Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that forms naturally in the earth. As the earth shifts,
fissures and veins carrying radon gasses open and close. When those gasses release from the
earth into open air they dissipate. When the openings are under your home they run into your
slab/foundation. The gasses then enter through cracks, gaps and holes. Once inside, the gas can
become concentrated and dangerous.
While there are no “safe” levels for sustained radon exposure, the EPA (Environmental
Protection Agency) recommends considering mitigation at levels of 2.0-3.9 pCi/l and considers
levels of 4.0 pCi/l or higher to be the level at which to mitigate.
An EPA certified Radon Testing Company will place an Activated Charcoal Canister in your
home for a minimum of 48 hours and submit the testing to a laboratory for results.
EPA guidelines state a home should be tested every 2-5 years. More often if renovations that
involve the foundation have been done. This is because changes in the passageways in soil (high
water, construction, weather conditions etc.) as well as changes in the building condition (energy
improvements) can cause radon levels in the home to vary and change.
Every home is different as are the fissures and veins that carry radon gasses under each home
different. What your neighbor’s test results are should be irrelevant to whether you test your
home or not. There are areas of New York that historically have high radon levels (Cortland
County and Yates County are two), but it is our opinion that every home should be tested to
confirm the radon gas levels.
The terrific weatherization options now available for a home may actually be worse for dealing
with radon gasses. Because the home is so efficiently sealed any gasses that enter are essentially trapped. Whereas older homes with loose caulking, ill-fitting doors and windows and poor
insulation actually allow the radon gasses to dissipate.
There are several factors that can contribute to cost such as slab condition, composition of soil
under slab and whether you have a crawlspace or a full basement. Call us for a free, onsite
A radon mitigation system works by depressurizing the area underneath a basement slab or vapor
barrier. The system draws the radon polluted air out of the house and expels the gas above the
roof line with the use of a radon approved fan.
A typical installation takes a single day to complete, however, there are instances where a second
day is needed.
We do our best to keep the aesthetics of the home intact. If it is possible, we run the PVC piping
alongside a chimney, we try to keep the piping in the rear of the home or we can paint the PVC
to match the home’s color.
There are a couple of possibilities:
There is no maintenance with a radon mitigation system. There are just two ‘moving parts’ to a
radon mitigation system – the fan (which has a 5-year warranty) and a manometer. The
manometer is a u-shaped glass tube filled with a liquid (colored for easy reading) that measures
pressure. The liquid levels of the manometer should not be level but offset. If they are level the system is not working and you should contact your installer. If the fan is not working you should
contact your installer.