Choosing a Contractor – The Radon Specialist

Choosing a Contractor

How to Choose the Best Radon Abatement Contractor?
(Hint: It’s us! Smile)

  1. If the price seems too good to be true — YOU’RE RIGHT!Legitimate radon contractors are rarely more than $50-$100 dollars apart in their prices. Performing radon mitigation correctly is often difficult work, but there are ample opportunities to cut corners in ways that a homeowner might never discover. For example, in a house with no gravel under the slab, the size, number and placement of the holes the mitigator digs under the floor will directly affect how low your post-mitigation radon levels are. Through our advanced diagnostics methods we are able to determine where the highest concentration of radon is emanating from within the structure to better design your system and achieve the best results possible.  We never cut corners. We always install the neatest, least obtrusive and most effective radon systems possible.
  2. About The Radon SpecialistWill the contractor provide a free, on-site estimate?When a contractor doesn’t have time to come estimate your job, he probably won’t have a lot of time to do the work well either. This visit is also a great time to look at pictures of previous work the contractor has done, ask lots of questions, and get a list of references and a firm price.
  3. Will the person supervising your work be trained and certified in radon remediation, or is only the owner of the company (who may just be estimating the job) trained and certified.Sometimes no one in a company has any radon training or certification! This training is critically important, because unexpected conditions encountered under the slab of a building frequently necessitate last-minute design changes to make a system function optimally. Every system we install is designed and supervised by one of the owners of our company. Our crew leaders are trained and tested by the EPA and certified by both NRPP and NRSB.
  4. Look at the contract carefully.Is there a clear, unambiguous warranty?  Do they guarantee to reduce the levels below the EPA action level 4.0 pCi/L?  Read the contract carefully.  Make sure that the price you get is firm.  That there are no upcharges for a bigger fan, additional suction points, etc.  Make sure that the person installing the system is certified to do so.  Ask them for their certification number.
  5. Ask where the contractor received their training, testing and certification.Certification and training is now done by The National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) or The National Radon Safety Board (NRSB). Training and testing used to be done by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but no longer is. Demand to see current proof of certification. Contractors should also be fully insured. We were trained and tested by the EPA, and are certified by both NRPP and NRSB. We are fully insured.
  6. Will the contractor be adhering to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as well as all state and local codes?These regulations are in place for good reasons, and failure to follow them can sometimes lead to grave safety consequences and may even increase the level of radon in a home. For example, many contractors place their vent outlet next to windows, below overhangs or halfway up the side of a house. This can lead to concentrated radon reentering the house! ANSI specifies that vent outlets be 2 ft. above any windows that are less than 10 ft. away, AND above the lowest eave. While it is often difficult and time consuming to follow ANSI Mitigation Protocols and local codes, they are in place for a reason, so we follow them.
  7. Will the contractor properly perform diagnostic tests before they begin the installation process?There is no way to properly design a radon system without the information provided by diagnostic testing. Usually this testing involves applying suction to a two inch test hole to see if there is air movement at a series of small half inch test holes drilled in various parts of the slab. If we detect pressure changes at all the small hole locations when suction is applied to the large test hole, then the radon system can be placed at the location of the large hole. If not then we perform advanced diagnostics to determine where the radon is coming from and design our systems accordingly.  We perform on-site diagnostics on every installation.
  8. What happens after the installation?You need proof that your radon levels were lowered. Your mitigator should conduct a post radon test to make sure that guaranteed levels were achieved or arrange to have an independent testing company come and retest your house. Just like the system installation make sure that the person conducting the post test is certified to do so. We are trained and tested by the EPA and certified through the NRPP as a Radon Lab Analyst. It is recommended by the EPA that every home be tested every two years with or without a radon mitigation system.