Help with Radon please.

mookeylamaDecember 30, 2011

a DIY 3 day kit gave results of 12.7. i unknowingly tested during the heaviest rain (lasted like a month) that we'd ever had, just a few weeks ago. read that the rain could really raise the results. wondering if i should buy more tests and test upstairs too, or maybe hire a pro. looks like their testing goes for $100-150 and are more accurate.

i'm guessing our main problems are the totally open sump pit (no cover).it's an old 1950s metal and concrete pit, and i'm guessing i'd need to buy a hammer drill just to secure an airtight lid. also there are 2 open pipes leading in/out of the basement. i think they were used by the old sump pump and lead straight into the ground outside.

at 12.7 would the rain really elevate it that much? and even if it did is it a very good chance that normal level would still be over the 4.0?

should i just stop wasting money on tests and get a pro to test? i worry about their motivation if they sell & install the mitigation systems too lol.

should i try and install an airtight sump lid and cap those 2 pipes, or just quit messing around and hire a pro installed mitigation system? as i stated, looks like it's be a job just to fit an airtight sump lid, as it would need to be secured to either concrete or heavy metal.

advice appreciated! thanks

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cheerpeople

If my experience is of any help...
When we bought our house a test was required. The home inspector does the test. Then we had to call a different business for the radon fix (remediation)
The guy who tests cant do the fix and the guy who installs the radon removal stuff can.t do the test.
After the radon removal stuff was in place the retest was done by the home inspector (this fee was already paid)
The test showed our house to be safe now. If we were in Europe we wouldn't be as they have stricter standards on what is safe.
The home inspector radon test was 150 or $200 for two tests
The fix was about $2000 as we needed a larger fan motor to move the gas as. My house was not built with gravel under it. I have 2 large PVC pipes that vent this out by my roof now.
We have safe air. The down side is the fan running can be heard out on the deck or inside in my room with the windows open at night. I'm told they can last up to 20 years before they die and need replacement.
Another downside is we had to spend more in drywall to cover up the PVC and the labor to make those pipes go away visually.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 8:26AM
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cheerpeople

If my experience is of any help...
When we bought our house a test was required. The home inspector does the test. Then we had to call a different business for the radon fix (remediation)
The guy who tests cant do the fix and the guy who installs the radon removal stuff can.t do the test.
After the radon removal stuff was in place the retest was done by the home inspector (this fee was already paid)
The test showed our house to be safe now. If we were in Europe we wouldn't be as they have stricter standards on what is safe.
The home inspector radon test was 150 or $200 for two tests
The fix was about $2000 as we needed a larger fan motor to move the gas as. My house was not built with gravel under it. I have 2 large PVC pipes that vent this out by my roof now.
We have safe air. The down side is the fan running can be heard out on the deck or inside in my room with the windows open at night. I'm told they can last up to 20 years before they die and need replacement.
Another downside is we had to spend more in drywall to cover up the PVC and the labor to make those pipes go away visually.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2012 at 10:27AM
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mookeylama

thanks for your reply! there are a couple companies around here that test for radon AND install the systems. i did speak w/ a guy from Radon Specialties http://www.radonspecialties.com/
he's local but said that before i buy a mitigation system i should cover the sump hole tightly with plastic sheets or garbage bags, and cover those 2 open pipes, then retest. he gave me info on getting discounted tests for $6.95 so i ordered some and will try that. tho i still don't think i can add a nice tight sump lid without having to spend alot on tools. do plumbers do that? again, any advice appreciated!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 2:06PM
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cheerpeople

Our radon guy covered the hole we had in our floor that had a drain pipe and dirt ( about a foot square) for a bathroom that was never put in.
He used plywood and some kind of glue on the edges to make the cover.
He also used some crack filler on the cement floor and wall cracks.
Be sure to have that done before you test. Not sure about how good a test at $6 is. The guy that came here had a machine that plugged in. The test ran for 3 days.
Also they test only the basement and make sure you don't have the basement venting via fans or the door/ windows open much at that time.
I don't think it's a good idea to have the test co also do the install but that's up to you.
:) good luck

    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 8:25PM
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aarron11

there are tons of sump-covers available that claim to block radon. very easy to install. Also, as mentioned above, fill all crack and gaps in your floor and walls ... pay attention to the floor to wall joints.

There is a lot of new data out that shows that short term radon kits to be VERY inaccurate. I would recommend filling the crack and gaps and retesting with a long term kit.

I dont think think its a big deal if the installation company does the testing. Just make sure the results come from an accredited lab.

here is the info on short term kits (really is interesting data):
http://www.free-radon-test-kits.com/short-long-tests.htm

check out these products for crack repair:
http://www.radonseal.com/crack-injection/diy-injection.htm

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 11:13AM
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