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Radon Gas - anyone deal with it?

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[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 26, 2012
637 posts
569 upvotes
Hamilton

Radon Gas - anyone deal with it?

i'm getting my sewer line replaced right now and they're recommending that I test the place for Radon gas levels once they patch up my floor and it finishes curing. I'm in the Hamilton area.

for anyone that has done this and found high levels of radon, what did you do and how much did it cost?

I don't know if i have high levels yet as i'll test it next month but i was looking at the options and the active subfloor depressurization system doesn't sound too costly but what do i know.

would love advice on that and where you did your test. i only go to the basement for laundry once or twice a week so i'm wondering if i test the basement or the main level of my house where i actually live and spend most of my time.

a mouthful here but thanks for your help!
29 replies
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2019
2003 posts
1734 upvotes
GTA
Find someone with an Airthings and borrow it. Or buy your own and lend it to all your friends and family after.

If your house is old (which Im guessing due to sewer line replacement), then it is likely not all that well air sealed so you are less likely to have issues.

Depending on the severity, the system price may range, but probably in for a few thousand to get it installed.
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
19465 posts
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GTA
Yes, get an Airthings sensor to check for Radon. Can also use to track CO2 and VOC levels.
You'll want to know the basement, main floor and bedroom readings.

Having a leaky house does reduce levels, but you probably also have an unsealed slab, so more cracks for radon to enter.
Sub slab ventilation is the standard fix, as is sealing the slab as much as possible, which you can do now.
I think the slab ventilation runs about $1200-2000 depending on your house. You could DIY for about $300 I think.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 26, 2012
637 posts
569 upvotes
Hamilton
engineered wrote: Yes, get an Airthings sensor to check for Radon. Can also use to track CO2 and VOC levels.
You'll want to know the basement, main floor and bedroom readings.

Having a leaky house does reduce levels, but you probably also have an unsealed slab, so more cracks for radon to enter.
Sub slab ventilation is the standard fix, as is sealing the slab as much as possible, which you can do now.
I think the slab ventilation runs about $1200-2000 depending on your house. You could DIY for about $300 I think.
thanks. my slab is a disaster. house is 115 years old. i got internal water management and a sump installed in january and they couldn't believe how thin the slab is. Now with the plumbers digging out the sewer, same thing. they said they haven't seen a slab so thin. Probably some DIY'er like 80 years ago or something that did it.

i'll pick up this allthings detector
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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GTA
Cowboy905 wrote: thanks. my slab is a disaster. house is 115 years old. i got internal water management and a sump installed in january and they couldn't believe how thin the slab is. Now with the plumbers digging out the sewer, same thing. they said they haven't seen a slab so thin. Probably some DIY'er like 80 years ago or something that did it.

i'll pick up this allthings detector
oh yea, ok. I thought my 1979 house was old :P
Yea, first step is to see what your levels are like over 6-9 months, though sensor will start giving you decent readings after a week. But levels can fluctuate a lot.
Hopefully it's low so that's one less headache for you to worry about.
My radon levels can get high, especially when the house is closed up and the AC running. So my plan is to install sub slab ventilation. CO2 levels also get too high, so I also plan on an ERV to increase the fresh air intake.
Right now I try to keep the windows open a bit, and run an exhaust fan in the basement when levels start getting high, but that means wasted energy.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Deal Addict
Nov 8, 2005
3146 posts
2528 upvotes
I bought an airthings years ago. I wasn't happy with the results (between 100 and 200 bq^3 on average). I had an ERV installed that runs full time along with my furnace fan. Rates have dropped to below 50 consistently and we're constantly getting fresh air which I can only think of as a positive. All in cost was 3k about 5 years ago.
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
19465 posts
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GTA
Airthings Wave Plus is what I would recommend. Tracking CO2 and VOC is a good thing to do that will make your family feel better.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 12, 2007
7821 posts
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Ottawa
Another endorsement for Airthings. Been using mine for almost a year now - average readings are around 25-30 bq/m3 so I haven't had to mitigate. The risk is very region-sensitive and, obviously, even specific neighbourhoods can be riskier or better.

Good luck.
Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2003
2279 posts
1336 upvotes
GTA
+1 vote for the Airthings. I have one and it's been good to know that radon levels are low in my house as well - 1970's home.
Deal Addict
Feb 26, 2016
1460 posts
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Vaughan
i have an Airthings Wave Plus that detects Radon as well as other things like Co2, Humidity, Temp, etc.. Works well but I think for Radon, you have to wait a couple of weeks if not months to get a proper reading.

Mine spikes once in a while but goes back down. I normally just open windows if it goes up and haven't taken any other measures as it always goes back down.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 26, 2012
637 posts
569 upvotes
Hamilton
otaknap wrote: i have an Airthings Wave Plus that detects Radon as well as other things like Co2, Humidity, Temp, etc.. Works well but I think for Radon, you have to wait a couple of weeks if not months to get a proper reading.

Mine spikes once in a while but goes back down. I normally just open windows if it goes up and haven't taken any other measures as it always goes back down.
thanks yea. I was told i should get a 90 day reading to find a decent average.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 15, 2004
7268 posts
1810 upvotes
I had Airthings Wave Plus and my basement reading was like 200 over a period of 9 months. Decided to take actions and finally went with Mr. Radon in June. Now the reading is 17 average for the last month. The remediation is expensive but well worth it.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 26, 2012
637 posts
569 upvotes
Hamilton
golden wrote: I had Airthings Wave Plus and my basement reading was like 200 over a period of 9 months. Decided to take actions and finally went with Mr. Radon in June. Now the reading is 17 average for the last month. The remediation is expensive but well worth it.
what did you have done and what did it cost?
Sr. Member
Oct 25, 2017
990 posts
1025 upvotes
This reminded me to look into this again. I just did a quick search and see Hamilton Public library has some units to borrow…. Currently 256 holds Face With Tears Of Joy
[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 26, 2012
637 posts
569 upvotes
Hamilton
chris416yyz wrote: This reminded me to look into this again. I just did a quick search and see Hamilton Public library has some units to borrow…. Currently 256 holds Face With Tears Of Joy
i just moved to hamilton. they have an airthings at the HPL?
Sr. Member
Oct 25, 2017
990 posts
1025 upvotes
Cowboy905 wrote: i just moved to hamilton. they have an airthings at the HPL?
Says it’s Airthings… got myself on the hold list, but at 257 it could be a while to confirm
Deal Fanatic
Jan 15, 2004
7268 posts
1810 upvotes
Cowboy905 wrote: what did you have done and what did it cost?
Sub-slab radon mitigation. Basically they drilled holes to test pressure and then install a tube through the basement foundation and a fan constantly running to remove the negative air pressure, thus radon will not enter into your basement through cracks or holes. Total cost was about $3100. Frankly I hesitated about the cost but when I read more about the increase chance of lung cancer for my family, it's easy to justify the remediation. Yes, you can do it for much less but I am not such a handy person willing to drill through my own house basement foundation. Results from my own sensor reader speak for the effectiveness. Went down from 200 to less than 10 in a couple days.
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
4353 posts
1646 upvotes
Edmonton
golden wrote: Sub-slab radon mitigation. Basically they drilled holes to test pressure and then install a tube through the basement foundation and a fan constantly running to remove the negative air pressure, thus radon will not enter into your basement through cracks or holes. Total cost was about $3100. Frankly I hesitated about the cost but when I read more about the increase chance of lung cancer for my family, it's easy to justify the remediation. Yes, you can do it for much less but I am not such a handy person willing to drill through my own house basement foundation. Results from my own sensor reader speak for the effectiveness. Went down from 200 to less than 10 in a couple days.
I did the same thing. Set me back around $600.

Main floor high 180s basement 250+. Now main floor is like 7.....

Was quoted 2800-3500. Did it all in one day for 6 bills. Their labour rate is quite high.
warming up the earth 1 gas fill-up at a time...
You only live once, get a v8
Deal Fanatic
Jan 15, 2004
7268 posts
1810 upvotes
tmkf_patryk wrote: I did the same thing. Set me back around $600.

Main floor high 180s basement 250+. Now main floor is like 7.....

Was quoted 2800-3500. Did it all in one day for 6 bills. Their labour rate is quite high.
Agree that parts are cheap and most of the cost is labour. Two people came and did it for about 5 hours or so. As I said, if you're confident and know what you're doing, you can save a lot.

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