Building Radon Out

Radon is a naturally occurring, colorless, odorless gas that comes from the soil of the earth. It’s a radioactive noble gas that is formed from the decay of radium. Homes can have high concentrations of Radon, creating a unhealthy air quality. In fact it’s the the number 2 cause of lung cancer in the U.S. If your thinking about new construction plan in installing a Radon mitigation system. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to do. I’ve discovered a great resource on the EPA website about Building Radon Out [ PDF 5.5 MB], a how-to for contractors or DIY’s. Though I didn’t see a section on earthen floors and radon mitigation it does cover other types of flooring systems.

Radon Zones for the United States. Taken from the Build Radon Out publication.

2 Responses

  • Michael says:

    Hi Eric,
    It’s true there’s nothing like natural ventilation to solve the problem, but tell that to someone living in a cold climate. I’m not very likely to open the window while it’s 10º F outside.

  • Eric says:

    Earthen floor or not, radon will still creep through. Remember, radon will pass through concrete – an engineered Earthen floor! In cob/straw home construction it would be only slightly more complicated to add a sub-foundation with the techniques described in the EPA document. The only problem for most people will be getting stones or aggregate to some of the remote sites. The other, simpler and cheaper option, would be to let more air breeze through the house every day.