DIY Radon Mitigation Questions


  #1  
Old 09-05-23, 06:38 PM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2023
Posts: 14
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
DIY Radon Mitigation Questions

Hi everyone, hope you're doing well, thanks for taking a look at my question. Here's the quick backstory:

- I've had a radon tester in the basement for over a year and the average is around 3.7 pCi/L
- That fluctuates of course so some days are closer to 5 pCi
- It's a full basement with a two-story house

I'm interested in DIYing a mitigation system by drilling through the concrete, running the PVC pipe, and installing a fan (RadonAway RP 145) to vent above the roof. Some questions are:

The side of my basement that's most free for space is the North (other parts of the basement have stuff in the way like the hot water heater, attached garage, etc.). However, most of the wind at our house comes from the North and I'm envisioning the radon exiting the vent pipe and then spilling right back onto the house. Is this a concern?

Also, this basement is dry, does not have a sump pump and no water leaks. However, once I drill a hole in the concrete, that feels a bit like sinking my own ship. What should I anticipate for water once I pop a hole in the floor?

And how urgent is a 3.7 pCi/L average? For example, one radon specialist said 4 pCi/L is about the same as smoking 8 cigarettes per day but they mean if you're exposed 24-hours every day, right? I have been exercising in the basement for about 1 hour most weekdays and am wondering what amount of risk that actually is.

Thanks again for your time.
 

Top Answer

 
09-09-23, 06:38 AM
Zorfdt
Zorfdt is offline
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,023
Received 407 Upvotes on 362 Posts
The EPA says that 4.0 is the 'action level' for radon and that your home should be fixed at this level. Between 2-4 pCi/L, they recommend fixing. There's a lot of scientific/medical discussion around how 'bad' radon is in the home, since most people will test in the basement, but as you say, spend very little time in the basement. If you were to test on the first floor, chances are it would be a much lower reading.

Personally, at 3.7, I'd invest the money to have a system installed (or DIY). It's not that expensive either way, and would give me the peace of mind knowing that it'll never be a worry.

In terms on where to put it, you'd want to choose somewhere that the fan and pipe up the side of the house won't be an eyesore, and you don't want it venting over an area that's often used like a patio. But venting over the roof is typical as it will just dissipate (and generally fall back down as it's heavier than air), but will be dissipated by the breeze or just normal air movement.

Lastly, whenever anyone talks about the 4 pCi/L level; the installer I worked with when I moved into my house talked about some of his other installs which were in the 100-400 pCi/L range. So my 11 pCi/L reading wasn't so bad - which dropped to 2 after the installation.


 
  #2  
Old 09-05-23, 07:16 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 63,950
Received 3,760 Upvotes on 3,371 Posts
I'm not the pro in this forum......

Radon is airborn and is everywhere.
You can easily remediate a low level amount just by letting air circulate thru the basement.
Crack a window at each end.
Your concrete floor needs to be sealed.
Cracks and gaps around the wall is a problem and allows leakage into the cellar.

Just a basic overview. It's fairly easy to install a DIY radon system.
You'll need to drill a hole in the floor (4-5") where you can create a pocket.
You will need to put a piece of 4" PVC pipe thru the floor and cement it in place so it can't move.
That line will need to go out the wall and up to a radon vacuum blower.
It will need to continue up close to the soffit so that it's protected from rain.

There are videos and step by step instructions if you require detailed help.
 
FieldNotes voted this post useful.
  #3  
Old 09-06-23, 06:17 PM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2023
Posts: 14
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Hi Pete, thanks for the reply and apologies too if this post belongs in a different category. All sounds good on the install, have watched my fair share of tutorials and don't think that'll be difficult. More curious about the concern level being close to 4 pCi/L and what others have chosen for that level remediation. I'll give the window trick a try tomorrow, thanks again.
 
  #4  
Old 09-09-23, 05:42 AM
S
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,076
Received 1,248 Upvotes on 1,192 Posts
You kinda have three choices:
1. Ignore
2. Open a window
3. Have some kind of mitigation system

3. Is often hired out; don't see a lot of DIY but that doesn't mean it can't be done. I had a test done on my house before I moved in and I would have passed if it had come in at 4.
 
  #5  
Old 09-09-23, 06:38 AM
Z
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,023
Received 407 Upvotes on 362 Posts
The EPA says that 4.0 is the 'action level' for radon and that your home should be fixed at this level. Between 2-4 pCi/L, they recommend fixing. There's a lot of scientific/medical discussion around how 'bad' radon is in the home, since most people will test in the basement, but as you say, spend very little time in the basement. If you were to test on the first floor, chances are it would be a much lower reading.

Personally, at 3.7, I'd invest the money to have a system installed (or DIY). It's not that expensive either way, and would give me the peace of mind knowing that it'll never be a worry.

In terms on where to put it, you'd want to choose somewhere that the fan and pipe up the side of the house won't be an eyesore, and you don't want it venting over an area that's often used like a patio. But venting over the roof is typical as it will just dissipate (and generally fall back down as it's heavier than air), but will be dissipated by the breeze or just normal air movement.

Lastly, whenever anyone talks about the 4 pCi/L level; the installer I worked with when I moved into my house talked about some of his other installs which were in the 100-400 pCi/L range. So my 11 pCi/L reading wasn't so bad - which dropped to 2 after the installation.


 
FieldNotes, PJmax voted this post useful.
  #6  
Old 09-12-23, 11:54 AM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2023
Posts: 14
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Thanks again, everyone. Currently speaking with local specialists to get quotes (open to pricing estimates if you have an opinion on that too). I measured the first floor levels and it's at 0.6, which I'm assuming might even drop a bit further once the basement itself is fixed.
 
  #7  
Old 10-17-23, 07:37 AM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2023
Posts: 14
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Hi everyone, life got busy and I ended up speaking with a radon specialist to do the install. My last concern is they claim they'll aim for pCi/L 2.0 or lower with the fan install and I'm not sure what is a reasonable expectation. Is this type of mitigation often successful in lowering to or below that level? Or should I consider myself lucky that our basement is naturally around 3.7 already and assume it's not likely to go much lower? I spoke to a few different installers and it's hard to tell who's selling snake oil because they all say "any amount of radon is bad and you should pay us to fix it." I just don't want to shell out this amount of money and then be disappointed if pCi/L only drops a tiny tiny bit.
 

Last edited by FieldNotes; 10-17-23 at 07:38 AM. Reason: typo
cwbuff voted this post useful.
  #8  
Old 10-17-23, 01:26 PM
C
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,447
Received 333 Upvotes on 278 Posts
I agree about the "snake oil" salesmen.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: