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Thread: Radon?

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugarphreak View Post
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    Roughly how many people a year does Radon kill in Calgary?
    There is very pretty credible research around the implications of Radon gas and it dates back to the 1980's. If you (or your family, if you have one) spend any time in your basement its worth looking into. The cost is minimal and mitigation is minimal if you can do it yourself.

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    ...
    Last edited by Sugarphreak; 08-18-2019 at 12:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugarphreak View Post
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    I was trying to find some hard data, and most of the data I saw was saying that if you smoke it increases the risk, but the risk to non-smokers for anything under 800 BQ/m3 is almost non-existent
    Lots of info out there and even some being done here in Calgary at the U of C.

    U of C: https://www.ucalgary.ca/utoday/issue...radon-campaign

    Health Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-cana...ion/radon.html

    USA EPA: https://www.epa.gov/radon

    World Health Organization: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/h...547673_eng.pdf

    All seem to have different perspectives on acceptable levels. I plan to be below 100, my house is roughed in so the cost is minimal. 800 is threw the roof, I would be mitigating that for sure.
    Last edited by craigcd; 05-05-2018 at 11:24 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by craigcd View Post
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    There is very pretty credible research around the implications of Radon gas and it dates back to the 1980's. If you (or your family, if you have one) spend any time in your basement its worth looking into. The cost is minimal and mitigation is minimal if you can do it yourself.
    Not to be picky but it doesn't matter if you spend time in your basement or not. Get your house tested.

    Before any mitigation my current house averaged 458Bq/m^3 one month in the basement, and 410 on the main floor. I live in a split level so those are the only 2 floors and I have 2 meters so I can monitor both at the same time. Basically the upstairs is about 5-10% lower than the basement and when we get the big spikes it seems to take 4-12 hours before upstairs spikes (but also it comes back down later).

    If anybody is curious how my mitigation is going, a month ago we cut open the bottom of the basement walls and sealed the slab to the foundation walls, that seems to have brought the average down from ~100-120 to 30. We plan on doing this around the full perimeter of the basement but it takes time to do that scale of work (for each room you have to empty the room, cut open the wall, seal bottom, replace drywall, tape/mud, sand sand sand then paint, and during that time another room or two is a disaster because of all of the extra stuff in it) so it'll probably happen over the next 1-2 years now that it's no longer an urgent matter.
    Originally posted by Vagabond142
    Is the best game. Ever. In everness. It is more awesome than a robot caveman punching God in the dick. It is that awesome

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    ^^^ Good point!

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    My wife's company moves people all over the world and it is pretty common outside of Canada for radon tests to be done before a house can be sold. The USA is particularly concerned in virtually all of the locations she moves people. They consider it as routine as having a water well tested. Health Canada also has a higher minimum measurement for remediation (200 Bq/m) whereas the EPA uses 4 pCi/l which is 148 Bq/m. My test kit is at about the 6 month mark so I should be sending it away soon.

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    We live in Patterson and just had our built in 1997 house mitigated. Our basement has measured:

    Pre-mitigation (no furnace fan) - 1500 bq/m3
    Pre-mitigation (furance fan running 24/7) - 600 bq/m3
    Post-mitigation - 5 to 20 bq/m3

    We're going to be in this house for 20 or 30 years minimum, so mitigation was a no brainer. Mitigation included sealing up the giant pits under each of our furnace that I guess they used to help dry the concrete when the basement was initially poured. It was $2,400 before GST with Radon West. Experience with them was great. We replaced a furnace and added A/C around the same time, and I definitely preferred their service and crew to either of the HVAC companies we used. I would recommend them.

    Oh and we bought the $200-250 Airthings measurer. You could probably sell, rent or give it to a friend when you're done with it to reduce the overall cost. Definitely glad we went that route instead of the pucks.

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    Anyone else get a huge spike with the recent warm weather? I am up to 350-370 one-day readings which is almost double the highest I have ever seen it. Hope that settles down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitsu3000gt View Post
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    Anyone else get a huge spike with the recent warm weather? I am up to 350-370 one-day readings which is almost double the highest I have ever seen it. Hope that settles down.
    Mine pretty much doubled since the first hot day last week, even with all the windows open. (probably letting it in)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zero102 View Post
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    If anybody is curious how my mitigation is going, a month ago we cut open the bottom of the basement walls and sealed the slab to the foundation walls, that seems to have brought the average down from ~100-120 to 30. We plan on doing this around the full perimeter of the basement but it takes time to do that scale of work (for each room you have to empty the room, cut open the wall, seal bottom, replace drywall, tape/mud, sand sand sand then paint, and during that time another room or two is a disaster because of all of the extra stuff in it) so it'll probably happen over the next 1-2 years now that it's no longer an urgent matter.
    I am working on developing my basement right now. I realized I could probably seal it very easily today. It is a new build and haven't tested yet but I would rather spend a few bucks to seal it now just in case. I will test later but it takes too longer for testing before drywall will be up.

    What product are you using to seal it?

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    Started monitoring yesterday. FB0007A9-E029-4CC5-A39E-9BBB652BB4C9.jpg

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    Is there a reason you went with that version of airthings?
    sig deleted by moderator, click here for info

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    Quote Originally Posted by thinmyster View Post
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    Is there a reason you went with that version of airthings?
    No particular reason other than amazon rating was decent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SJW View Post
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    No particular reason other than amazon rating was decent.
    Same. The "smart" version of it that runs off the app was rated worse, and around $100 more when I bought the digital reader. I'd probably take a closer look at the smart version if I bought today. Having the history logged would be nice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by macman64 View Post
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    I am working on developing my basement right now. I realized I could probably seal it very easily today. It is a new build and haven't tested yet but I would rather spend a few bucks to seal it now just in case. I will test later but it takes too longer for testing before drywall will be up.

    What product are you using to seal it?
    Before starting any mitigation work I recommend reading some radon mitigation guides - There's a couple available through the Calgary Public Library.

    In my case, I've had to pick and choose pieces of what is suggested based on what I am able to accomplish given the current state of my basement (mostly finished). I used polyurethane caulking to seal the seam between the slab and the foundation wall. When doing this it needs to be a flexible sealant, it needs to be polyurethane, and it must be spread 1 inch along the floor and 1 inch up the wall. This means a typical tube only does about 8 feet of wall.
    Originally posted by Vagabond142
    Is the best game. Ever. In everness. It is more awesome than a robot caveman punching God in the dick. It is that awesome

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    I have talked a lot on here about my experience so I figure it's worth sharing this: Here's what my radon levels look like since we started monitoring last fall upon moving into the house. Purple is the basement meter, blue is the upstairs meter. As you can see there is very little difference in the readings. When we got the second meter we initially deployed it directly beside the first meter to watch their readings. The new (upstairs) meter read about 2-3% lower than the old meter. We then cleared it's history and deployed it upstairs.

    The graph is generated using chronograf and I have written a simple little data processing script that takes the radoneye rd200 data and dumps it into influxdb so I can see pretty charts. I have one meter that is presently being loaned out to various neighbours, but when I get it back I am going to open it up and see if I can modify it to log automatically (by grafting in an esp8266 microcontroller) but for now this requires a couple manual steps so I only update the db every few weeks.


    Our mitigation actions were as follows:

    August through December 2017 - wishful thinking. Mostly we opened the windows, and sometimes we put a fan in the window to bring fresh air into the house. This had basically no effect but made us feel better than doing nothing at all. When radon levels were high we would typically just spend the day out of the house but you can't do that at night so on we go
    December 2017 - drilled hole in basement floor and installed a radon fan vented to the outside
    Early April 2018 - Found a passage directly into the basement from a large enclosed dirt floor area on the back of the house (a hot tub room) and sealed this entry point. This room was ~250 square feet, and had deep foundation walls around the perimeter but a dirt floor. Basically it was a radon funnel. The room was very poorly ventilated and essentially had a 2 inch x 10 inch passage directly into a basement wall that is open into the basement area in a number of places (no wonder we had so many spiders and other bugs in the basement).
    Late April 2018 - Sealed 60 feet of the basement slab to foundation wall seam closest to the radon fan

    As you can see, each step has made an improvement but no one thing has solved the problem on it's own. From the sealing of the basement floor until now our average has been 26Bq/m^3 which is a level I am comfortable with, but I still feel like it will come down a bit as we continue sealing the slab to foundation wall seam.

    The readings logged by the meter seem to be some kind of short term average, because we would sometimes see numbers well into the thousands (3000+) and yet the logs would cap out at 1500 or some lower number each time. Oh yeah, also that graph is clipped to 1000 so I had more detail at the lower numbers. Many of those spikes extend well above 1000.
    Last edited by Zero102; 05-18-2018 at 02:18 PM.
    Originally posted by Vagabond142
    Is the best game. Ever. In everness. It is more awesome than a robot caveman punching God in the dick. It is that awesome

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    Quote Originally Posted by tenth View Post
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    Same. The "smart" version of it that runs off the app was rated worse, and around $100 more when I bought the digital reader. I'd probably take a closer look at the smart version if I bought today. Having the history logged would be nice.
    They updated the firmware in the unit and the app to add the features / improve reliability that I felt were needed. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend one now.

  18. #58
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    Well I submitted my long term test and it appeared that it had been lost. A couple extras weeks of waiting and they found my test......my result 237 bq/m3. Mine is reasonably low and I actually still have the floor pounded out after my basement development which is likely contributing to my current level to some extent. I plan to seal that up and mitigate myself over the next couple months. My basement is roughed in so its a pretty easy task.

    Will post pics of my mitigation when I get it done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darell_n View Post
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    Mine pretty much doubled since the first hot day last week, even with all the windows open. (probably letting it in)
    It has since dropped to the lowest I have ever seen - 48 haha. I guess the moral of the story is to continue to focus on long-term values and try not to freak out about short term spikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by thinmyster View Post
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    Is there a reason you went with that version of airthings?
    My research suggested it was more accurate than the "smart" one, which sort of makes sense given it's simplicity but similar price. Reviews were also better, but that could be due to it's simplicity (less for people to complain about). I'm sure both are accurate enough to give you a proper indication. It's also smaller and easier to position where ideal Radon measurements are taken.

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    I have the airthing wave now - the initial few days pretty much match what my 6 month test showed - 26 on the main floor in the winter and its showing 20 in the basement.

    We live near an edge of a slope that leads down to Fish Creek - wonder if that makes any difference.

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