Read This Before Installing a Radon Mitigation System - American Radon Mitigation

Read This Before Installing a Radon Mitigation System

Pressure Field Extension Testing

Why should you be looking for a radon mitigation system to reduce your radon levels as much as possible? Why isn’t 4.0 pCi/L considered safe? You’re probably concerned about its harmful effects on your family’s health and lungs. Whether you are just learning about radon or researching the best possible mitigation solution, we have you covered!

What is Radon?

Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that forms from the natural breakdown of uranium in the rock and soil below your home.

Why is Radon Dangerous?

Radon decays into radioactive particles that, when accumulated in indoor spaces and inhaled, pose a health risk. Long-term exposure to elevated radon levels has been linked to lung cancer, making it essential for homeowners to prioritize effective radon mitigation strategies to get radon levels as low as possible.

How Does A Radon Mitigation System Work?

Radon mitigation typically involves a method of soil depressurization, which creates suction beneath your home, preventing radon from entering and allowing for its safe removal. But how do you know your radon system works efficiently and effectively at drawing the harmful gas away from your living space and the ones you love? That’s where the nerdy science of measuring the pressure below your home comes into play. We radon nerds refer to this as pressure field extension testing, or PFE for short.

Methods of Radon Mitigation: Let’s examine the two most common methods.

The Poke and Hope Method

The “poke and hope” method refers to a practice in radon mitigation where contractors drill a hole into the ground, insert a vent pipe, add a radon fan, and then hope for the best in terms of reducing radon levels. Typically, these radon mitigation installations are completed in just a few hours.

Can it be effective? Possibly. However, its success largely relies on chance rather than using data from your home to design a system that treats all radon entry points that could leave your family at risk.

What is the problem with the Poke and Hope method?

A Canadian colleague and fellow mitigator once put it this way: Imagine if you needed heart surgery. Would you entrust your life to a surgeon who couldn’t look at what they were doing? Of course not! You’d demand a skilled professional who knows precisely where to make the incision, ensuring a successful procedure with minimal risk.

Similarly, the “Poke and Hope” method neglects many crucial steps. Since the contractor is not measuring the effectiveness of the mitigation system, it may not effectively reduce radon levels, potentially putting your family at risk of exposure to high levels of radon gas. It relies on random guesswork rather than engineering and expertise. Just as you wouldn’t leave your heart surgery to chance, you shouldn’t leave your health and safety to chance when it comes to radon mitigation.

By partnering with knowledgeable professionals and employing proven techniques, you can ensure a safer and healthier living environment for you and your loved ones. Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, investing in a personalized mitigation strategy that caters to your home’s specific needs is crucial.

The Pressure Field Extension Testing (PFE) Method

We begin by measuring how much pressure your home naturally puts on the soil below. This method includes drilling a few small test holes in areas where your home meets the ground. This involves drilling a few small test holes in areas that are in contact with the ground. After establishing the initial pressure for each test hole and noting the outdoor temperature, we can apply a formula to figure out the necessary suction beneath different sections of your house. This approach prevents radon from entering, even during the coldest days of the year when your home exerts the maximum suction on the soil.

Why We Recommend Measuring the Extent and Strength of Suction Below Your Home

PFE testing is a vital step in ensuring the effectiveness of radon mitigation systems. Here are some reasons why pressure field extension testing is a necessary proactive measure in radon mitigation.

Verification of Radon Mitigation System Performance:

PFE testing ensures effective radon treatment for all entry points in your home.

By measuring the suction created by the radon system beneath your home, experts can identify common obstacles in the mitigation process:

  • Leaks
  • Blockages
  • Lack of suction

These mitigation obstacles can only be identified and resolved by conducting pressure field extension testing. It tailors the design of your radon system, ensuring it effectively lowers your radon levels and provides the best protection from radon gases.

Optimizing Radon Mitigation System Design:

Testing allows for adjustments to the design and configuration of the mitigation system. Before installation, PFE testing helps determine:

  • Ideal placement of the suction pit.
  • If additional suction pits are required.
  • Piping size.
  • Radon fan selection.

Radon mitigation professionals can optimize the system to ensure uniform and effective coverage beneath your home by identifying areas where the radon system may not be creating suction.

Compliance with Radon Standards:

Many regulatory authorities and building codes require compliance with specific radon mitigation standards. Pressure field extension testing helps ensure that a mitigation system meets these standards, giving homeowners confidence that their living spaces are safe from elevated radon levels.

Evidence-Based Approach:

Pressure field extension testing relies on data and measurements rather than guesswork or chance. It provides objective evidence of a radon mitigation system’s performance, allowing for informed decisions regarding system optimization or further mitigation measures.

Long-Term Effectiveness:

Ensuring that your radon mitigation system is properly optimized and functioning effectively is crucial for maintaining long-term radon reduction benefits. Pressure field extension testing provides reassurance that radon levels remain within acceptable limits, protecting your family from elevated radon exposure.

Radon mitigation is never a one-size-fits-all approach, and pressure field extension testing offers a systematic and evidence-based method for assessing and optimizing radon mitigation systems. PFE is the preferred method over the simplistic and random nature of the “Poke and Hope” approach.

Ask Your Radon Professional for Pressure Field Extension Testing

Pressure field extension testing (PFE) is not just an option; it’s a vital step for effective and reliable radon mitigation. It ensures that professionals design and install your system correctly, providing efficient operation and ongoing protection for your family against radon exposure. Prioritizing pressure field extension testing is not just a reactive measure when a radon system fails to lower radon levels. It is a proactive commitment to safeguarding the health and well-being of your family by ensuring your radon system works effectively and efficiently to remove radon from your home. Help your family breathe easy by knowing your radon system is working as it should. Contact us for a free estimate.

To learn more and see how PFE works in a home, check out this video: What is Pressure Field Extension.