Radon … Is Your System Properly Installed?

radon testing binghamton nyIf you currently have a radon system installed in your home, you may want to check it out to make certain it is installed properly. You will not be able to check everything associated with the system (ex. the suction point), but you can check the parts that are above the slab.

I was at a house in Syracuse, NY for follow-up radon testing the other afternoon. He had a system already in place. However, he was selling the property so he needed testing done. I told him I would inspect the system so if the levels came back high, I could remedy the situation. The exit point for the exhaust pipe was directly under his soffit. All of the radon gases that were being pulled from his foundation were being pumped back into the house and he did not even know it. Thankfully, this is a simple fix, but one example of how wrong installers can be when installing systems.

radon mitigation syracuse nyThe active portion of the radon system involves the suction point, fan and piping. The piping is sealed to the underside of your foundation and exits outside. The constantly running fan pulls the air (and radon gases) out from under your foundation to deposit outside. The fan can be located in an attic or outside. If your fan is in your basement (as one client in Rochester, NY had), have it changed immediately. There are rubber boots that connect the fan to the piping to make repairs easy. If there is a breach in these boots, you are pumping the gases into your basement.

There are certain rules to follow as to the exit point of the piping. These rules are for your safety, so the gases do not blow back into your home. First off, the pipe should not exit next to or under any penetrations where they can be deposited back into your home. Windows, doors, and vents (generally soffit and gable) are designed to let air into your home. The exit point should be above these unless they are at least 12 feet away. Usually they are set up just above the roofline. There should also not be a screen on the top of the system as this restricts air flow. The fans are built to survive outside so water getting into the system will not disrupt the functionality of the fan.

The last point to look for is how the piping runs. The air under your home is damp. This dampness condenses in the piping causing water buildup. The piping should have a pitch back to the suction point under your foundation. One client in Binghamton, NY had piping that elbowed under the I-beam. Water had pooled in the elbow, which created enough weight to loosen the support strap. This caused the seal to break and start dripping. If the piping at any point flows away from the suction point, have it fixed immediately.

There are many companies doing radon mitigation. Some do not have a clue what they are doing, which puts your health at risk. If you are unsure if your system is right, call us and we can check for you.  We have clients all over the state who have trusted us to protect their family homes thanks to our reputation of our quality and efficiency when it comes to protecting what you value the most.