• In this video, This Old House host Kevin O'Connor explains how to install radon mitigation.


    1. Mark hole location on basement floor for PVC vent pipe.
    2. Drill series of holes around the pipe outline with a rotary hammer.
    3. Use demolition hammer to chip out hole for PVC vent pipe.
    4. Pull dirt from under floor with a drill fitted with a soil-auger bit.
    5. By hand, dig out enough dirt to create a hole approximately 20 inches in diameter.
    6. Set the vent pipe into the hole in the basement floor, then route it up through walls and into attic.
    7. Stuff foam-rubber backer rod around base of the pipe; be sure it’s slightly below the surface of the basement floor.
    8. Seal around the pipe with hydraulic cement.
    9. In the attic, connect PVC pipe to an electric vent fan.
    10. Continue the pipe from top of vent fan through the roof and connect to a roof cap.
    11. Install system monitor in basement.
    12. Drill 1-inch-diameter test hole in basement floor, turn on fan and then use smoke pencil to check draw of fan.
    • 6 to 10 hours, depending on complexity of running vent pipe from basement to roof
    • Difficulty: Moderate to hard
      This is a job best left to a pro
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • rotary cut-out tool
        Rotary hammer,
        used to drill hole through basement floor for PVC vent pipe
      • wetdry vac
        Wet/dry vacuum
      • Demolition hammer
        Demolition hammer,
        used to chop out vent-pipe hole in basement floor
      • drill
        Right-angle drill fitted with soil-auger bit,
        for removing dirt from hole in basement floor
      • putty knife
        Putty knife,
        used to mix and apply hydraulic cement

      Shopping List

      1. 4-inch-diameter PVC pipe and assorted fittings

      2. PVC primer and glue

      3. Foam-rubber backer rod,

      used to plug space around PVC pipe

      4. Hydraulic cement and water,

      for sealing PVC pipe to basement floor

      5. Plastic bucket,

      used to mix hydraulic cement with water

      6. Electric radon vent fan, e

      xhausts radon-laden air to the outdoors

      7. Roof cap,

      connects to flexible fan duct; mounts to roof

      8. System monitor,

      gauge that indicates when vent fan is running

      9. Smoke pencil,

      used to test draw of fan