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.
Radon Gas Blog
The safety of children in schools is of utmost importance. Fire drills, wet-floor cones, lead free paint, asbestos abatement and security guards are common place in today's schools; for a good reason. As you walk up to a school, you will see a sign on the door that states: ‘All visitors must check in at the front desk. Every measure must be taken to keep unwanted guests from our schools. What about a dangerous guest who sneaks in? This guest is unwanted and dangerous. Public, private, charter and home schools are all at risk. You can’t see, hear or smell this invisible threat. What is this invader? It’s radon gas, the naturally occurring, radioactive gas that can enter a school through the foundation. Radon is a proven danger, let’s keep it out of our schools.Read More
Are your kids exposed to radon?
If you are a parent like I am, your number one goal in life is to protect your children from harm. The day they are born, your world changes. You look into your child’s eyes and suddenly it all makes sense, this is what it is all about.
That first trip home from the hospital is the first time in years that you have driven 10 mph under the speed limit. You purchase a space age, video surveillance and audio system to watch their every move as they peacefully sleep in their crib. As they grow old enough to crawl, you install locks on every cabinet to prevent your bundle of joy from getting into anything dangerous. You check that your home is free of germs, chemicals and lead based paints. What about radon gas? Would you allow someone to smoke in a room with your child? According to the EPA, radon causes 7 times more lung cancer deaths than second hand smoke.
“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.
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Old man winter is knocking at the door and he might be bringing radon with him. In homes that are located in cold weather environments, radon levels can be a greatly increased during colder months. This often-overlooked issue with radon gas is potentially one of radon’s greatest threats.
Tags: Radon Gas, Radon Mitigation, Radon fix, Radon Illinois, Radon Utah, RadoVent, Radon gas basement, radon test, radon entry behavior, radon contractor, Radon Crawlspace, Radon Testing, radon measurement, Radon and real estate
Has something scary occurred to you while on the job? With Halloween around the corner, I thought it would be fun to discuss scary moments on the job.
Some of us believe in the supernatural and others do not. Some have elaborate stories about ghostly encounters or others have just had to deal with an unusual client that gives them the creeps. In the radon mitigation business, we have seen many unusual situations. Radon mitigation system installers are in hundreds or even thousands of homes every year. Some homes are new and some are very old, some homes are in suburban neighborhoods and some are at the end of a long dirt road. For a radon mitigation technician, the consensus probably is that crawlspaces are the scariest places for us to work in.
Some homes are built above dirt or gravel crawlspaces. Many people live in their homes without ever even entering these dark caverns that exist below the floor. Many crawlspaces are confined spaces that you have to crawl on your belly to navigate. Most have little or no lighting and all are just a slight bit scary for even the toughest among us.
In radon mitigation, we block cancer causing radon gas from seeping through the crawlspace to the livable areas of the home. We seal the crawlspace with a thick layer of plastic to create an airtight seal. After the plastic crawlspace membrane is in place, we install the radon mitigation pipes and fan to depressurize the soil below this membrane. When working on a crawlspace job, a radon mitigation system installer can spend up to two days crawling around in these dark spaces. For me, one of my scariest on the job moments happened while working in a dark, musty crawlspace with no light except for the headlamp around my head.
It was a cold November morning outside of Chicago, IL. A fellow radon mitigation technician and myself were installing a radon mitigation system in a standard two-story house with a partial basement. We walked down to the basement and you could smell the musty odor emanating from the two-foot doorway that lead to the crawlspace below half of the house. The hinges of the small door let out a bloodcurdling squeak as we slowly opened it to see the unknown. As we shined our flashlight into the dark abyss, the wall of cobwebs was so thick that the light could barely penetrate. This was going to be one of those crawlspaces that us radon mitigators dread. This is an important part of the job so we proceeded to seal the crawlspace as we do with every radon system install of this kind. After several hours of placing a layer of plastic and sealing it to the wall I felt a tickle on the back of my head. I scratched my head thinking that it was just another wire or something dangling from the floor joists above me. I continued sealing the plastic to the foundation wall of the crawlspace when suddenly the headlamp that I was wearing ran out of batteries. This is not a good thing when it’s pitch black and you’re a five minute belly crawl to the crawlspace doorway! I yelled out to my fellow radon technician, who was working about forty feet away from me on the other side of the crawl. I knew it would take him about ten minutes to navigate the crawlspace to get me a set of batteries for my lamp so I sat there and waited in the dark. Not a minute goes by and I feel that tickle on my head again. I scratch it again assuming it was a cobweb or something. I continue to wait dark. Finally I see a flash of light, my co-worker was on his way with the batteries! He makes it about half way and I tossed him my headlamp to get it working again. He lights it up and tosses it back to me. I shined the light his way and he is looking at me. His face is pale and he looks like a deer in headlights! I look behind me, there wasn’t a ghost or anything so I look back and ask him what’s up? He immediately replies, “there’s a tarantula in your hair!!” I immediately flail around, brushing my hair with my hands. I could feel the weight of the thing as I flicked it off of my head. I shine the light down on the crawlspace plastic to be certain that it wasn’t going to crawl back and climb up my pant leg or something. I watch as the the giant spider scurries away! Who knows where it went but I'm sure it sat a watched me as I finished working the rest of the day.
Now this crawlspace hitchhiker wasn’t actually a tarantula but it was a massive spider! To this day, I do not enter a crawlspace without thinking about what might be living down there. I continue to itch, even as I type this blog, from the thought of that spider sitting in my hair while working on that crawlspace radon mitigation project.
What are some scary things that have happened to you at work? Do you have a job that is just plain scary? Comment about them, we would like to hear your scary stories.
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: