Installing a do-it-yourself radon mitigation system may seem prudent. People still make mistakes when selecting how to handle radon threats in their houses. Do you want to know what these mistakes are? We did research and gathered data to assist you.
The following DIY radon mitigation blunders should be avoided:
- The components that made up the radon vent pipe were thin.
- Placing the radon vent pipe horizontally
- Positioning a window too close to an installation of a radon vent pipe.
- The radon vent pipe terminates beneath the window.
- Not installing firewalls and fire collars.
- Putting a rain cap over the radon vent pipe.
- Placing the fan for radon mitigation underneath populated areas.
- Installing a radon fan at an angle or horizontally.
- Incorrectly sealing the radon mitigation system.
If you’re considering constructing a radon mitigation system on your own, this article is for you. We’ll go over the aforementioned errors that do-it-yourselfers frequently make in depth so you’ll know to avoid them before installation.
Avoid These DIY Radon Mitigation Mistakes
The gas radon is categorized as a Class A radioactive carcinogen. A radon mitigation system requires a lot of expertise and equipment to install. Otherwise, you run the danger of worsening a system that is already problematic or perhaps increasing your radon levels.
If you’ve already measured your radon levels and they are 4 pCi/L or more, you need a radon mitigation system to keep your home safe. Read the following mistakes that are frequently made before you start building it so you can avoid them.
Radon Vent Pipes Made Of Thin Materials
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) radon mitigation regulations specify that schedule 40 polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe, which is the stiff PVC tubing used for plumbing drain pipes in residences, must be utilized for radon vent pipes.
A thin, flimsy plastic vent like a plastic flex vent or a schedule 20 PVC pipe is in no way comparable to schedule 40 PVC.
Using lightweight materials that are readily punctured, ripped, or come loose could cause radon gas to flow into the home at amounts that could be quite high.
Horizontal Installation Of Radon Vent Pipe
A water trap could form in the radon vent pipe that runs horizontally beneath the fan. In radon vent pipes, one must always consider where the condensation will condense and drain.
Install all radon pipes correctly, pitching them to the ground so that any condensation or water may readily drain back to the ground. A normal radon fan can remove up to several gallons of water per day from the soil, depending on how much moisture is present.
Because it restricts airflow, this partial obstruction is undesirable for the fan because it reduces system efficiency, which over time may become rather uncomfortable.
Radon Vent Pipe Installation Too Close To A Window
The vent pipe must be positioned at least 10′ away from any windows or other entry points to the house’s living rooms, as required by EPA rules. This will both raise the radon levels already present and prevent radon from returning to your home.
The Window’s Bottom Is Where The Radon Vent Pipe Ends
Radon gas should be directed away from possible victims using the vent pipe. Radon could enter the house if the pipe is terminated too low.
Lack of Firewall And Fire Collar Installation
According to the fire codes of most states, the PVC pipe must have a firewall between it and the building as well as fire collars when it enters or exits the structure. This will prevent a fire from spreading quickly due to the PVC pipe’s ease of ignition.
A Rain Cap Is Placed On The Radon Vent Pipe
In violation of EPA standards, a rain cap will restrict free air flow and direct gases downward. In fact, the airflow in radon pipes is so intense that water cannot enter them.
This also scares off rats and insects. If you are worried that rainwater might enter the home, install the vent pipe horizontally and away from it. This will keep the water out and is not against the regulations.
The Radon Mitigation Fan Should Be Located Below Living Spaces
The EPA discourages placing a radon mitigation fan in the crawl space or basement. In their perspective, the basement is out of sight and away from corrosive elements like water and sunshine, therefore they advise placing the fan there. Although this justification seems sound, one shouldn’t dismiss the EPA recommendations.
Radon fans typically pull a lot of air from the basement’s subsurface. Due to the strong suction, any pipe cracks could let a lot of radon into your house.
A radon mitigation system with a fan installed in the basement will also fail the home inspection when the house is put up for sale because this is a flagrant violation of the EPA law.
Therefore, the radon fan must be set up outside, in the attic, or in the garage. This enables the extremely concentrated radon air to be mitigated outdoors if there are any cracks or leaks. Additionally, because radon fans pull air more effectively than they push it, it is advisable to position them as far away from the basement as feasible.
Installing A Radon Fan At An Angle Or Horizontally
Many people try to place it on an angled pipe or on a horizontal pipe.
As a result, the fan will stop functioning properly too soon while making a lot of noise and spinning in the water. As a result, installations like this will reduce system effectiveness and speed up the fan’s demise. Because of this, the majority of manufacturers suggest installing the radon fan vertically.
Improper Radon Mitigation System Sealing
The radon mitigation system needs to be adequately sealed in order to prevent leaks and other problems. The radon fan has enough force to cause the seals to fail if they are not placed properly.
Many people also fail to properly seal the suction pit of the radon system. The intake of the radon pipe enters your home’s basement through a hole called a suction pit. To prevent radon from seeping into the basement, one should correctly plug the opening between the radon pipe and the pit. If you have a sump pump, it should also be sealed.
The pipes connecting the fan to them are connected by high strength rubber couplings. Some individuals make the awful choice to bind them together. The glue won’t hold for very long, so after a few days the pipe will begin to leak. Take particular care when mounting the radon fan as a result.
How Is A Radon Mitigation System Installed?
If the radon level in the home exceeds a specific threshold, the EPA suggests using a fan-powered suction equipment to remove it. The actions to take are listed below.
- Create A Hole In The Basement Concrete
Use a rotary hammer to drill a hole in the basement slab big enough to fit a 3″ plastic pipe. Use a concrete core drill rig to control the concrete dust.
- Dig Below The Slab
Using an auger powered by a drill, create a small pit beneath the slab. If the layer underneath is granular, such as gravel, then only a tiny pit is required. In dense soil, a larger pit is needed to increase the area from which the fan will draw. Before digging up the dirt beneath the slab, it must first be softened.
- Create A Pipe From The Basement To The Attic
To insert a 3″ PVC pipe, find a way into the attic through the home. Use adhesive to affix the connections, hold the pipe as needed with straps, and make sure the horizontal runs slant back to drain moisture.
- Set The Pipe In Place And Seal
Put a few inches of the bottom pipe piece into the sub-slab pit. Incorporate the backer rod between the outside of the pipe and the slab before sealing the connection with hydraulic cement.
- Install The Radon Fan
A continuous in-line fan is connected to the pipe in the attic. You’ll likely need to add an outlet so that you can plug in the fan. Pipes passing through unheated attics have less moisture because of insulation around the pipe. Through the roof, the pipe exits the attic. To prevent water from entering, that penetration is flashed with a standard plumbing boot.
- Attach Manometer To The Pipe
The homeowner can check that the system is working while the fan is running thanks to a straightforward gauge that has been installed in the basement pipe.
- Examine The Output System
By drilling a few small holes in various locations throughout the basement, you can check the suction. A system’s effectiveness
is shown by the smoke that a smoke pencil that has been placed through the perforations produces. The holes will be filled using hydraulic cement after the test.
The most cost-effective radon mitigation method would seem to be DIY, but if you don’t know how to install the system properly or how the process works, it could wind up costing you more in the long run. So, if you plan to do it yourself, stay away from the pitfalls described above. But working with a radon removal specialist will protect you.