Homes are generally categorized according to their foundation design. Your home sits on either a slab of concrete (with or without a basement), or your home sits above the ground with a crawlspace.
The type of home you have will determine the proper radon reduction system for your home. This month, we look at crawl space radon mitigation.
Several Ways to Mitigate Radon in a Crawl Space
An effective method to reduce radon levels in crawlspace homes involves covering the earth floor with a high-density plastic sheet. A vent pipe and fan are used to draw the radon from under the sheet and vent it to the outdoors. This form of soil suction is called submembrane suction, and when properly applied is the most effective way to reduce radon levels in crawlspace homes.
Another less-favorable option is active crawlspace depressurization, which involves drawing air directly from the crawlspace using a fan. This technique generally does not work as well as submembrane suction and requires special attention to combustion appliance backdrafting and sealing the crawlspace from other portions of the home. It also may result in increased energy costs due to loss of conditioned air from the home.
In some cases, radon levels can be lowered by ventilating the crawlspace passively, or actively, with the use of a fan. Crawlspace ventilation may lower indoor radon levels both by reducing the home’s suction on the soil and by diluting the radon beneath the home.
- Passive ventilation in a crawlspace is achieved by opening vents or installing additional vents.
- Active ventilation uses a fan to blow air through the crawlspace instead of relying on natural air circulation.
In colder climates, for either passive or active crawlspace ventilation, water pipes, sewer lines and appliances in the crawlspace may need to be insulated against the cold. These ventilation options could result in increased energy costs for the home.
Understand the Proper Methods of Radon Mitigation
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Read more: EPA