System FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)
What procedures are used to install a radon system?
All radon system installations should abide the the EPA's Radon Mitigation Standards guide (1993)
Who should install my radon system?
Only individuals who have been "certified" in radon system installation. These individuals should be "on-site" when the work is done in case problems arise.
Who is qualified to provide me with a radon mitigation system proposal?
Only individuals who are certified in radon system installation should inspect your home for a potential radon system. They need to be knowledgeable of all EPA installation protocols and what "design" and "pipe route" would work best in your home. All certified radon professionals who show up at your house shoud be able to provide you with printed proof of their certification (Photo ID). These certifications are renewed every two years providing the individual meets continuing education requirements. DO NOT take quotes over the phone! This is a violation of the EPA Mitigation Standards!
Should my installation be done on the INSIDE of my home or OUTSIDE?
That is a decision that each homeowner has to make themselves (assuming that every house has mutiple options). Most homes have several "routes" that radon piping can be installed. Frequently, they can be run up through the house into the attic where a radon fan is mounted on the pipe and then is vented through the roof. Other times, logistical considerations may make it necessary to route the system pipe out a side or back wall of the home where the pipe is elbowed up into a radon fan mounted on the pipe and then run up the outside wall and above the eaves. There are usually "four issues" related to system installation regardless who does the work:
1) How can the system pipe be routed through the house?
2) Cosmetics (what is it going to look like?) Some system routes have more "aesthetic burden" than others.
3) What is it going to cost? More difficult pipe runs to get the pipe outside or join it to multiple pipes will usually cost more. Some homeowners would rather pay more to have a pipe "boxed in" and "hidden out of view".
4) What sort of installation "quality" is provided? How long has the company been in business? How many systems have they installed? Are corners cut to save money and time? Are sub-standard materials used?
Who will provide follow-up testing once the system is installed?
Upon system completion the EPA recommends that follow-up testing be performed to validate that the system has successfully lowered the radon levels. They suggest that the testing be done "independently" to avoid a potential conflict of interest. While we dont mind a homeowner having an outside source conducting testing of our work, our only requirement would be that they be "certified" to conduct radon testing and they we have right to conduct our own follow-up testing if we deem it to be warranted.
Radon testing by independent sources will cost additional monies. We offer follow-up testing as a part of our system installation for "free". Our position on down our own follow-up testing is that because we have given the homeowner a "written guarantee" that we will fix the problem, we want to do all we can to make SURE its fixed right the first time for two reasons: 1) We dont get paid totally until it is 2) It would cost us money to send company personnel back LATER to the site to do further work to achieve the proper reductions. A homeowner can always perform their own tests after the system is operational and we WELCOME that!
Does pipe size make a difference in fixing a radon problem?
The answer is..."It depends". Four inch pipe is 33% larger than 3 inch pipe. This means it will move 33% more air. This is GOOD for radon reduction. However, having "tight soils" under a slab foundation may require "suction fans" which are ducted for 3 inch pipe. You can adapt a 4 inch pipe to the 3 inch inlet, but reduce your ability to move air by downsizing to the smaller opening. Trust the recommendations your radon contractor makes about pipe size and have him explain WHY he has chosen to use a particular size pipe in his system proposal!
Does the fan brand/model matter in my radon system?
ABSOLUTELY! Selecting the right fan for your system can make all the difference in the world as to how it performs. Some homes with very porous mediums beneath benefit better from fans that have considerable "air flow". While others with "tight soils" beneath them require fans with considerable "suction ability". Oversizing a fan may mean you are using too much electricity and are getting little benefits from the larger size. Undersizing a fan may mean it is "under-performing" and may mean that it is "under duress" and may be a candidate for pre-mature failure. We use a line of fans that WE BELIEVE (based on hundreds of installations) are the BEST in the industry (with a VERY little failure rate). (Even then, they all come with a 5-year manufacturer warranty).