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Radon gas is released into the soil when radium decays. Radon is a noble gas and is not attracted to other elements so it is drawn into the basement by the negative pressure caused by the natural chimney effect on the house. While in the house the radon decays and leaves two main radioactive solids that are ionized and stick to dust in the air. If this dust becomes lodge in the lungs the cells DNA can be damaged by an alpha particle when the solid decays and may cause cancer.
Radon becomes entrained in ground water when radium in rocks decays and the energy that's released fires the radon atom into the water. The radon can be released from the water during aeration. The Bubble Up mitigation system aerates the water inside the tank and vents it to the outside. The water is then repressurized and supplies the household water. The Bubble Up often requires a water softener be installed ahead of the system to condition the water to prevent build up inside the valves of the Bubble Up. A free water test will determine the need for the softener.
Radon is removed for a building most often by sub slab depressurization. A hole is drilled through the basement concrete slab then a pipe installed that runs out the box sill. A fan is attached to the pipe and the pipe is vented above the roof line. The suction of the fan creates a low pressure under the slab and draws most of the radon out. While it's not possible to remove all the radon, levels after the system is installed are commonly below 2 piC/l. In new construction a passive system can be installed without a fan if the state standard is followed.
There are several more methods to reduce radon and depend on the existing conditions.
The conditions affecting the pricing of air or water mitigation vary from house to house. A visit to the home is needed before a price can be given. For air mitigation, testing of the conditions below the concrete slab allow the installer to determine the fan size and the number suction points that will be needed. This is a free test that requires drilling several holes through the slab and measuring the pressure with a micromanometer. For water mitigation a free water test will determine the need for a water softener. This is necessary to insure the long term performance of the system by minimizing build up of minerals inside the pipes and valves. The homes plumbing system will be inspected for access to the Bubble Up and and a water softener, if needed.
Atlantic home performance does not test for radon in air or water to prevent a conflict of interest
Norway, Maine 04268
An ion exchanger can be used to remove uranium from the water along with other minerals for whole house water treatment. The softener and ion exchanger can be combined into one unit and no holding tank is needed. This cost much less than a whole house reverse osmosis unit, is less expensive to maintain and takes less room.