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So..school me on radon?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Relic, Apr 21, 2010.


  1. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    The saga continues. The wife and I are shopping for a new home. I've already posted a thread or two about our (mis)adventures.. :p
    But this time we've found one that we like up North, and it's not in a toxic waste zone, nor in a flood zone. In fact it's in the mountains surrounded by 4 acres of forest and field, and that in turn surrounded by state park land. Great! No pesky kids to wander onto my lawn that I'll have to threaten ala Clint Eastwood style.
    The problem now is radon.... we had it tested and it scored a 9.5 pci/l which I'm told is high. Maybe not horrific, but high. The house currently has no radon remediation system. It's also a well water-served house so the water may also have radon in it.
    So... just how dangerous is radon and how well do radon remediation systems work? And do I need to worry about glowing gonads?
     
  2. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
  3. UncleFluffy

    UncleFluffy

    Mar 8, 2009
    California
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    As I understand it, for air you can either seal the basement or continually pump fresh air through to lower the concentration. I'm guessing $100s rather than $1000s, but that's just a rough guess.

    Water would be trickier to clean up, but you'd need to get a test there to see if that's an issue.

    http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/hmbyguid.html
     
  4. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    Thanks guys! I had seen the EPA info which kind of startled me to be honest. I'm wondering if anyone here has any experience with it.
     
  5. vene-nemesis

    vene-nemesis Banned

    Jul 17, 2003
    Bilbao EspaƱa
    Cancer-causing radioactive gas, so youre moving to Chernobyl? :confused:
     
  6. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I gotta say you have some really crappy luck picking houses. First you pick one that's sitting on a toxic dump then you pick one with radon. What's next a condo in the middle of a poo factory? :eyebrow:
     
  7. I deal with this all the time

    Usually radon levels that are below 25 are easily remediated down to below the EPA minimum level of 4 PCi/L.

    They normally stick a fan over the sump pit with a plastic pipe running up the side of the house and they seal up the basement, blowing the radon gas out rather then letting the house trap it. Usually runs about $1000 here in Maryland
     
  8. UncleFluffy

    UncleFluffy

    Mar 8, 2009
    California
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    On a practical level, I'm guessing that the cost of mitigation is in the range where you could haggle the seller into covering it, or at least splitting it.
     
  9. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    Yeah, that's what I'm planning. We're actually under contract and I just sent word to our attorney that I would like this issue fixed by a qualified contractor prior to closing. We'll see what happens.
    I'm figuring that if I can get them to completely seal the basement, then install an active remediation system, that might do the trick.

    Dude, you have no idea! I'm like that shleprock guy on the Flintstones..
     
  10. IconBasser

    IconBasser Scuba Viking Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    Alta Loma, California
    yeah, radon causes cancer. Go elsewhere.
     
  11. sirdugh

    sirdugh

    Dec 22, 2007
    columbia, mo
    Radon is most dangerous to smokers. I don't remember the specifics but non-smokers living in a radon infested house have a slight risk of cancer, smokers much more so.

    My house had radon. We hired a guy (for $1400 IIRC) who knocked a hole through the foundation in the basement and cleaned out some of the dirt underneath. He then filled it in with gravel to give the the gas a place to collect. From there, he sealed a PVC pipe in the whole. The PVC pipe has a fan in it to create suction. The pipe goes all the way through the roof.

    My wife and I aren't smokers but our first child had just been born so she insisted that we have it mitigated. At least I know that I'm not exposed to radiation at home. I have to go to work (nuclear medicine) to have that kind of fun!
     
  12. sirdugh

    sirdugh

    Dec 22, 2007
    columbia, mo
    .....and don't forget that radon is in the uranium decay chain. Uranium is expensive stuff. Buy the house and mine down until you find the uranium. Sell it and pay off the house. Problem solved. No more radon and a free house.
     
  13. Great advice. You want to take it seriously but It Ain't the End of your Deal.

    1000 feels about right. Granite usually contains at least trace deposits of uranium and the decaying atoms give off radon gas.

    Had a similar issue in New Hampshire (the Granite State, right?)

    Basement was airy enough not to let it accumulate in 1988. Energy costs drive us to seal up better which retains radon better. The "sump pump" solution works well from all I've heard.
     

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