If your home has a crawl space, you probably haven’t spent much time—if any—in it. The space lies between your first floor and the ground, and it’s only a few feet high, so it’s not a comfortable area to enter. And since it’s out of sight, you probably don’t think about it unless someone needs to go down there to perform plumbing or electrical maintenance.
However, your crawl space may be letting carcinogenic radon gas into your living area without you realizing it—and that’s a good reason to give the crawl space some attention.
How Does Radon Pass Through the Crawl Space?
Radon forms naturally in soil and can then rise into your home as a gas, where you and your family may be breathing it in. If your crawl space has a concrete floor, the soil gas pressure under it can build up and push the radon through the cracks or even right through the concrete itself. If your crawl space has a gravel or soil floor, there’s no barrier to slow down radon entry.
You might think that radon in your crawl space might not need mitigation if the crawl space isn’t directly open to the first floor. Unfortunately, radon can still enter the living area through floor cracks or unintentional gaps.
How Does Crawl Space Radon Mitigation Work?
If the first floor or your home has high radon levels, your crawl space will need to be professionally sealed. For a concrete floored crawl space, that means caulking all cracks. For a gravel or soil floored crawl space that means installing an airtight plastic membrane (also known as a vapor barrier) with air tight connections.
Then, an active radon removal system will need to be installed. The radon mitigation system will use an airtight pipe (and potentially a fan, in the case of active systems) to create a suction point and draw radon gas from under the floor and/or the vapor barrier and expel it above the house’s roofline.
It’s important to note that if your home has multiple foundation types, such as a basement and crawl space, or an old and new section of the basement, your radon mitigation system will need multiple pipes and suction points. However, one fan is usually sufficient to move the radon gas through the pipes and out of the house.
Working with Radon Mitigation Professionals
Sealing your crawl space and installing a radon mitigation system is not a DIY project you should attempt on a free weekend. Remember, you are dealing with a radioactive substance, and you’d hate to make a mistake. To successfully reduce the radon levels in your home, you should work with a team of radon mitigation specialists. If you live in the greater Chicago area, contact DuPage Radon Contractors and request a free consultation and bid. Our team can seal your crawl space with a vapor barrier, create a suction point, and install an active or passive radon mitigation system.