Installing a Radon mitigation system can have its challenges in the Milwaukee area. For that matter it seems different areas of the state all have their idiosyncrasies. For the Milwaukee area, some Radon companies have had difficulties with some homes where we were asked to come in and help solve the problem of why Radon levels were not dropping.
Milwaukee Radon Mitigation and the Palmer Valve
Some older homes in Milwaukee have what is called a Palmer Valve system. It is basically a pipe near the inside footing of the foundation connected to a one way valve. It was connected to waste sewer piping leading to the street. The one way valve kept sewage backups from happening. But the piping allowed ground water to have a place to drain to. These systems are no longer installed now that we have modern drain tile and sump pit systems.
Anyway, with sand or clay under most basement slabs in these homes the Palmer Valve piping acts just like an interior drain tile, without the pit. We can core through the slab and cut a small hole on top of it and use it to pull air to reduce Radon. The issue in one home is that the system was installed like this, but not getting a 3.9 or below reading.
Another company had tried larger fans, sealing a few cracks but to no avail. Once we arrived we knew immediately what the issue was. The old valve itself was broken and allowing air from the house to get pulled out through the Radon system. One call to a plumber to replace the valve and a retest and problem solved.
It helps to know the area you are working in and know what things to look for with each home based on area, age, construction methods. We have missed it the first or second time too, but we knew what else to look for and solved the problem. When you have the experience we have, know you are getting the best company to handle your Radon issue no matter what we run into.