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Great Radon Team

2017 is almost at an end. We celebrated last night with our employees and a few friends. I don’t feel we have the best employees who work in Radon, I know we do. Every single one always wants to do the right thing, be up front and keep our name spotless. Not one of them would ever do anything to compromise that. From our team to all our past, and current customers we want to thank you for supporting our business. And we hope that the upcoming year will be a great one for all of us!

Army Reserve Radon Systems

When the Army comes calling, you say “yes sir!”.  We recently had the pleasure of working for the Army and installed five active radon systems at a Wisconsin Army Reserve Center. After coring through 3 ft. thick walls my guys were tired. But we finished the job. We are letting the active radon systems work for a few days then performing post mitigation Radon tests to confirm new levels. These pictures just show the dedication and skill that my radon system installers have. I truly believe that we are the best Radon company in the country.

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best radon company Appleton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

best radon company Appleton

 

Radon Fans Have to be Mounted Vertically

Just wanted to share a picture of a radon system installed in our area, by a certified radon company. Radon fans have to be mounted vertically. Otherwise, the inside fills up with water, which will end the Radon fans life early. Piping on the outside also needs to be vertical on a Radon system. A foot or two or horizontal piping is OK if really needed, but for the most part, it should go vertically up the side of the home. If the Radon vent pipe is run horizontally outside for a long run it too will fill up with water and become ice in the winter. By looking at the picture you can see that the area in the basement had to be finished off where they wanted to run the pipe. I get running it next to the chimney for aesthetics, but the method is incorrect. Sometimes tough choices have to be made. They could have run it vertically, then painted it to match. Once a Radon system is painted to match siding they blend in very well.

radon fans - certified radon company Wisconsin

A Bigger Radon Fan? Bigger is Better Right?

A gimmick that has gone around for a while with Radon systems and companies trying to convince you to go with them is to up-sell you a bigger Radon fan. In our society bigger seems to always be better or the thing to do. Well, with Radon systems there is only a few cases when a bigger radon fan is the right move. First, if there is very tight soil under a basement slab such as sand and or clay then a larger vacuum fan can be needed. Extra vacuum power can move air in a tight soil condition whereas a high air volume fan, that is made for low resistance is not the best fan to use. Second, when there is a very large square footage slab, and I mean large like more than 4000 square feet it might be a good idea to use a higher air volume fan. This is mostly in commercial applications. So, if you are a homeowner and you have a 1000 to 3000 square foot slab in the basement and a Radon company is trying to sell you a bigger radon fan to give you lower Radon levels you are being scammed. Radon does not work that way. You actually don’t need to move much air to lower Radon. You just need it to move from footing to footing. A regular air volume fan will more than do the job if installed properly. Think about it. If the Radon company really cared about you, wouldn’t they install the right fan to get you the best results right away? It’s easy for them to scare you to get a “lower Radon guarantee” when it is not necessary. We offer a guarantee of 1.0 or lower for a little more money, but it does not involve a bigger radon fan, and to be honest, in most homes it’s not needed. It includes more diagnostic testing should the first post-test come in above 1.  And I tell customers that. Most homes with the right fan and piping, and gravel and or drain tile system will get below 1 Pico curie right away. Instead of offering you a fan upgrade, why not ask that they just quote you the best system with the right fan in the first place.

The Hardest Part of Running a Radon Business

The hardest part of my day.

A few days ago I went to a home in Appleton to do an estimate for a Radon system. This is part of my duties while running the business. After speaking with the owner for a while he let me know the reason I was there. His wife was just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, which had spread to her brain. They had never heard of Radon gas. After they found out about her diagnosis they tested their home, and it came in elevated. Did Radon cause her lung cancer? We don’t know. We do know she never smoked and never worked in an environment where she would have been exposed to harmful items. I do know that having elevated radon levels in the home did not help and that they had lived there for 17 years.

We are installing a radon system for them this week. I could not charge them for the system knowing what they were going to be going through. It’s sad when I run into this situation, which is about once a month. Maybe this could have been prevented?  If you have lung cancer, there is another organization that can help. It is called Cansar. Their website is www.carsar.org. Take a look, donate if you can. Help us get the message out about Radon induced Lung Cancer.

We don’t know conclusively that Radon caused her lung cancer. But for the little it costs to test your home for Radon, why take the chance? In only a few short days a test can be conducted. If your levels come in low, you are fine. If they come in high, a simple radon system can be installed for around $1,000. Then you can have the peace of mind knowing your home is safe when it comes to Radon gas.

They said “Go Hire a Plumber”

This just happened last week. I knew I had to post a blog about it.

Here goes the story.

Long story short (if that’s possible). We did some radon testing in a neighborhood last summer/fall. Some homes tested high for radon. We offered a discount, which we always do if multiple radon systems are to be installed. No pressure, no obligation. We offer that so people can save money and it helps our business. It makes sense.

One home that tested high was a home that I personally visited, nice people. They waited awhile to decide what to do. When they decided to get a system installed they thought they called us up to schedule the system. When A1 Radon & Vacuum showed up, the owner asked them what they were doing at his home. The owner said that he had called Radon Specialists of WI to do the radon system install, since we tested, gave them a proposal and did the other radon systems with his neighbors (he made an honest mistake and called the wrong company). The owners had checked us out and wanted to have us do the install. We had done all the groundwork. The person who arrived from A1 then told them “Oh, Radon Specialists is so busy they subbed this job out to us”. Let me be clear. I would never, ever sub a radon system install out, to anyone. I would never risk my name going on their work. I would not want the liability. How someone can lie like that to get just one job and live with themselves is beyond me. They knew they had never tested this home or provided them with a proposal. They should have been honest and backed off, that’s what I would have done. How do I know this took place? The homeowner called me, he had an issue with his backup pump system. Part of the system included a new sump pump and sealing the pit. His existing backup up pump needed to be included with the new pump install. When he looked down into the pit through the clear lid he noticed that the backup float was wedged between the pipes for the main pump and backup pump. He knew it would not function properly. I told him that I was sorry, but we never installed his system, that whoever did should be called and go back to take care of it. He then said that we did, that we subbed it out. I explained that we would never do that. He must have called A1 by mistake. After he realized that he did he apologized and called A1. A1’s response was, “we are not plumbers”, “we will not come back to your home, go hire a plumber”. Really? after they just did the install for them? The owner called me back to tell me what they said. I felt sorry for them so I told them I would come over and fix it for them.

The person who arrived from A1 then told them “Oh, Radon Specialists is so busy they subbed this job out to us”. Let me be clear. I would never, ever sub a radon system install out, to anyone. I would never risk my name going on their work. I would not want the liability. How someone can lie like that to get just one job and live with themselves is beyond me. They knew they had never tested this home or provided them with a proposal. They should have been honest and backed off, that’s what I would have done. How do I know this took place? The homeowner called me, he had an issue with his backup pump system. Part of the system included a new sump pump and sealing the pit. His existing backup up pump needed to be included with the new pump install. When he looked down into the pit through the clear lid he noticed that the backup float was wedged between the pipes for the main pump and backup pump. He knew it would not function properly. I told him that I was sorry, but we never installed his system, that whoever did should be called and go back to take care of it. He then said that we did, that we subbed it out. I explained that we would never do that. He must have called A1 by mistake. After he realized that he did he apologized and called A1. A1’s response was, “we are not plumbers”, “we will not come back to your home, go hire a plumber”. Really? after they just did the install for them? The owner called me back to tell me what they said. I felt sorry for them so I told them I would come over and fix it for them.

Since I was there I thought I would take a few pics to show the quality of work the homeowner received.

Issues with the radon system.

  1. Most importantly, the homeowner said they did not have an electrician on site to wire the outlet. Their installer wired it himself. An electrician needs to wire a new outlet, this is the law in WI.
  2. No disconnect on Radon vent pipe in the basement. The pipe should be pre-cut and then reconnected with a rubber coupler. This makes it easier to get into the pit.
  3. No clamps or J-hooks on piping. I could rip this radon system out with one hand if I wanted to.
  4. They used the disc from cutting through the wall to support the top of the pipe from touching the foundation wall.
  5. No Fire Collars on the penetration at the wall or ceiling. This is not a building code but a Fire Code. A code is a code. If there ever was a fire in the garage nothing would stop the fire from spreading to the dried wood on the other side of the drywall. Fire Collars can save your home and your life.
  6. Virtually no pitch on the pipe in the attic and a few screws in the truss cross brace to help keep the pipe from moving. The pipe should have a proper clamp or J-hook to secure it. This is just poor quality work top to bottom. I posted pics next to their radon system to show you what it should have and what it should look like.

Consider what you have read and seen here when considering who you should hire to install your Radon system.radon systems Appletonradon systems Madison radon systems Green Bayradon systems Oshkoshradon systems Milwaukeeradon systems Wausauradon systems Neenah

 

Does Radon Cause Leukemia?

Leukemia and Radon

Based on research done by Gary G Schwartz and Marilyn G Klug and published by Future Medicine there is a strong possibility that exposure to radon increases the risk of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Check out their full paper on their research and their findings here.

Exposure to radon over a long period of time can lead to lung cancer, in fact after cigarette smoking radon exposure is the most common cause of lung cancer in the United States. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that everyone breathes in on a daily basis. The health problems happen when the levels of radon we breathe in are at too high. This happens through cracks in floors or walls that allows radon to be released indoors (well insulated/tightly sealed homes or buildings) causing the radon levels to go up or your home was built on ground that has uranium, thorium, and radium in it.

In April of 2016, the American Cancer Society stated,”A new report from American Cancer Society researchers finds a statistically-significant, positive association between high levels of residential radon and the risk of hematologic cancer (lymphoma, myeloma, and leukemia) in women. “The overall lifetime risk of hematological cancers in the United States is about 2%, so even a 60% relative increase would still mean a relatively small absolute risk,” said Dr. Teras. “Nonetheless, radon is already associated with lung cancer, and if other studies confirm the link to blood cancers, we think it would warrant strengthened public health efforts to mitigate residential radon risks.” For more on that article click here.

With radon being a colorless, odorless gas, it is imperative that your home is tested to ensure safe levels of radon. You can check the risk of radon in your location by checking various maps like the one here –

Does-Radon-Cause-Leukemia

And this close up one of the Midwest –

Does-Radon-Cause-Leukemia

At Radon Specialists of Wisconsin, we are here to help you protect your family and your loved ones. Our contract guarantees to lower your Radon level to 1.9 pCi/L or below in most cases or 3.9 pCi/L or below on some homes, still the EPA recommended level. However, our goal with each system is to get you as close to outside air levels as possible, which is usually 0.4 to 1.0 pCi/L. We proudly serve Appleton, Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison and the surrounding areas with radon testing and radon removal. Call us today for a free radon test for homeowners.

You have got to be kidding

A potential customer called us a few days ago. He said he had a Radon system installed a few days ago. He has a home radon monitor. His radon numbers were still elevated. The company that installed his radon system didn’t want to come back, so he called us. Take a look at this radon system install.  I have seen old systems like this when most people were not aware of the standards. But this is a brand new radon system. bad radon system install bad radon system install

Again, this was just installed a few days ago. #1 fan is in the basement. #2 vent is under a window. #3 how they ran the vent is against code. You cannot block the electrical pedestal.  The radon company that did the install did not write who the installer was or their company name. I wonder why. The customer went with them because of their price. See my earlier posts regarding “price”.

The system is not working because this is a duplex. The neighbor’s sump pit is about 7′ away on the other side of the wall, and it is not sealed. So, the system is just sucking air from the neighbor’s side. Whoever installed this radon system had absolutely no idea what they were doing or how they installed the radon system would affect the neighbors unit.

All I can say is that “you have got to be kidding”.

Remember Why

This time of year it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of activities that happen. Remember to take a break and remember why this season is even here. I personally don’t like all the commercialism/materialism that is promoted. I am fine with giving gifts, but it should be about giving, sharing and families getting together to celebrate the birth of the greatest prophet, and teacher that ever lived. And then by sacrificing himself being placed on the right hand/seat of God. To remember his birth you have to honor his sacrifice.

I also would like to challenge each of you who see’s this to check out Compassion International. It is a great way to share your wealth with a kid who needs help. Once you sponsor you get to write letters, see pictures and watch them grow up. Check them out online. It is well worth it. I visited their headquarters a few years back. They are a great organization.

Also, thank you to all of you who support our business and have used us over the years. We hope there will be many more to come.season

 

Another Improperly Installed Radon System

Received a call from a concerned customer who was purchasing a home. Turns out someone wanted the cheapest radon system money could buy for their home buyer and that is what the buyer got. First, the electrical does not meet code. Improperly installed radon system – a fan located outside cannot be placed on a

First, the electrical does not meet code. Improperly installed cheap radon system – a fan located outside cannot be placed on a cord unless it is UV rated, which this one was not. I have tried to find UV rated cords for a while because if we had one and there was an outside outlet near enough to the fan, we could save the owner money. No luck on that yet.

Second, the piping is actually blocking the bottom right-hand side of the window. With the cheap radon system in place, that window can no longer be opened. A system cannot cause an obstruction. Now, this buyer may walk on the sale.

Third, the cheap radon system is routed off the sump pit and they left the pedestal pump in the pit so the system is sucking air from the home which is against standards. All this when the Radon system could have been routed through the garage and roof.

Good idea to go with the cheapest radon system? Not even close. The buyer would have paid the difference to route through the garage if they had been consulted. My advice is to get the best radon system possible to make your buyer happy and consult them on placement so you have no issues regarding Radon when you go to the closing.