Radon Resistant New Construction
Installing a radon system during construction prepares the home for increased radon removal. If high radon levels are found after occupancy, a fan can be readily installed.
There are good reasons to install a radon system during construction:
- There is no reliable way to test the ground in advance for radon.
- The average residential radon level in Pennsylvania is 7-8 picocuries per liter (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Action Level is 4 picocuries per liter).
- The cost of installing the radon system during construction should be less than installing one after the fact.
- Building the radon system internally should keep aesthetics of the home intact. If radon is not addressed during construction, an outside radon system may be required if the radon test comes back greater than 4 picocuries per liter.
Building Code Requirements
The statewide building code does not require radon-resistant new construction. However, local municipalities may have adopted this portion of the building code.
Although the work is straight forward, there are many pitfalls to avoid. A builder doing this work should carefully look over the available material and gain the necessary knowledge. Hiring a Pennsylvania certified mitigator during construction is not required but would certainly be beneficial. Any person performing radon work after the home's occupancy requires Pennsylvania certification. The Department of Environmental Protection certifies radon mitigators in Pennsylvania.
Radon testing is recommended shortly after occupancy to determine if the system is to be activated with a fan.