Your Radon-Resistant New Home: 5 Construction Essentials
If you’re building a new home, it’s likely you consider many attributes to be top priority. One of these attributes should be construction techniques that make it a radon-resistant home. Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that may be emitted by the soil beneath your home. The following five construction essentials can help prevent radon from entering your indoor air.
Builders should install four inches of course gravel below the foundation. This allows gases released by the soil, including radon, to flow freely beneath your home. If gravel isn’t a feasible option, your builder has the option to use a perforated pipe or collection mat instead.
A heavy-gauge vapor retarder or plastic sheet goes on top of the gravel to prevent radon from rising up into the house. The foundation is poured above the plastic, which also serves to prevent the concrete foundation from seeping down into the gravel layer.
A plumber or certified radon specialist installs a 3- or 4-inch PVC pipe in the gravel layer. This pipe travels vertically through your home’s conditioned space and vents out of the roof. Radon enters the PVC pipe under your home where gases circulate freely, travels undetected up the pipe, and exits above your home, where the gas quickly dissipates harmlessly into the air.
Sealing and Caulking
Another quality of a radon-resistant home is that all cracks, seams and crevices in the concrete foundation are sealed with polyurethane caulk. This serves as an additional barrier against stray gases in the soil.
By installing a junction box or outlet in the attic, this fail safe allows you to easily install an attic vent if you discover, after radon testing, that your home needs a better ventilation system.
The cost to implement these features of a radon-resistant home varies widely. Work closely with your builder to find the best method. For more expert advice on creating a radon-resistant home, please contact the professionals at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions today. We have proudly served Orlando and Central Florida since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about radon and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock