I am not a big fan of the cold weather it reminds me of the winter days working outdoors, installing radon mitigation systems in Chicago years ago. I will never forget the infamous winter of “Chiberia.” But also, as I now reside in Salt Lake City, I do love to see the beautiful sight of some fresh Utah ski powder, except for when it’s time to shovel the driveway. Luckily, this winter I scored a snowblower from my father. Now some people are connoisseurs of food, or fine wine; my father on the other hand, he is a connoisseur of snowblowers! At any given point in time, he may have 3-5 of these machines in his garage ready to battle the forces of nature in his suburban tundra. In the heat of the summer, you may find him at your yard sale ready to purchase the next in his collection. Whether it’s a 2 stage, 3 stage, 4 stroke, or electric, my dad likes them all. When he generously gifted me one out of his collection the other night, he meticulously showed me how to close the choke, prime the bulb, and fire up the engine. He showed me how to engage the auger, and cut a perfectly straight line down the driveway. As I loaded it in my truck and was about to pull away, he reminded me not to forget how to mix the oil and gas for the two stroke engine.
Radon Gas Blog
The search is over, you finally found your dream home. The neighborhood is great, the schools are some of the best around and the price is right in your budget. You and your real estate agent make an offer and wait patiently. Soon after a few negotiations, they accept your offer! You are on your way to being the owner of this home. It's time for the home inspection and your inspector is also a radon measurement professional. You've heard about the dangers of it, so you spend the extra money to have a test done. A few days pass and the results are in. The radon test failed! Suddenly your dream home doesn't look so dreamy.
Don't panic if the radon test fails!
10 things you should know about buying a home with radon
Throughout the years, many people have contacted us to fix radon remediation systems that were installed by other contractors. Some are systems installed long ago, before there were radon mitigation standards. Others were installed recently by radon companies that are not up to par. Often times, the buyer of a new home has found out that the sellers had the cheapest system installed possible. Those buyers are sometimes left with an ugly contraption on the side of their home. Worse yet, much of the time those systems don’t work to reduce radon levels. There are some bad quality systems in homes that were installed by companies that otherwise look to be reputable.
“What is the cost of radon mitigation?” (client) “Well, that depends….” (radon mitigation contractor)
The costs associated with radon mitigation vary from state-to-state, city-to-city and home-to-home. Just like any industry, the market can play a role in determining your costs. If you live in an area where there are few certified radon contractors the price of service may be more. If you live in a large city with many service providers, competition my drive prices down. The age and construction style of the home can determine the complexity of a radon mitigation system. The important thing to know is that there’s not a one-size-fits-all situation when it comes to installing a radon mitigation system that works to reduce radon levels. You want a radon mitigation system that will do its job to reduce radon gas levels but in this economy we are all watching our pocket books.
Tags: Radon Mitigation, Radon Lung Cancer, Radon Illinois, Radon Utah, RadoVent, Radon gas basement, radon system, radon vent, radon contractor, Radon and real estate, radon quote, radon mitigation service, radon mitigation cost, radon system price
Radon mitigation is a service, a home improvement service, an indoor environmental service and most importantly service designed to reduce lung cancer risk. A radon mitigation system should provide you with the ongoing service of reducing radon gas levels. The key word is service. According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, service is: the occupation or function of serving or the employment as a servant. A servant is one that serves others. A commodity is defined as a mass-produced unspecialized product. In a world that revolves around the almighty dollar, sometimes radon mitigation companies confuse commodity with service.
While sitting down with the listing agent to discuss your options, reality sets in. The comps in the neighborhood are down, the furnace needs to be updated, the rooms have to be staged and your favorite cherry red accent wall needs to be repainted in a more “neutral” color. The fact is if you want your home to sell, the house has to appeal to a wide variety of prospective buyers.
Radon testing and radon mitigation are quickly becoming a common issue during real estate transactions. More and more citizens are being educated about the risks associated with radon gas. These radon-educated buyers are looking for a new home with low radon levels. Even if the buyers do not know about radon, many home inspectors offer radon testing as an option during the home inspection process and their clients choose this option often. A home with low or reduced radon levels will be more appealing to home buyers.
Homes with radon issues can be sold but homes with resolved radon issues are more sellable. Consider radon testing and radon mitigation as a part of preparing the home to be sold. I often recommend that listing agents advise their clients to test for and repair any radon issue before placing the house on the market. This can prevent any future roadblock or surprises that may occur after the home inspection. Imagine the scenario that most people fear about radon in real estate transactions:
After a seemingly endless parade of people looking through every room in your home for sometimes months on end you finally find a buyer who makes a decent offer which you have accepted. A few weeks go by and it’s time for the home inspection. Because of your diligence prior to listing the property the home inspector doesn’t find any major issues or visible problems with your house. But wait, the buyers have chosen to perform a radon test. The home inspector has found an invisible problem with your house. The radon test comes back showing that radon levels are three times what the EPA recommends. These buyers, having never heard about radon before, scour the Internet to find out that radon is the number one cause for lung cancer in non-smokers. Being health conscious people, your buyers refuse to live in a house that might cause lung cancer. The buyers are contemplating walking and canceling the contract.
Radon testing and radon mitigation are highly specialized trades. Selecting the right radon contractor can possibly be a life or death decision. Radon gas is the second leading cause for lung cancer as it kills more than 20,000 people annually. High levels of radon can occur anywhere in the United States. Because radon is a serious and common issue, selecting the appropriate contractor is serious business. Here are six basic questions to help you select a good radon contractor.
6 Questions to ask yourself when selecting a radon contractor:
1. Is the radon contractor licensed? There is not a national license for the radon trades. A client looking for a quality contractor should contact their State Radon Office to find out if there is a State specific radon contractors license. Many states do not have licensing programs for radon. If you live in one of these states, look to hire a radon contractor who is certified either by the National Environmental Health Association’s Radon Proficiency Program or by the National Radon Safety Board’s Certification Program. It is also wise to ask if the installer/employee is licensed or certified. The company owner may have documents but the installers may be unskilled or inexperienced.
2. Are they insured? Radon is risky business and radon mitigation systems sometimes require major alterations to the home. Make certain to check your contractor’s insurance certificate to be sure it has proper coverage and is up to date.
3. What was your impression? Impressions are important and gut feelings can be a strong indicator. Did the contractor give you the impression that they truly care about what they do for a living? Were they presentable and respectful? In many cases if you had a bad first impression, you will likely have a bad last impression. A person’s demeanor can say a lot about the quality of their work.
4. Did you get a firm price? Whenever dealing with any contractor it is important to agree to a firm price or written proposal before proceeding. Make sure the radon contractor provides a detailed scope of work and a contract before starting work. Do not pay money up front without a signed contract. If a radon contractor cannot provide a firm price to install a radon mitigation system it may indicate a lack of experience. An experienced radon contractor should know exactly the cost to install a radon mitigation system or perform a radon test.
5. Do they provide a guarantee? The EPA recommends that radon levels be lowered below 4 picocuries per liter. Most quality radon mitigation contractors will provide a written guarantee of performance. Some contractors will have stronger warranties than others. A quality radon mitigation contractor should be able to install the radon remediation system with confidence that the radon levels will be lessened. If a contractor refuses to provide a performance warranty it may indicate a lack of quality and experience.
6. Do they have references? Any good contractor will be more than willing to provide references to prospective clients. If a contractor side steps when you ask for references you may have to wonder what they are hiding. A past customer can provide you with details of how their experience with the contractor was. Ask the reference about cleanliness, quality, punctuality and overall satisfaction. Ask them if they have ever had any trouble contacting the contractor for service work after the job was completed. Checking references can be the strongest indicator of good versus bad radon contractors.
3 Final points when selecting a radon contractor:• Decisions shouldn’t always come down to price. A lower price can indicate low paid or unlicensed technicians and low quality parts. Too high of a price can indicate a lack of experience to quote correctly.
• Radon gas is deadly. If you hire a radon measurement contractor who performs an incorrect test you could be living under false impressions. If you hire a bad radon mitigation contractor you may have a low quality radon system installed that doesn’t keep radon levels at bay.
• It is important to question your radon contractor but if they are questionable people, you may want to keep shopping.
There are hundreds of good radon contractors throughout the country but as in every trade there are some bad ones. Recently a contractor in Colorado lost their license through falsifying radon test data and intimidating clients [ Bad Radon Contractor Colorado Story]. Don’t allow yourself to be subjected to low quality radon contractors, do you homework and you will find a contractor who will handle your radon testing or mitigation project with professionalism.
If you need help finding a quality radon contractor please feel free to contact us RadoVent™ Radon Mitigation Services.