Home Owner Resources

Starting the Radon Resistance!

July 31, 2018

As a naturally occurring radioactive gas, radon is quite lethal. It’s colorless, odorless, tasteless, and is the cause of 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. While this is merely skimming the surface when it comes to the dangers of radon gas, it’s still enough to spring most into action.

For that group, let’s talk about five radon-resistant features that anyone can incorporate to protect their family and home.

Gas‑Permeable Layer
For homes with a basement or slab foundation, this is a great feature to allow gas to pass through underneath your property. Gas permeable layers are placed under the house itself and consist of 4 inches of clean gravel.

Essentially, this prevents the buildup of gas within the property. Without a gas-permeable layer, radon has a limited outlet.

Plastic Sheeting
Sometimes referred to as a vapor barrier, plastic sheeting acts as an addition to the gas-permeable layer. The sheeting prevents radon and other soil gases from rising into the home.

Even without a basement or slab foundation, such as those with a crawlspace, this can be applied directly above the crawlspace floor.

Caulking & Sealing
Last week, we touched on the importance of properly sealing your roof to avoid mold growth. However, professionally caulking and sealing your property can also fend off radon gas.

By sealing and caulking gaps and other below-grade aspects of your home, you’re effectively cutting down points of entry for soil gases.

Vent Pipe
Again, vents can be a source of moisture, which is why it’s crucial that homeowners ensure they’re properly sealed. That said, they’re also necessary to funnel gas through the roof.

This is usually done through a three- or four-inch 40 PVC pipe. Not only are 40 PVC pipes less likely to crack, the plastic material also leads to less condensation.

Junction Boxes
An easy way to continually monitor radon activity is through the installation of a junction box. Junction boxes have two primary panels: The first is installed in your attic near the vent pipe, whereas the second exists in the actual residence.

In the event of high radon levels, this enables you to actively vent gas out of the home. In addition, an alarm is included to inform you of any issues with the vent’s fan.

Summary
While these features are easier to implement during the course of a home’s construction, it’s worthwhile to consider them after the fact. As a growing issue, there are never too few precautions to take when it comes to radon gas.

To schedule a home inspection, contact Illinois Property Inspections by phone at 224.585.7835 or by email at JR@ILPropertyInspections.com.

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