they also received the report and that they weren't happy with the results. They said they typically get radon levels down to near 1 and that they wanted to come back out to tweak the system to make sure everything is working properly.

To answer your questions -
- The house is new to us, but was built 10 years ago. The location it was built on has a lot of ledge, so it's not surprising that there is radon in the house. The builder put a pipe in for radon mitigation, but did not install a fan (I assume they tested the levels before they sold the house and they were okay).

Do people usually test outside readings too?

PB
 
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Old 09-19-14, 10:58 AM
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i've never seen exterior testing for radon but i suppose its possible,,, usually there's an exhaust fan mounted in the evac pipe which's controlled by a manually adjustable timer
 
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Old 09-19-14, 12:31 PM
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10 years old is a relatively new home and with a radon pipe already installed there is a good chance the builder took some of the other steps to be prepared for a radon issue. The pipe without a fan will function as a passive system, but varies with outside temperature. The colder it is outside the better a passive vent works.

But you have the fan now, which is good, and they are concerned along with you, so wait and see if they can make some improvements.

As for outside radon level, it is more a case that they probably already know if your area is average or higher in ambient level. Difficult to get below 1 if the outside is 0.7.

Bud
 
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