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Radon - an I missing something...

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  • Oct 14th, 2019 10:33 am
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Apr 5, 2009
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Radon - an I missing something...

I live in etobicoke. House built in 1955. Pretty much completely reno-ed, ie pex plumbing, neutral wire on boxes, what's up up with all the radon posts? What's the criteria to worry?
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Feb 11, 2007
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stansoltz wrote: I live in etobicoke. House built in 1955. Pretty much completely reno-ed, ie pex plumbing, neutral wire on boxes, what's up up with all the radon posts? What's the criteria to worry?
The problem with Radon is that it's very random. You don't know how bad it is until you test for it. Reno doesn't mean anything, unless you're sure it included sealing the foundation.
Grab a radon sensor on sale and find out. Ideally you find zero radon levels, and can sell the sensor or give to a family member.
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Feb 11, 2018
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stansoltz wrote: I live in etobicoke. House built in 1955. Pretty much completely reno-ed, ie pex plumbing, neutral wire on boxes, what's up up with all the radon posts? What's the criteria to worry?
This might help. To start with, if you don't spend a lot of time in your basement you have a lot less to worry about.
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East Gwillimbury
stansoltz wrote: I live in etobicoke. House built in 1955. Pretty much completely reno-ed, ie pex plumbing, neutral wire on boxes, what's up up with all the radon posts? What's the criteria to worry?
Radon is naturally occurring, the age of your house or the updates will not mitigate the chances of you getting Radon.

Best thing to do is get a detector and hope you don't have any. I find that my basement fluctuates from 7 - 40. Health Canada states that anything over 200 is when you should worry about Radon.
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Jan 2, 2012
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Your renovation work will most likely have had next to zero effect on radon infiltration, if it existed prior to doing to your renos. Like like others have said, the only way to know for sure is by testing.
Expect radon tests, like UFFI and grow op declarations, to become common clauses in real estate purchase and sale agreements in the next few years.
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Dec 26, 2005
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Thornhill
Yup, we bought a radon sensor/detector and passed it around with relatives in the GTA. Most were in the 30-40 range. Unfortunately for me, the range was much higher. We eventually installed an HRV and then recently a mitigation fan.

bjl
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t3359 wrote: Yup, we bought a radon sensor/detector and passed it around with relatives in the GTA. Most were in the 30-40 range. Unfortunately for me, the range was much higher. We eventually installed an HRV and then recently a mitigation fan.

bjl
Which detector did you use? Airthings? Any idea what your initial readings were compared to the readings after your HRV install?
I'm assuming it was a retrofit. Did you have it ducted specifically for radon remediation? From what I understand, retrofits are usually tied into your furnace's ducts, and I'm curious how it would have affected the radon levels if it was.
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MrFrugal1 wrote: Which detector did you use? Airthings? Any idea what your initial readings were compared to the readings after your HRV install?
I'm assuming it was a retrofit. Did you have it ducted specifically for radon remediation? From what I understand, retrofits are usually tied into your furnace's ducts, and I'm curious how it would have affected the radon levels if it was.
Hi...

I used the airthings corentium as well as a first alert model (don’t recall).

Pre-HRV was probably about 160 and I do remember it dropping in half - this is inline with what others reported. I think it was about two years ago around this time of the year. General instructions (retrofit as you mentioned) say to install it to suck out air from the cold air return and blow in air into the basement. However since one of my primary issues was to reduce radon, I installed it the opposite way.

This season however, even with the HRV, I’ve been seeing numbers as high as 225, so I added the mitigation fan.

Maybe the high readings this year is due to something messed up (duct clogged or filter clogged) - I will look into it.

Anyway, with the mitigation fan installed, I plan to switch the HRV back to the recommended direction.

bjl
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t3359 wrote: Hi...

I used the airthings corentium as well as a first alert model (don’t recall).

Pre-HRV was probably about 160 and I do remember it dropping in half - this is inline with what others reported. I think it was about two years ago around this time of the year. General instructions (retrofit as you mentioned) say to install it to suck out air from the cold air return and blow in air into the basement. However since one of my primary issues was to reduce radon, I installed it the opposite way.

This season however, even with the HRV, I’ve been seeing numbers as high as 225, so I added the mitigation fan.

Maybe the high readings this year is due to something messed up (duct clogged or filter clogged) - I will look into it.

Anyway, with the mitigation fan installed, I plan to switch the HRV back to the recommended direction.

bjl
Thanks for the info.
I just had my furnace replaced, and was thinking about installing an HRV at the same time, but it was going to be problematic doing so for a number of reasons. (It was doable, but would require extensive work in an already finished basement.)
I'm debating just buying and installing a radon fan, but I'm not super thrilled about the long term energy loss. Better than lung cancer though.

My numbers are currently very similar to what yours are right now, and I need to do something.
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MrFrugal1 wrote: Thanks for the info.
I just had my furnace replaced, and was thinking about installing an HRV at the same time, but it was going to be problematic doing so for a number of reasons. (It was doable, but would require extensive work in an already finished basement.)
I'm debating just buying and installing a radon fan, but I'm not super thrilled about the long term energy loss. Better than lung cancer though.

My numbers are currently very similar to what yours are right now, and I need to do something.
I haven’t seen anything about energy loss due to a radon fan - do you mean heat? Or just electrical cost? Think someone (corrected my estimate and) estimated $3 per month.

I think the cost of running an HRV, even with 85+% recovery will cost more to run, and is less efficient for the purposes of radon removal... just my thought since I don’t have anything to back this up.

bjl
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Wouldn’t an older (I.e leaky) home be better for radon mitigation? Vs a newer air tight home.
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t3359 wrote: Pre-HRV was probably about 160...

This season however, even with the HRV, I’ve been seeing numbers as high as 225, ...
I bought the Corentium Airthings meter Nov 2018 and my long-term reading was about 150 until about July 2019 when the short-term (1- and 7-day) readings jumped to 550-ish and stayed there for a while and now slowly declining to about 400. Not sure what's going on. Will continue monitoring and see what happens, maybe it's a seasonal thing but some websites say radon is usually higher in winter when windows are closed.

I put the meter in my well ventilated garage for a day and the reading fell to 35 so I'm pretty sure it's reading ok.
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RETD wrote: I bought the Corentium Airthings meter Nov 2018 and my long-term reading was about 150 until about July 2019 when the short-term (1- and 7-day) readings jumped to 550-ish and stayed there for a while and now slowly declining to about 400. Not sure what's going on. Will continue monitoring and see what happens, maybe it's a seasonal thing but some websites say radon is usually higher in winter when windows are closed.

I put the meter in my well ventilated garage for a day and the reading fell to 35 so I'm pretty sure it's reading ok.
Shit, 500 is freaky. I don't let my kid play downstairs when the readings are above 120.

bjl
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MrFrugal1 wrote: I'm debating just buying and installing a radon fan, but I'm not super thrilled about the long term energy loss. Better than lung cancer though.
The fan is lowering the air pressure under the slab and will not remove anything but the tiniest amounts of air from your home. The running cost is only the electricity to power the fan.
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fdl wrote: Wouldn’t an older (I.e leaky) home be better for radon mitigation? Vs a newer air tight home.
Ideally a new home would have a sealed foundation. To mitigate an old home, you first have to seal up any cracks in the foundation.

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