Is My Radon System Working Properly?
There are many variations of radon mitigation systems throughout the United States. Some are installed as exterior radon systems. Some are routed as attic radon systems, radon systems that vent through the roof and others are installed during the construction of homes called, passive radon systems.
The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists AARST/ANSI have been diligently working on creating the best and most modern radon standards. Some state and local jurisdictions have created their own radon codes and standards. These standards help make sure that consumers are getting proper radon mitigation systems no matter which routing method is used.
Luckily, there are many radon contractors around the country who work very hard to install these systems in a way that is up to code and works properly. Unfortunately, just like in any industry, there are those who like to skirt the rules and install sub-standard systems.
4 key points to check if your radon mitigation system is working right:
- The No. 1 and most important rule of understanding if your radon mitigation system is working right is to check your radon levels. Conduct a radon test and repeat additional tests at least every two years. Radon test kits are cheap! They are easy to use. You can order radon test kits online. Another option is an electronic radon monitor. Monitors will give you ongoing radon readings and some have built-in alarms to let you know if radon levels are spiking. We also recommend using licensed radon measurement professionals, although you will have to pay for their services, they can provide you with a more detailed radon report and can often provide you with a radon mitigation system inspection. Any way you choose to test if your levels are low throughout your home, that is your first indication that the system is doing its job. If your levels are high, you may need to contact the original installer or another professional to come out to make the system work right. Do not rely on the original radon test result or what someone told you it was. Do not assume that the system is keeping radon levels low, it could be a deadly mistake.
- Check the system monitor. Make it a habit to regularly check it. The majority of radon mitigation systems have what is called a manometer. Some systems have an indicator light or audible alarm. Whichever device you have, it should have instructions to help you understand how to interpret whether or not the system is on and running. If you don’t have a radon system monitor, you should have one installed so you can have a way to systematically check that the radon fan is running.
- Check the exhaust location. One of the most basic rules of installing radon mitigation systems is knowing where to locate the exhaust of the system. The vent should always exhaust at least ten feet above the ground. The vent exhaust should be two feet higher than any window, door or other open into conditioned space. Also, it needs to be far away from any mechanical intake like an evaporative cooler. This will prevent radon re-entrainment. The levels can be extreme at the exhaust end of the pipe. You do not want that gas to be inhaled at breathable height or come back into the home or building.
- Does the system impact your entire home? Check that the radon system designer did everything they could to make sure that the system is taking care of the entire footprint. If you have a multi-level home, crawlspace, addition or just a lot of square feet, a simple radon system with one pipe and a fan may not be the right system for your home. Usually, in homes and buildings that have more than one footprint, a radon mitigation system composed of multiple suction points is required. Do a radon test in multiple locations around your home and the basement, the room above the crawlspace or slab on grade if you have one. If the radon system wasn’t installed for the entire footprint, you could still be at risk for radon entry.
At Guardian Radon Mitigation System we only install radon systems that meet all local, state and federal guidelines. Do not work with a company that won’t make that commitment. For a free, no obligation estimate, call us (630) 768-9836.Back To Blog