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Thread: Radon Capture

  1. #1
    C2E Hard Core Contributor
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    Default Radon Capture

    It seems that a rough in for radon capture is now prescribed in the newest building code, though this code has not been fully adopted in Edmonton and area yet. I believe Sherwood Park will be including Radon capture as a requirement before the end of the year.
    The premise is you install a drain pipe under your basement slab, which then gets piped to a small stub that comes out of your slab. Usually near the sump pump. In the future, you attach an exhaust fan that sucks gas out from under the slab and pushes it outside.
    The additional costs will be built in to all new homes. The plumbing is cheap, the main cost increase will be the requirement for crushed rock rather than sand as a base for your basement slab. Maybe $700-1500 extra per home depending on your footprint. There's some extra sealing details required at slab/footing/wall interface as well.

    Radon gas doesn't appear to be a huge deal in Edmonton and area. You can search your postal code here to find recent radon test results in your area:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/radon-in-canada/
    But it can vary from week to week and address to address.

    Radon (it's radioactive) kills an estimated 2000 non-smoking Canadians every year from lung cancer. Unless you work in a nuclear plant, you'll get more radiation exposure from it than all other sources combined.

  2. #2

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    Sounds like radon testing should be mandatory.

    Decades ago I’d heard and read many news reports about the radon issue in the states and then many years ago I’d heard about radon even being an issue in southern Alberta but that’s about all I ever heard on the issue.


    However back in the summer I called a company / lab about interior air testing but they weren’t servicing Edmonton anymore. I asked about radon and the guy voiced his concerns saying I definitely should get it done but that unfortunately they couldn’t help me. I have yet to make another call.

    Coincidentally, radon was in the news just this week. I had no idea that it ranked so high in terms of current cancers causes.


    So it sure seems that governments and officials have seriously dropped the ball and for a long time now failed to protect the health of people. Eg They are closing coal plants at a cost of billions saying it’s for public health reasons - but doing little it seems about radon.
    Last edited by KC; 17-11-2017 at 07:55 AM.

  3. #3
    C2E Hard Core Contributor
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    Default

    Radon's not a huge deal in Edmonton area just due to our geography. There are kits you can buy in Home Depot or online that you mount in your basement, wait a couple weeks, and then mail off for analysis. They're pretty inexpensive.
    New building code requires radon capture to be roughed in, but I know of no-one that has actually got it hooked up. The rough in consists of a porous pipe under your basement slab, stubbing out in the mech room. Hooking it up requires the installation of a suction fan vented to outside.

  4. #4
    C2E SME
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KC
    So it sure seems that governments and officials have seriously dropped the ball and for a long time now failed to protect the health of people. Eg They are closing coal plants at a cost of billions saying it’s for public health reasons - but doing little it seems about radon.


    Actually, there have been significant changes made in building codes in the last couple years pertaining to radon. As nobleea mentions above.

    https://www.livrealestate.ca/blog/20...-protects.html

    http://chbaalberta.ca/uploads/files/...%20Code%20.pdf

  5. #5

    Default

    Most Radon capture systems are pretty basic, houses built before the 1980s were quite leaky and Radon was able to leave the building, then when we started to seal up building the radon was trapped inside. Now if you seal the foundation and supply a form of ventilation to the outside you can reduce the exposure. The piping can be similar to a weeping tile system.

    We are adding Radon collection systems in most schools we are designing now.

  6. #6

    Default

    From the first post I understand that going forward new construction will reduce or eliminate the risk.

    As for the other, what 90% of the population where ever they are, I guess it’s been case of every man for himself including avoiding home upgrades/replacements of furnaces, windows, insulation...

    However, isn’t it interesting that society is still very actively working to reduce the exposure to first and second-hand smoke, while radon is sitting there in second place and may be affecting people completely unaware of their exposure to a risk of any sort and I’m unaware of any great effort to reduce current exposure. (Who would be most affected? I would guess it’s renters living in basement suites in older parts of affected cities. )
    Last edited by KC; 17-11-2017 at 12:11 PM.

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