As you might have read, we tested high for radon. On Thursday, we had Environmental Radon Control, Inc. come out and install an “active radon reduction system” — which is a fancy word for a pipe and a fan. It starts by drilling a 4″ hole down through the slab and then fitting a 4″ piece of PVC down into the hole. This was done in our unfinished storage area in the basement. The pipe was run up to the ceiling and then out of the house just above ground level.
Given the way that we finished our basement in relation to the layout of the house, we had only one choice in where to locate the system. So the pipe comes out of the house and then goes up to a large inline fan unit. Its very quiet. You have to be next to it outside to here it. Can’t hear it inside at all. The pipe then raises about 10′ and expels the radon filled air from under the slab.
My wife wasn’t happy about the new smokestack on the side of the house. I wasn’t either but we had no choices. You have to find a place you can drill through your slab and then you have to run the pipe outside to a place with little or no windows. You don’t want the end of the pipe near a window or else you will be sucking radon-filled air at high volumes from under the slab and sticking it in your bedroom.
Radon has a half-life of 4 days so we are giving it some time for the levels to decrease after installing the system. They will return this week to measure the new level to see how we did. 95% of the time this is all you have to do. The key is how much air flow you get under the slab. Imagine if there was a barrier under the slab that separated 2 parts of the house. Then you might be able to suck the air out of one side and not the other. So good air flow under the slab is what you want to make this a success. Otherwise, you might have to install more than one smokestack.