844-569-7236

Milwaukee & Madison Area

844-569-7236

866-569-7236

North Eastern Wisconsin Area

866-569-7236

[email protected]
Banner

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.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

They said “Go Hire a Plumber”

08/30/2018  Update to our Blog titled “Go Hire a Plumber”. I named names on this because is was so egregious of what this company did. The company that did this work and stole an install from us complained to AARST about ethics with me naming them in this blog. Although perfectly legal, because I have proof, our ethics do prevent me from naming them. So, I am removing their name. Ironic, right? I can say they are certified and operate two locations. One in Appleton and One in Green Bay. Beyond that, they are still out there doing everything possible to not install systems right or follow codes to cut corners and make more profit. Why can’t they simply do it right?  I don’t know. But when you put a fan in the basement and call it a “moisture system” to avoid installing properly, even though it still is pulling and venting dangerous soil gases, and you know it is wrong, I truly think it comes down to an incapability to posses moral and ethical thinking. Or, they just want to make the $ any way possible right or wrong,  and truly do not believe in or understand what they are doing could cause physical harm to the occupants.

 

 

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 another local Appleton company showed up with a different name on their van, the owner asked them what they were doing at his home. The home owner said/told them that he had called Radon Specialists of WI to do the radon system install, since we tested, gave them a proposal and did the all 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 the other company 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 sump 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 the other company by mistake. After he realized that he did he apologized and called the other company. Their response was once he called them, “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 for free. I felt so bad what had happened, plus he was a vet.

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 drywall 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.
radon systems Appleton

Initial System

radon systems Madison

The way it should look

radon systems Green Bay

No Fire Collar

radon systems Oshkosh

No Fire Collar

radon systems Milwaukee

The way it should look

radon systems Wausau

Screws/Nails to support piping. Not right. Can hold side to side but not up/down movement.

radon systems Neenah

The way it should look.

Consider what you have read and seen here when considering who you should hire to install your Radon system.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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”.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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. This was just a cheap Radon system.

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.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

New VP of AARST

I just returned from our industry’s annual Radon symposium in San Diego. Wouldn’t you know it; it hardly ever rains there and 2 of the 4 days we were there it rained. But, great news. Our industry whose main organization is AARST which stands for the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists members voted me in as their next vice president. It is a great honor to work in the Radon industry with all our great members and to represent them. I will now be part of the executive committee and help shape our Radon industry even more for the years to come. My goal is to get all homes tested for Radon and then to get the homes that test high for Radon to have Radon mitigation systems installed. I believe by doing this we can help save lives from needless, preventable cases of Lung Cancer. I am humbled to have this position and hope to bring it honor.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

5 Things You Should Know About Radon

5 things you should know about Radon

free radon test

1. It’s the leading cause of Lung Cancer in nonsmokers.

On average Radon is the result of 21,000 deaths each year.

2. It can be found almost everywhere in Wisconsin.

Radon is found in 5-10% of the homes in Wisconsin above the US EPA guideline of 4 pCi/L.

3. Radon is almost undetectable.

Radon is Tasteless, Odorless and Colorless.

4. Free Radon Test is the only way to detect Radon in homes.

Click Here for More information on Radon Tests

5. Almost half of Wisconsin homes have Radon levels above the recommended safe level

The same glaciers that formed the great lakes are likely to be the reason for radon levels being so high. The Glacial Deposits left in most of the state is the main source for Radon.

CALL FOR YOUR FREE RADON TEST TODAY!

Milwaukee Area – 888-826-2983
Madison & NE WI Area – 888-919-1817

www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/radon/index.htm
www.radonisreal.org
wi-dhs.maps.arcgis.com
wi-radon.info

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

New Pics of Poor Radon Systems

From time to time home inspectors will share pics of radon systems they see out there. Sometimes they will have questions about a radon system or just forward them to let me know what is going on out there in the Radon world.

The first two pics are of Poor Radon System that was just installed by a competitor. Look at how the sump pump pipe was left. That check valve is ready to burst at any moment of use. The radon system has no clamps on it to keep it sturdy and no rubber coupling on it for a quick disconnect. The 2nd pic shows how the electrical work was left by them. No explanation needed on that one. I always get asked if we will match their price. I simply say, “no”. Their work is so poor that I would never match their price. Not with the quality of work we do. This is why I say being certified is just the beginning of starting a Radon business. Check out their work, references, website before you hire. Don’t let price be the deciding factor. We lost a job to them today because of the price. I told the customer good luck, you’re going to get what you paid for.

The last pic is of an older radon system. I just don’t understand what they were trying to do on this one. It’s a good example of how not to install a Radon system.  This is why I recommend to all customers, no matter what they are having done to their home, to get educated on how it should be done properly. Know what questions to ask, get it in writing and don’t pay till you are satisfied. These radon systems are to help protect you and your family. A Poor Radon System can actually do the opposite. It’s just not worth the risk to save a few dollars.

Poor Radon System Milwaukee Poor Radon System Milwaukee Poor Radon System Milwaukee

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

A Compliment is the best Recommendation

This is the best compliment.

This has actually happened a few times over the years. The only other thing I have recommended when what we do might not work is to install an HRV. That is a heat recovery ventilator. It also exchanges the air in the home.

A few weeks ago we received a call from a potential customer that they needed an estimate for a Radon mitigation system. He told us that he had another company out and that company recommended he call us regarding installing a Radon Mitigation System. The company did not think they would be able to handle the radon system or be able to get it to work with his home. Granted the home was older, but it would actually be a fairly simple radon system. Just a more difficult one than average. So, if other radon companies recommend us out, don’t you think we should be the company installing your Radon system? A great compliment being referred by your competition.

As a follow up we installed the system at the home. It was a little more difficult, but nothing we haven’t done before. System is working properly and we are confident it will lower levels. But you know what? If it doesn’t then we will be back to find out why and work till it does.

 

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail