Radon Reduction in New Construction
Why should homes be built with radon-resistant techniques?
- They make homes safer from radon. These construction techniques help block radon from entering the home. The occupants will benefit from lower radon levels in their new home.
- They are easy to upgrade when there is a need to increase the radon reduction. If high radon levels are found, the techniques allow for easy and inexpensive installation of a fan for increased radon reduction in the home. Every new home should be tested for radon by the homeowner after occupancy.
- They are cost-effective for home buyers. It is more cost-effective to include radon-resistant techniques while building a home, rather than installing a radon reduction system in an existing home.
For example, materials and labor costs for radon-resistant techniques vs. retrofitting an existing home is $350-$500 vs. $800-$2,500. That's a 128% to 400% savings. Some construction companies successfully use this as a marketing advantage.
- Radon-resistant construction techniques improve the home's energy efficiency and provide the homeowner a huge savings each year.
Radon-Resistant Construction Techniques
There are five major parts to the passive radon-resistant system:
- A layer of gas-permeable material under the foundation (usually four inches of gravel)
- Plastic sheeting over the gas-permeable material
- Sealant and caulk on all openings in the concrete foundation floor
- A gas-tight three- or four-inch vent pipe that runs from under the foundation through the house to the roof
- A roughed-in electrical junction box for the future installation of a fan, if needed
These features create a physical barrier to radon entry. The vent pipe prevents radon from entering your home by drawing the radon from below the house and venting it to the air outside where it then dilutes with the outside air.