Category Archives: Radon FAQ

How to select the “right” Radon Mitigation Professional

Whether you are a homeowner or a real estate professional ~ there are some guidelines to use when selecting the right Radon Professional for the job!

How should you select a contractor?

As with any home improvement project there are some “must haves” when evaluating your professional.

1.) Did the contractor inspect your home prior to providing an estimate?

We receive calls daily from perspective homeowners and real estate professionals as well as attorneys asking “Can you give me an estimate on the phone or do you have to come out?” Yes, they should “come out.” The purpose of an onsite estimate is to properly evaluate the home in the state it is in ~ to avoid surprises, and that goes for the client and the installer. Perhaps the home has a finished basement along with a gravel crawl space. What does that mean to you when having the work performed? How will that contractor reduce radon levels in both areas?

2.) Will the contractor provide photographs of work and/or references?

Easy enough to ask for and you should!!

3.) Did the contractor explain to you what work needs to be done? Did they set your expectations on length of the job, materials used, and how the system will “work” after installation?

Many people just don’t know, some are not interested and others don’t think of asking. It’s okay to quiz the potential contractor about these things. Why leave people guessing??

4.) Did the contractor ask for the pre mitigation test levels and the report? 

It is important as a mitigation professional to understand what you are working with. For example, a finished basement has some natural limitations as you do not want any part of the system to be visable in your finished area. Understanding your pre mitigation levels will help the contractor determine how many suction points need to be used, what type of fan to use (one size does not fit all) and other potential road blocks during installation they need to look for. It’s more important than you may think.

5.) May I see your insurance please?? How bout seeing that license too?

Absolutely!! Look for not only their General Liability Insurance as a business, ask for their Worker’s Compensation Insurance too. What if they were hurt while working at YOUR home? Make sense?? Protect yourself.  Ask to see their Radon license. You’d be surprised…there have been some companies here in Illinois that market themselves as “Environmental Experts” – that does not necessarily mean they are licensed to do radon work.

The Contract

Every contract should contain the following at a minimum ~ scope of work, warranty terms and exclusions (yes there are some), start date and completion date, total cost of the job, transferability of the warranty and payment terms. Pretty basic stuff but quite important.

In Closing

We can’t stress this enough, all radon mitigation systems are not created equal. Be sure and select the contract providing the best value. Take into account that a less expensive system may have higher overall operating costs – those costs never go away! Take into account the type of building materials and the technique best suited for your home. Will this system be in line with the aesthetics of your home or will is stick out like a sore thumb? Here in Illinois you can visit the IEMA website to find licensed radon mitigation professionals in your area – the rest is up to you!

 

If you’ve found this article to be helpful, consider sharing it on your social media page! Christopher Bice is the founder of Guardian Radon Mitigation & Electrical Services, LLC. Christopher is a licensed Radon Mitigation Professional through the IEMA.

03*Special thanks to the EPA for providing some of this content. 

Recent FAQ’s From Our Clients

Day to day we are asked many of the same type of questions from our potential clients. Our role is not restricted to mitigation installers only. When it comes to Radon, Guardian’s role is not only installation, but education and awareness also. Today we wanted to share a few questions that seem to have a recurring theme to them and truly are considered an “FAQ!” Hope you find this information to be helpful.

Q: Recently a former client from Naperville, IL asked us:  “I’m thinking of buying a home with an existing radon mitigation system already in it. How would I know if it is working properly?”

A: You can do a couple of things here to verify the system is functioning properly. First, inspect the manometer on the radon pipe inside of the house. This will be U-shaped tube typically with red or blue dye in it. If it is showing offset, the system appears to be functioning. Second, locate the actual fan/motor unit and feel or hear that it is working. Third – TEST THE HOUSE. This will ensure that the levels are still within the “acceptable” range for radon gas. 

This next customer just called this a.m.! Thought it was fitting to include it ~

Q: Recently a former client from Plainfield, IL asked the question: “I’m selling my house and they tell me I have elevated radon levels. I’m skeptical, can I retest to be sure?”

A: That’s a great question and one we hear quite frequently. When you are living with a condition that you are unaware of, it’s a hard concept to understand. The answer is this ~ You must have some grounds to invalidate the radon test assuming it was done by a professional testing company. If there are no grounds to do so, then some type of radon reduction method must be performed before you can test again. And in most cases, a reduction method alone (i.e. seal the sump lid, or seal foundation cracks in the basement) is met with limited succes, ultimately costing the seller more time and money. 

If you’re house has tested elevated for radon, an active radon mitigation system is strongly encouraged. Remember, although it seems like a stumbling block, it not a reason to stop your closing.

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#plainfieldradon #napervilleradon #jolietradon #guardianradonmitigation

 

Maintaining your Radon Mitigation System

Congratulations! You’ve taken the necessary steps to improve the indoor air quality of your home with a Radon Mitigation System. The next question that usually follows is “Am I required to maintain the system?” Below are some helpful tips about your system to keep in mind.

First and foremost, the radon fan is designed to run 24/7. The radon fan needs to run continuously in order for the system to work properly. Radon systems are unlike other mechanicals in your home such as your furnace or air conditioner as they don’t require annual cleanings or tune ups. They do however require that some attention be paid. When you take the system as a whole into consideration, the only “moving” part is the actual fan itself. As with any type of motor there is a life expectancy.

Most fans on the market today carry a 5 year warranty against mechanical failure. Therefore, most fans will last for at least 5 years. To stay on top of things, you will want to occasionally check the Manometer, or the visual gauge. The manometer will be on the pipe work where your system is located inside of your house. This may be your basement, a closet etc. depending where your point of installation is.  We like to refer to this gauge as the U-tube. Inside of the tube is red or blue liquid. The fluid inside the tube should be offset which indicates a pressure reading. Your installer should have marked the original pressure readings during installation and you may use this as your guide. Offset is good! That means things are working. When your radon fan has been shut off or has stopped working, the pressure reading will be equal or at zero indicating a problem. There are other add-ons that you can have on your system, such as an audible alarm, however for our example in this case, the manometer is your guide.

What do I do if my fan isn’t working? Simply call your contractor. Your licensed professional will be able to trouble shoot the system making any repair necessary or replace the non working fan. A typical fan replacement depending on your area of the country and type of fan used for your home will normally range $250-$400. Lastly, by testing your home every 2 years you are able to verify that your levels remain low and that your system is operating properly.

Christopher Bice, Founder of Guardian Radon Mitigation & Electrical Services, LLC is a licensed and certified Radon Mitigation contractor through the State of Illinois’ IEMA Division.

#radon #radonrepair #realestate