“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.
Cost factors of radon mitigation:
1. The radon contractor- Radon mitigation contractors are not all alike. Just like any industry, there are the good, the bad and the ugly. Beyond ugly, how can you distinguish the good from the bad? Read A quick guide to selecting a radon mitigation contractor. The experience, the reputation, and the quality of a contractor can be a factor in the price of your mitigation system.
2. Components- An active soil depressurization (radon mitigation) system uses pipes and a radon specific vent fan to create vacuum in the soil under the home. There are several radon fan manufacturers in the U.S. that each produces several models of fans designed for specific objectives. Radon mitigation systems should be designed using the best fan model for that particular home. Too “small” of a fan may not achieve the best radon reduction results while too “big” of a fan may be more expensive than necessary and may cost more money in energy loss over the long run. The pipe used in radon mitigation systems should be of the highest quality, you want the pipe to last and not to leak. Schedule 40 PVC pipe is better quality than thin-wall schedule 20 PVC. Some radon mitigation quotes will be lower priced because lower quality, less expensive parts are used.
3. The labor- You may have received several quotes from radon mitigation contractors but is the person who sold you the system, the same who will install the system? Make sure to find out who the contractor employs. A radon mitigation quote may be less if a contractor is using lower-paid or unskilled employees to install the system. It may be worth spending more money on the system by hiring a contractor that certifies their technicians and uses a higher skilled workforce. Radon systems require the installer to drill holes in your walls and foundation; you want a qualified person doing this kind of work on your home.
4. The complexity of your home- radon mitigation systems should be designed specifically for your particular home. There is not a one-size-fits-all radon mitigation system that will work in every home to reduce radon levels. Construction factors play a role in the price of your mitigation system. Many homes can be mitigated using a radon system with one suction point but many other homes require a system that has multiple suction points to properly depressurize the entire footprint of the house. For example: a home with a full basement that has a area of the main level that is slab-on-grade usually requires more than one suction point to be able to stop the radon gas form entering the slab area. More than one suction point will add to the cost of mitigation because it requires more materials and hours to install. Radon mitigation in a home with crawlspace can be more than twice the cost of a system in a home with a basement because a crawlspace has to be sealed with an air-tight vapor barrier that requires much more labor hours and material to install.
5. Location- Some areas of the country do not have many radon mitigation companies and some have many. If you live in an area with few contractors available, you may pay more for service because the contractor may have to commute further to provide their service. In areas with many contractors, competition can drive the price of installation down. In these areas of competition, be careful when getting multiple bids. The lowest price is not always a good idea. If a contractor is significantly lower priced than others, it may indicate a lack of experience, lower quality materials and ultimately an underperforming mitigation system.
6. Energy costs- Not all costs involved in radon mitigation are the cost to install the equipment. If the job is done incorrectly, you may incur significant costs after the install. Radon mitigation systems create suction in the soil under the foundation of the home. This suction is intended to block the flow of radon gas but it can also pull some of your heated or conditioned air into the system and vent it out of the house, impacting your utility bills. A good radon mitigation contractor will be certain to take all measures to minimize the loss of conditioned air. A cheap radon contractor may not seal the cracks in the concrete floor or install a cover over your sump. Find a radon contractor who understands that a radon mitigation system should be fine-tuned to your specific house to maximize radon reduction while limiting the amount of conditioned air loss.
7. Warranty- You purchase radon mitigation service to reduce radon levels. If your system is not under warranty and radon levels remain high, you may have to fork out more dough to have adjustments made or to have another radon company come out and fix the other companies mistakes. A good radon mitigation company will provide you with a radon reduction warranty or at least an up-front price to make modifications to the system if it doesn’t work. A warranty will prove to you that they stand behind their work. Warranty can effect the price because the more generous the warranty, the more the financial risk the company accepts. If the radon system does not achieve the intended results, the company may have to make warranty repairs out of their own pocket. A company unwilling to warranty their work accepts no risk, so they can install anything and call it a mitigation system, which can allow them to undercut legitimate contractors prices.
8. Lung Cancer- The ultimate cost of an improperly installed radon mitigation system could be lung cancer. The purpose of purchasing radon mitigation services is to reduce radon levels. According to the EPA, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. When determining the price your willing to spend on a mitigation system, consider that you want the best radon mitigation system to achieve maximum radon reduction results.
As you can see, radon mitigation costs are determined by multiple factors. Most radon mitigation systems across the country fall between $1,000 and $2,000. The more complex the system, the more it will cost. The better radon systems will come from the company who is willing to design the best system for your particular home. Don’t base your decision on price when dealing with cancer causing radon gas. Make your decision based upon quality of work, references, licensure, design, aesthetics and experience of your radon mitigation contractor.