Radon Preventative Measures in New Construction
If you are having a
new home built and you are concerned about radon, you may
want to include certain measures that will help minimize radon
entry and/or make it easier to mitigate the home, if necessary.
This could include having a plastic liner installed under
the foundation slab to slow radon entry and having the piping
for a radon mitigation system installed during construction.
The US Environmental
Protection Agency estimates that incorporating radon preventative
features during construction will cost between $350-$500,
while installing a radon mitigation system after construction
is completed would cost an estimated $800-$2,500. Anyone may
choose to include radon preventative measures in a new home,
but, under Department of Community Affairs' regulations, builders
are required to include these measures in new homes built
1 areas. If you have questions about the Department of
Community Affairs' requirements you can contact them by E-mail .
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Including radon preventative measures in your new home
Although radon preventative
measures are not required for new homes outside of Tier 1
areas, anyone who is concerned about the hazards of radon
exposure can add these features during the construction. As of July 1, 2009, it is estimated that 6 million people in New Jersey live in moderate to high risk radon areas. Radon preventative measures can include putting a layer of gravel and a plastic liner under the foundation, installing piping for a radon mitigation system, sealing and caulking all openings and installing a roughout for an electrical junction box. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs'
Radon Hazard Subcode standards can be used in the construction
of your new home. Homes built in Tier 1 areas must follow these standards, but homes built in other areas
of New Jersey may use them voluntarily.
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New Construction in Tier 1 Areas
New homes built in
1 areas must include radon preventative features. The
standards are explained in detail in the regulations at N.J.A.C.
5:23-10.1 et seq., but they include putting a layer of gravel
and a plastic liner under the foundation, installing piping
for a radon mitigation system, sealing all openings with a
non-cracking polyurethane caulk and installing a roughout
for an electrical junction box. If the foundation walls are
made of cinder block or other hollow masonry, the tops of
the foundation walls must be capped or the voids of the blocks
must be completely filled.
Most of these features
reduce radon entry, while pre-installing the piping for a
radon mitigation system, makes it easier to fix the home if
it turns out that radon levels are high. The pipes themselves
are not a radon mitigation system and will not reduce radon
levels. In order to activate the system, a certified radon
mitigation company must install and activate a fan. The fan
will draw the radon out from under the slab and vent it to
the outside, where it is diluted. Builders cannot install
active radon systems, unless they are also certified
radon mitigators. A certified mitigation company can install
the fan, do post-mitigation testing to show that the system
is working and offer a guarantee that the system will keep
radon levels below 4.0 pCi/l.