You probably don’t spend too much time thinking about your sump pump, but this inconspicuous home feature can have a big effect on the level of radon in your house.
So, what do radon and your sump have to do with each other? Radon develops in the soil below your home, and it can enter the house through the foundation. Under most concrete basement or crawlspace floors is a layer of gravel. This gravel helps water find its way through the gravel gaps over to the sump pit where it is pumped to outside. Radon coming up through the soil can also travel over to the sump pit, where it exists into the air above the pit and into the room.
Once radon gas is in the air, you can breathe in its radioactive particles. While limited exposure to radon is unlikely to have a major impact, long-term exposure can dramatically increase your risk of getting lung cancer.
However, it’s not all bad news. It’s relatively easy to install a radon mitigation system, which will suction radon gas from the soil below your foundation before it ever reaches the sump pump pit and the air in your home.