Yes, you can vent radon out of a building. A well-built active radon mitigation system will do the trick – it can push dangerous radon gas out of a building and safely away from breathable air. But there are a few less-than-effective ventilation methods for radon gas that exist, and we’ll tell you why they won’t be saving your lungs any time soon.

Three Things To Know

  1. The Stack Effect: When air in a building heats up, even a little, it rises. That air wants to push out the tiny leaks at the top of the building. The exit of that air causes more air to be sucked into the lower part of the building. This is like putting a vacuum cleaner onto the whole floor of a building. This is called the stack effect, and is a major cause of radon entry. It is a complicated process, and some actions that would seem to be likely to dilute the radon gas (like “venting” radon) can actually increase the stack effect and bring in more radon.
  2. Radon is Heavier Than Air: It’s not a lot heavier, but it is heavy enough that it does not always go where the air is gently flowing.
  3. Concrete is Porous: With enough pressure, soil gasses, including radon, can push through concrete. It can also push through most paints, coatings, and floor coverings.

Radon Venting Approaches You Should NOT Take

Some people aren’t ready to pay for a fully-functional radon mitigation system, so they seek cheaper alternatives. Radon reduction, however, is one of those fields in which you get what you pay for.

We recommend avoiding the following approaches to radon mitigation.

Installing Roof Vents

Roof vents definitely open buildings to outside air and can come with a number of benefits – but working as an exhaust for radon reduction isn’t one of them.

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