New Homes Need Radon Mitigation Systems
Radon Testing for New Construction
When building a new home, there are many decisions to make and choices to consider. Number of bedrooms, kitchen size, and a basement are just a few factors you may consider. However, remember the environmental implications as well - think about the fumes from new materials and furniture, but most importantly, consider the presence of radon gas.
Radon can seep into your new abode through tiny cracks or gaps in the foundation. The air pressure inside the building and the soil around it also influence radon's entrance. Radon will stay away if the air pressure inside the house exceeds the soil beneath it. On the other hand, if the pressure of the air inside is lower than the soil surrounding it (usually the case), the house will essentially act like a vacuum, pulling in radon gas.
So it becomes necessary to know the radon levels through radon testing in new homes.
Lifetime Radon Endorses Radon Resistant New Construction Techniques
Whether you are a building contractor or owner looking to build, any new home construction plans in Wisconsin should include radon-smart design, commonly known as Radon Resistant New Construction (RRNC).
Radon is an issue throughout most of Wisconsin. The state’s Department of Health Services says as many as 20% of all southeast Wisconsin homes exceed the EPA’s action level of 4 picocuries per Liter (4.0 pCi/L). Some areas of Waukesha, Washington and Dodge Counties have estimated rates greater than 60%.
One recent radon test of a Waukesha County home performed by Lifetime Radon Solutions showed average readings above 17 pCi/L. The elderly woman and her husband living there had never smoked, but she nonetheless developed stage 4 lung cancer. After years of breathing such high levels of radon gas, it is certainly a contributing factor to her developing cancer.
You can prevent this from happening to your family, or to the families you’re building for, by taking proactive steps to reduce and eliminate radon gas in your new home construction.
Radon System for New Homes
Traditional radon-resistant construction techniques include a passive approach to blocking radon entry. This solution involves creating a pressure barrier plus a pipe to vent the gas safely to the outdoors. The active system adds a fan to the setup if more is needed. The fan draws the radon away from the soil and into the vent pipe, then expels it from home.
Radon Testing for Your New Home
It's essential to test your new home for radon, as the EPA recommends that indoor annual levels not exceed 4.0 pCi/L. It's much more cost-effective to install a fan for radon control before the house finishes construction rather than afterward if you need to. So, to be sure you stay within the EPA guidelines, remember to test your home immediately after moving in and take the necessary steps to reduce radon levels above 4.0 pCi/L.
Proactive Radon Mitigation Is the Most Cost-Effective Solution
While Lifetime Radon Solutions can retrofit any home, school or business with a custom-designed radon mitigation system, there are many benefits to building with radon prevention in mind.
Foremost among those reasons is cost savings. Planning for radon mitigation in advance removes some of the trickier obstacles to retrofitting. The radon mitigation vent pipe is built directly into the framework of the house, removing the labor cost of adding one after the fact. This also allows us to hide the pipe within the walls, rather than have it run up an outside wall of a house.
If you are a home builder, you surely are aware of how most real estate transaction in this area now include a radon test as a contingency in an offer to purchase. Installing a radon mitigation system while the house is being built not only saves the homeowner significant cost over retrofitting the system after construction is complete, but it also adds to the appeal of the homes you build, enhances your reputation as a home builder, and ensure there won't be any snags in a real estate transaction going through.
Homeowners will also find environmental advantages of living in a home equipped with radon mitigation equipment. Radon ventilation systems remove as much as a gallon of water from below the home every two hours, preventing growth of molds and bacteria which trigger allergies and illness. Because of the reduced moisture in the air, these homes also tend to run their energy-consuming dehumidifiers less frequently.
Homes Purpose-Built for Radon Reduction are Healthier
The first step in optimizing new home construction for radon mitigation is laying four inches of gas-permeable material--typically gravel--below the foundation. This lets all of the radon gas emanating from below the house find your basement’s sump pump suction point.
Once poured and cured, the basement is sealed to be gas-tight, and PVC piping is run through the framework of the home out through the roof.
Due to the negative pressure effect of your home, this venting alone may be enough to keep your home’s radon gas levels below the EPA action point (this is called a "passive mitigation system"), but the system can be upgraded with ventilation fans at any point in the future. Installing an exhaust fan is an easy and inexpensive addition.
Lifetime Radon Solutions Making Wisconsin Homes Safer
The radon testing and mitigation professionals at Lifetime Radon Solutions have years of experience making homes and businesses throughout southeastern Wisconsin safer and healthier.
The best, most cost-effective way to make sure new homes are safe from radon intrusion is through incorporating Radon Resistant New Construction building techniques from the onset. Lifetime Radon Solutions will design the right custom mitigation system for any job to ensure your new home is safe.