How to install a radon abatement system

You should have a radon mitigation system installed in your home because radon is a radioactive gas that is created when uranium decays and prolonged exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer. While levels that are more than four pCi/L are considered dangerous, you can have a licensed contractor install a system in order to reduce the amount of radon found in the air.

The first thing the installer will do when setting up your radon abatement is to create a PVC pipe access in order to allow a vent pipe to transport the gas from your basement to the outside. He or she will mark the area on the basement floor where the pipe should be installed and it will probably be near your hot water heater or other equipment in the home.

After the location is marked, he or she will use a rotary hammer to make a number of holes to outline the marked area. Once that is complete, he or she will then use a demolition hammer to break away the concrete floor. After the concrete is removed, the installer will need a soil auger bit attached to a drill in order to create a 20-inch diameter hole by removing the dirt from under the slab. After the hole is dug, the vent pipe is installed. It should be a tight fit. Once that is complete, the pipe is then run through the walls and up into the attic.

At that point, the contractor will install a foam rubber backer rod around the base of the vent pipe. This should be done just below the concrete surface of the floor. The area around the pipe should then be sealed with hydraulic cement and then the pipe should be attached to a venting fan in the attic. This should be done by using metal brackets. The pipe should be placed in such a manner so that it can go from the vent to the roof. Upon completion, a roof cap is then attached. The radon remediation system is then set up in the basement and capped to the vent and a monitoring system is installed. This is done through a small hole that is drilled in the floor of the basement and allows for the draw of the fan from the radon mitigation system to be checked with a smoke pencil.

When he or she is finished and the system has been installed, your contractor should test it to ensure that it is working properly. To do so, he or she should drill a small hole in your foundation, turn on the fan, and use a smoking piece of burning paper in order to see if air is being sucked into that hole. Once testing is complete, the installer should place a manometer on the basement piping. This will enable you to be able to tell whether or not the system is creating the pressure differential that is needed to suck the air up from the ground.

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