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Repairing a Backdraft in a Home with Radon

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Alright, now we’re going to talk to Ann in Alabama. Welcome to The Money Pit.

    ANN: Thank you for taking my call.

    They found that I have 1127 picocurie radon in my home.

    TOM: OK.

    ANN: But I’ve been told I have a backdraft and I have nobody that seems to can help me with that. I don’t know what to do.

    TOM: Well, let’s see. If the radon system is properly installed – are you on a crawlspace or a basement?

    ANN: Crawlspace.

    TOM: Alright. And the fan system that they put in, is it pulling air out of the crawlspace and then venting it outside?

    ANN: Yes. It’s (INAUDIBLE).

    TOM: Well, I’ll just say this to you. If it is not sealed between the crawlspace and the first floor it is entirely possible that that vent system is depressurizing the first floor of your house, which would cause the smell that you’re talking about. And so that’s why it’s important that those two systems be physically separated. And in a basement system, for example, the vent fan would be inserted under the floor and the floor would basically be sealed from the rest of the basement space so this couldn’t happen.

    I think the place to start is with the folks that installed the radon mitigation system. They should be able to determine whether or not it’s drawing any back pressure or any negative pressure from the house. And if that is the case, that’s where I would start with this.

    Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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