Caring for Your Radon Mitigation System – Keeping it Running for Healthy Air

You had a radon mitigation system professionally installed in your home to reduce lung cancer risks. But don’t assume you can simply set it and forget it. To ensure your radon mitigation system provides continuous protection, homeowners should perform simple periodic maintenance. Follow this guide to properly care for your radon mitigation system over its lifetime.

Why Radon Mitigation Matters

Radon is an odorless, radioactive gas that arises naturally from underground uranium decay. It infiltrates homes through cracks and gaps in the foundation floor and walls. As radon accumulates in indoor air, it further decays into radioactive particles which damage lung tissue when inhaled, eventually causing lung cancer.

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Roughly 21,000 lung cancer deaths occur annually in the U.S. due to radon as estimated by the EPA. Radon mitigation systems are the only effective way to reduce health risks by venting radon from beneath homes before concentrations build to dangerous levels inside.

What a Radon Mitigation System Requires

A radon mitigation system works by creating a vacuum effect under the foundation to draw radon up from the ground and vent it above the house where it harmlessly disperses. Typical mitigation system components include:

  • Buried perforated pipes inserted through concrete floor slab
  • In-line fan mounted on piping to maintain constant suction
  • Electrical connections powering the radon fan
  • Solid piping running from fan up through house and roof
  • A vent cap terminating the pipe above roof level
  • Sealing materials like caulk at foundation cracks

When installed properly, radon mitigation systems require minimal ongoing maintenance to remain effective for decades. But periodic homeowner attention is still important.

Suggested Radon Mitigation System Maintenance

  • Visually inspect exposed pipes and fan unit monthly for any noticeable issues like damage or leaks at joints. Look for nearby moisture or stains.
  • Test the radon fan annually to verify it is operating correctly and providing sufficient suction. Replace the fan unit if airflow falls below system design range.
  • Have a radon mitigation professional inspect, test and service the entire system every 2 years. They can diagnose underground issues.
  • Keep the fan’s electrical circuit connected at all times. Never turn off power or disable the breaker allowing the fan to shut off.
  • Ensure crawlspace and foundation wall openings like cracks, floor drains and sump lids remain tightly caulked/sealed. Seal any new cracks immediately to limit radon entry points.
  • Monitor your home’s ongoing radon levels through annual retesting to confirm mitigation remains effective.
  • Repair or replace any damaged, disconnected or worn components like piping, seals and fan parts as soon as issues arise.
  • Inform any new owners about the radon mitigation system upon selling the home so they continue proper operation and maintenance.

Proactive Radon Mitigation System Checks

To remember key radon system maintenance:

  • Set annual calendar reminders to inspect components, test fan flow and retest radon levels.
  • Log each check and record component age/condition to inform future replacement timing.
  • Mark which foundation cracks and openings have been sealed to check if any new ones form.
  • Follow manufacturer instructions for fan testing and recommended replacement schedule.

With simple periodic attention, homeowners can keep their radon mitigation system running optimally for decades and ensure continuous protection from radon’s harmful effects. Don’t let this silent killer creep back into your home air unnoticed.

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