Friday, January 25, 2013

Going, going, gone...maybe!

Our house is a 1920 Sears house that we have remodeled over the years. We have lived here since 1979.  The biggest remodel was in 1989 when we took down the back wall and added a family room across the entire back of the house. We didn't actually take down the wall - we paid people to do that!

Last year we went to a program put on by the University of Illinois Extension and became better educated about radon gas. Our area of Illinois is known to have high radon levels so we tested our home for radon gas with a short-term test kit.  As expected, the test came back high so we did a long-term test. When it came back high, we knew it was time to get something done.

Two fellows arrived early yesterday morning to follow the plan that was worked out last week.

The plan (in limited detail):
1. Make a hole in the basement floor and run a pipe to the basement ceiling.
This pipe is right in front of a beam so it is not in the way.
This was the only glitch. The hole in the basement floor hit clay right away so they did a second floor-to-ceiling pipe in a different spot of the basement using a second hole in the floor. We actually will have cleaner air with the second pipe added!

2. A ceiling pipe connects the floor-to-ceiling pipes and is run back through the exercise room and exits the house through the wall of the exercise room. This ceiling pipe also connects to a couple of other pipes going to different areas in the basement.

3. The exit pipe is then put up the side of the house until it is just above the house. There is a small fan that draws the gas from the house, up the suction tube, releasing the gas above the house so it dissipates into the open air.
The closet 'pipe is the down spout. The radon pipe is the second one back in the picture - it has the 'bump'.
The two guys worked until 7:30 or 8:00 last night with no breaks! They really wanted to finish but they didn't quite make it. One had to come back today and seal all of the cracks in our 90-year old basement.

Now it's time for another test. I'm sure the levels of radon will be lower. Hopefully they'll be under the acceptable levels. This 'home repair' expense was reasonable - it was definitely worth the money to lower our chance of lung cancer. Did you know that radon gas is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers?


  1. There is a two story rock house in Jefferson City that my Mom always called the Sears and Robuck house. How cool would it be to order your house.
    Of course now that I think about it, we did that once. We built a Capp home in 1977 and it was ordered from a dealer, came in on two or three trucks and was put together one board at a time.
    Glad you are getting safe and healthy at your house.

  2. We had our house tested for radon before we moved in - thankfully no radon. Our old house was tested and had to have a mediation done.

  3. Our area is a "low" area but, honestly, we've never done the test. Always good to get things, such as that, out of the way!!!

    1. We really weren't worried about the gas until we found out how much it is concentrated in our area. Glad it is done! ~Jeanne



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