DIY Radon Mitigation in Fort Collins: What to Know Before You Start

Discovering a radon problem in your Fort Collins home may have you considering a DIY mitigation project to save on costs. But while a do-it-yourself approach seems straightforward in theory, radon reduction is complex in practice. Attempting mitigation without proper training, equipment, and testing puts your household in danger. Before embarking on any DIY radon project, understand why professional mitigation is the only way to effectively eliminate this radioactive threat from your home.

How Dangerous is Radon Gas?

First, it’s important to acknowledge the enormous health risks presented by radon exposure, especially over many years. This odorless, radioactive gas increases the chances of lung cancer. In fact, radon causes over 20,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year. It’s the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.

Radon emits alpha and gamma radiation as it decays. When inhaled, these particles release bursts of damaging energy into lung tissue. The cumulative cell mutations they cause often result in malignant growths over time. No amount of radon in your home air is considered completely safe. Don’t take risks with do-it-yourself mitigation methods.

How Radon Enters Homes

To understand proper mitigation, you must know how radon enters in the first place. Radon comes from the decay of uranium present in nearly all soils and rocks. It seeps into homes through cracks and gaps in foundation floors and walls touching the ground. As warm indoor air rises and exits the home, it pulls new air inward from the soil beneath. This suction draws radon gas inside.

Common entry points include cracks in basement slabs and walls, pores in concrete blocks, spaces around pipes and wires, sump pits, joints, and crawl space openings. Any penetrations, openings, or hollow channels enable radon to migrate from the soil and accumulate indoors, especially on lower levels. But it rises throughout the home over time.

Professional Radon Mitigation Techniques

Certified radon mitigation contractors have specialized expertise and equipment homeowners lack. The most common and effective method is sub-slab depressurization (SSD). This involves installing a 3-4” PVC vent pipe through the concrete foundation slab into the gravel and soil beneath.

A powerful fan actively draws radon from below the home before it can enter and vents it through the pipe to the outdoors where it quickly dilutes. Maintaining lower air pressure under the slab prevents radon from being sucked inside through cracks. Fans run continuously to keep radon levels low.

In addition to proper materials and strategic pipe routing, radon pros also carefully seal entry points and test levels before and after to ensure sufficient reduction. Relying on unverified DIY mitigation puts your family’s health at risk.

Hazards and Uncertainties of DIY Radon Mitigation

Radon mitigation seems straightforward, but each home’s dynamics are unique. Without training and the right equipment, major hazards arise from DIY attempts including:

  • Inadequate sealing of entry points
  • Using improper materials like thin plastic piping
  • Improper pipe placement away from ideal suction points
  • Fan too small or incorrectly sized for the home
  • Creating new unsealed radon entry pathways
  • Potentially increasing home radon levels by altering air pressure
  • No way to confirm radon actually reached safe levels

There are no shortcuts when it comes to eliminating radioactive radon from your household air. Without professional testing pre- and post-mitigation, you cannot verify if a DIY system worked. Leaving loved ones potentially exposed to high radon goes against your duties as a homeowner.

Seeking Professional Guidance and Products

Do-it-yourself projects inevitably require some professional guidance and products when it comes to complex systems like radon mitigation. Consult local codes for any regulations on radon system installation. Talk to certified radon mitigation contractors for unbiased advice on DIY limitations.

Purchase professional-grade materials like schedule-40 PVC piping, a correctly sized radon fan, and high quality sealing products not available at hardware stores. Have a qualified radon tester assess DIY results. Combining professional help with diligent workmanship gets you closer to reliable DIY mitigation.

When to Call the Certified Radon Pros Instead

However, the most fail-safe option remains hiring accredited radon mitigation contractors to tackle the project safely and effectively. Weigh these factors when deciding between DIY and professional installation:

  • How much radon risk are you willing to accept if DIY results are uncertain?
  • Are you prepared to handle all complications that emerge during mitigation?
  • Does your schedule allow you to complete full mitigation promptly?
  • Are you willing to be liable for any poor results or later issues?
  • Do you have confidence in interpreting radon testing metrics?
  • Can you maintain the system and spot failures before your family is exposed?

Be honest about your abilities, limitations, and risk tolerance. In most cases, the smartest decision is hiring certified radon mitigation pros to permanently solve the problem the right way. Protect your greatest investment and most precious people under your roof.

Scroll to Top