Home Buying in 30350>Question Details

Kulbir, Home Buyer in 30350

Active Radon Mitigation System installation...Inside or Outside the Home?

Asked by Kulbir, 30350 Mon Jul 26, 2010

We are under contract for a SFH in Sandy Springs, Georgia. The seller is installing an active Radon mitigation system and we are wondering, whetherto get that installed inside the house or outside it. Can someone please give us the pros and cons of both situations and also, which one is the more followed approach? Thanks in advance!

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As some agents have suggested, simply contact the Radon Mitigator and ask this question - they should be trianed and certified by an Indoor air quality agency (EPA no longer certifies Radon Mitigators) so they know what they are doing.

I used to test for Radon and have seen many systems installed and in place as an inspector, and had a few installed for clients while acting as their Buyers Broker. The system will start inside the basement or crawl space at the slab or floor level and the 4-5 inch PVC pipe can often be routed up a chase used for other utilities even in two story homes - sometimes it may have to exit a side wall and code allows that. It must not terminate near a window, but should terminate above the roofline. This system is not passive and does not rely on gas to rise - it is designed to pressurize the slab and will have a quiet motor mounted near the top of the pipe which is constantly on to provide negative pressure in the slab so no Radon gas can emit from any cracks in the slab. At anytime the motor stops the system is not working. These suction motors have a long life of several years. Google Radon for more info.

Good Luck.

Robert Whitfield
Broker/Owner - Realtor
Professional Buyers Broker
Relocation Expert
ICC Code Certified Building Inspection Expert
Advantage Realtors
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 27, 2010
Before I moved to Florida, I had a radon mitigation system installed in the house I moved from. The home was built into the side of a mountain in Valley Forge, PA. Radon is actually quite common in that area, due to the seams of coal in the local rock strata.

The home was a rustic contemporary, with an A-frame at one end, and the rest (the majority) of the house a ranch-style with decks on the main level, and a daylight, finished basement, with sliders to the outside, +below.

The company that did the remediation drilled a hole in the floor, in the corner of the downstairs bathroom (for the intake). A vertical pipe was then inserted. It was not really very noticeable, since it was behind the door. Then the pipe was run into the space between the floors. Next, it was run horizontally to the outside wall. At that point, the pipe became vertical again, and was extended up, above the roofline, where a fan was installed to pull the air to the outside.

Our system was most likely the type that Robert Whitfield has described. It was a relatively simple project, completed in a day or two.

Warm regards,
Maggie Hawk, REALTOR
(386) 314-1149
Watson Realty Corp.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 27, 2010
Kulbir on active Radon mitigation systems that I have seen installed after the home is built they run the exhaust line on the exterior of the home. It would be hard to run the pipe through the interior and through the roof line after the home is already built. Check with the Radon mitigation people as I have seen it done on one home. The property was a ranch on a slab and they ran the intake in the utility room and exhausted through the roof.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 27, 2010
Hi there, I would suggest you discuss this with your home inspector. I've only seen radon systems installed inside the home here in NJ. New(er) homes tend to have the piping in place - through the foundation floor and up to the attic - so that if radon levels over acceptable limits are found to exist, remediation is easy to accomplish with the installation of a fan in the attic - the radon is moved from the ground, up and out of the house by the fan.

Once installed, the company handlign the installation should retest to ensure that the system is working for you. This should be done prior to close.

Good luck - and congrats on your purchase.

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service - in New Jersey
Web Reference: http://www.feenick.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 27, 2010

There is alot of data online regarding Radon. I had a client install a system in the Roswell area and the pipes came up through the house from the basement level. The piping is secure and any radon gas would travel upward through that system and exit through roof vents. No doubt, being sure any mitigation pipe system does not leak is important. A gas will travel upward if it is lighter than air and go to the area of lease resistance which the escape piping provides.
Installing the system outside may have a possible safety feature in reference to a leak, however the problems then might be environmental (sun-ultraviolet, heat and cold) effects on the system over time. Likewise, can you make it esthetically pleasing and not ruin the attractiveness of your home.

I believe an interview with several Radon Mitigation companies would give you experienced and practical answers to these questions. Also call the County Health Care office in your area (likely Fulton) to get their insights.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 26, 2010
My personal view only, Kulbir, is inside venting to outside, but since I have been exposed to only a few systems, please consult a professional for second and/or third opinions. Here is a web reference that might prove useful. Good Luck!

Michael Hammond

1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 26, 2010
I would call the radon company that the seller is going to use. Listen and ask questions; and get written information on the system. Then call other companies to see if that system is a good system. Regina Ambrose, Chapman Hall Realtors, 678-613-5636.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 26, 2010
The preferable location is inside the house. That being said, it is many times not possible because the 4" piping needs to run from under the basement slab, in a straight line, all the way to above the roof line. The easiest installation is right up the outside of the house near the peak. Does the house have multiple levels? A 1 story ranch house could be done fairly easily inside the wall and up thru the attic. A 3 story colonial would be quite challenging to run all the way up.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 26, 2010
The EPA has some answers for you http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/consguid.html

Meanwhile if you need local finance help that's my life.
Ken Cook 678-439-8683
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 26, 2010
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