One of the most cost-effective methods of waterproofing a basement is the interior french drain. Regardless of the materials used, the concept is the same. First, a 12-18″ strip of concrete is removed around the perimeter of the basement to expose the dirt & footer below. Dimpled plastic, plastic sheeting, or a special track is then installed where the wall and floor will once again meet. Dirt and gravel is then excavated to allow room for drain tile (perforated corrugated 4″ pipe) to be installed along the footer. All of this drain tile is tied together in a sump-pit, or crock. Next, weep-holes are drilled into the lowest course of cinder blocks to act as an easy path for water trapped in the walls to find its way into the drain tile. Finally, the concrete floor is re-poured. Here’s a few pictures :
So, what does this have to do with Radon? Radon is a naturally occurring gas that is present in all Ohio soils. Theoretically, if your home is sealed 100% air-tight, soil-borne radon has no way to enter your home. When a waterproofing system is installed, however, a small gap is left around the perimeter to allow the water to flow past the slab and into the drain tile. Additionally, we notice the concrete poured in many of these systems shrinks while drying, resulting in a more pronounced gap between the wall and floors. Radon is a gas and follows the path of least resistance, which is now that nice gap installed to control the water issues!
If your home has a basement waterproofing system installed, we recommend having radon levels tested. There are no other conditions more favorable to radon gas penetration than a large, unsealed pathway between the sub-surface soil and your basement air. Having a dry basement is imperative to a healthy home, but may be a catalyst to increased radon levels. Akron Radon Reduction Systems can evaluate your home to determine the best course of action if tests come back high.
Call 330-267-9550 to schedule a continuous radon monitoring test.