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Archive for Home Buyers

Home buyers Beware of What Radon System You are Getting

Home buyer’s Beware!

This has happened more that past month or so, so I thought I should address it. The Realty market is hot, and contingencies are being thrown out the window, Radon testing being one of them. For those buyers that do get a test please, please stipulate in the offer what Radon company you want to install the system if the Radon test should come in elevated. And just a side note, my wife is a Realty Agent. Like all agents she works on commission. Most agents out there I believe do a good job. What the listing agent is dealing with, and they work for the seller, is someone who doesn’t want to have to pay for any repairs, especially a Radon system. They are getting no benefit out of it, except they will be able to sell the home. I have always told sellers to get a good system so the buyer is happy with what they end up with. Most sellers don’t do that. We lost a job recently, well it happens all the time, based strictly on price. The other company gave a very low price, which means corners will be cut as much as possible. To do it right and make a profit you can’t possibly offer the cheapest price. I wish I could. A good, fair price can be offered based on volume. Anyway, a few weeks ago a seller hired a company who offered a much lower price. Once the buyer saw what was done, they told their agent I am not going to buy the house with the way the Radon system was installed. Long story short we were called to rip out the first system and install a new one from scratch. We were able to use the existing fan though. I guess I should have titled this differently because the seller had to pay for a Radon System twice, and almost lost the sale of the home. Ask your agent to be able to chose the Radon Company, and don’t let the sellers counter out of it. If they counter and you accept be prepared to get the lowest quality system money can buy.


Test for Radon Gas with New Home Purchase

Buying a new home? Make sure to test for Radon. Don’t get stuck with a home that has high Radon and then end up paying for the whole system.

With the hot realty market it has really been a sellers advantage. Multiple offers come in on new home, some higher than asking price and contingencies are being tossed out the window. Radon testing being one of them. Buyers don’t want to lose out on a home where there are competing offers. This last year we have seen Radon testing go down quite a bit because of this. I get this, but if you have recently purchased a home and didn’t ask for a Radon test remember to get one after you move in. It is easy to forget to test for Radon Gas after you move in. Unpacking, decorating the home. It’s all busy work and then your beat at the end of the day. Once your settled in get a Radon test. Don’t be the one to find out you have high Radon Gas ten years from now when you go to sell your home. Once the damage is done from Radon Gas it is irreversible. Radon Gas has causes Lung Cancer, Leukemia and has been linked to Skin Cancer. If people could see or smell Radon Gas it would be easy to remember. But we humans cannot sense it. Put a post it on your fridge to remind yourself to get the Radon test. It could save a life.


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.



Ten fast facts about radon

508605467Ten fast facts about Radon.

We set out every day to make Wisconsin homes safe from radon.  Part of that mission is education.  Spreading the word about the dangers of radon is important, and something we can all undertake.  We all know a friend or family member who owns a home, and many may not be aware of the potential of cancer-causing radon in their home.  Sharing information with them could be the impotice for a simple radon test, which could potentially save a life.

Here are five simple facts about radon you can share with others:

  1. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas released in rock, soil and water.
  2. Radon can accumulate inside any home to dangerous levels.  It doesn’t matter if it’s old or new, what condition it’s in or if it has a basement or not.
  3. Breathing radon gas can increase your risk of lung cancer, and radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.  The EPA estimates more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths are linked to radon exposure every year.
  4. Radon levels can vary from home to home, so even if your neighbor had a low test, yours may be higher.
  5. Radon is odorless, colorless and invisible.  The only way to know you have it is testing for it.
  6. Radon damage to your lungs or stomach linings occurs over time, so just because you haven’t had any health effects after living in an untested home for some time doesn’t mean you’re safe.
  7. Radon testing is easy, fast and affordable for any homeowner to do.  You can buy test kits from us or at many retailers.  If you live near our Neenah office, we even offer a free radon test program for homeowners.
  8. Radon problems in a home can be fixed fast.  A radon mitigation system isn’t as expensive as you may think, and it is excellent piece of mind for your family.
  9. Radon mitigation is not a DIY project.  Hiring the industry-leading experts at Radon Specialists of Wisconsin will ensure that your home is safe from radon.
  10. Not all radon mitigation companies are the same. Unfortunately, some radon “professionals” cut corners or install systems improperly for ease or cost-savings.  Some of these shortcuts, like not installing fire collars on pipes when required by code, can be a serious safety hazard.  Other companies may even utilize uncalibrated test equipment or place them in homes in a way that can lead to inaccurate results.  Radon Specialists of Wisconsin will never, ever install an improper radon system, no matter what the scenario is.  We do it right the first time, and stand behind our systems forever.

If you have questions about radon, wish to inquire about getting a radon test, or would like to speak with an expert about getting a radon problem fixed, give us a call at 866-569-7236.  We’d be more than happy to help.  Thanks for helping us spread the message about radon, and furthering our mission to make every home in Wisconsin safe!


Are we overreacting to radon?

Every once in a while, you come across an article that causes you to shake your head, making you think “why would they write that?”  Sometimes it’s just a viewpoint that’s just a little misguided.  In this case, it’s advice that’s downright dangerous!

We came across an advice column this weekend by a real estate broker titled “Are we overreacting to environmental hazards in your home.” In it, the author runs through a laundry list of what he considers home environmental “threats-du-jour” that make us go all crazy for no good reason.  Lead paint and asbestos both had their day, but are barely mentioned anymore, he maintains.  Mold is the new “here today, gone tomorrow” fad, as far as he’s concerned.

Of course, radon makes the list.  He writes:

Soon to follow was radon, an odorless, invisible and toxic gas that seemed to prefer basements to attics. Further research revealed that radon gas poured forth from subterranean granite, and further that most of the Atlanta area sits on a huge vein of granite (apparently part of Stone Mountain). Oh my!

Finally, it was revealed that the best treatment for radon gas was to put a fan in the window and blow it outdoors from time to time.

Window_FanWhat?  Putting a fan in a window to blow radon out of the house… from time to time??  Did we seriously just see a real estate professional tell homebuyers to just air out their house every once in a while and you’ll be safe from radon?  Where do we start?

First of all, doing this could actually increase radon levels, because of how the vacuum effect works in a home.  That’s saying nothing about the heating and cooling loss you would encounter during different times of the year.

As far as asbestos goes, it’s no longer in the spotlight because it’s not allowed in the building of homes these days.  With radon, it doesn’t matter how old the home is.  Radon affects any home, regardless of age.  Yes, new homes can have it too!

For that matter, let’s just let anyone build a home! They can rough in the electrical, heating and plumbing without any training or experience. Roofers too… and what about siding? Getting permits and having trained individuals is just a big scam, when we can just do it ourselves, right?

If you’ve followed us online for any amount of time, you know where we stand on how radon should be treated in a home.  We don’t fool around, because radon is a serious issue.  We go through continual training on this stuff and we do it day in and day out.

We may not be able to answer your real estate questions, but we know radon.


Whats a Free Test Worth?

We have a free test program for home owners to test their home for their own benefit or if they are selling.  And what is that worth?

When someone is selling their home, they normally are not going to call up a Radon company and ask to have a test. If they have never tested their home, then they have no knowledge of what their levels are, so nothing to disclose. It is the buyers responsibility to ask for a Test.

Sellers may ask what the motivation is when they find out a “Free” Radon test is being conducted on the home they are selling. So, take a look at the picture of where this Radon monitor is placed, for a Free test on a realty transaction. The home inspector sent it to me to ask if this was proper. The testing protocols require a test to be at least 12 inches from any wall to avoid what is called the “plate out” affect which could bias a test on the high side. Also, testers should not be in the utility area, but rather livable space or potential livable space, which would never be in the utility area.

What is this test worth?
Wrong Test Location


Correct Location to Test for Radon

Not sure what location in your home should be best to test for radon? Watch this video below to learn why it’s very important to test your home in the correct spot.

I have some other good videos out there also on our website. Look under the video drop down menu on the home page. When it comes to testing for Radon you need to get picky. If a test is placed in the wrong area or level of the home you might be basing a mitigation decision on wrong information. Which, means a financial decision could be based on wrong information. So, to me, placing the test in the right location, the right time is the most important part of the whole process.


Tight Fit

Here’s a tight fit. We have been installing between 5-7 systems per day for quite a while. Most systems are very simple systems. Here are two pics to show that we can put them in very tight spots when there are no obstacles. And, yes there is enough clearance behind heater vent. Simple systems are great, we love them. But as you will see on other pages of our website we specialize in the tough installs. There are been many occasions when other companies have literally packed their bags and left a home and said “call Radon Specialists”. They will be able to figure this one out for you. This is beyond us.  Oh, and I have to show my new truck. First new vehicle for business ever.

basement pic 6-28-13

garage pic 06-28-13

2013-06-28 15.13.48


Attention Home Buyers

This blog is directed to home buyers. I would like to comment on what is going on in the real world. We go to sellers homes every day for estimates on Radon systems. We get calls from sellers every day about Radon systems. The first statement is we tested high for Radon, now we have to put in a system, (they are not happy).  Do you want to know what the first question is? It is, “what is your least expensive system, or how cheap can you put a system in”? Of course we go through how our reputation is that we do it right, and stand behind our work, and that the buyers will be happy with our system. More times than I care to say the response is, “I don’t care about quality, how it looks, or where it is as long as we get one passing test”.  I understand that the economy is still down, and that many sellers are losing money when they sell their home. Now they are stuck with putting in a Radon system. They will get no benefit out of it, they are moving out. (to bad they were not informed about Radon when they purchased) As nice as we can we go over the quality issue and explain that if it were them buying the home they would want the best system possible to protect their family. Many times we lose the sale on price. Sometimes it’s a $100 difference or $25 or $50.  My competitors prices bounce all over the place, where as ours are posted on our web site. If you are a buyer, and you want the best system for your family, you can request that we install your system. You may have to pay the difference in price. You should have a say in who installs your system, you are the one buying the home. Don’t get stuck with what the seller was willing to pay for, and with a Radon company who is willing to do it wrong to get the job.


Testing a Mobile Home

I received a call yesterday from someone who wanted to use our coupon for testing a mobile home. When I was taking the address he mentioned a lot number. I asked if this was a new home, he said no “it’s a mobile home”.  I then asked if his mobile home was attached to a foundation, like a crawl space or basement, even a slab. He said “no”.  The good news is, I told him, is that you don’t have to test for Radon. You have open air under your home, it’s impossible for you to have elevated Radon. He still wanted to test, because it was supposed to be free. I told him that because we already know his levels would be pretty much be the same as outside air or lower that we would not be making a trip to him home. So, if your home is a tent, or an ice shanty on the lake or a mobile home you can rest easy that you will not have a Radon problem. But, if your mobile home is attached to a foundation, which I have seen, then you should test because even though the chances would be lower, you could still have a Radon problem.