Radon is a radioactive gas that seeps up through the foundation of a home or building. It can pass through concrete. It can cause Lung Cancer over a prolonged period and has been linked to Leukemia. It cannot be physically sensed. It is colorless and odorless. Only a test can tell you if your levels are elevated.
How can I test for Radon?
Testing for Radon is very easy. You can purchase home tests are just about any hardware or home improvement store. Also, Google it, and purchase online. Another way is to hire a professional Certified company to come test for you.
What is a good or bad level of Radon?
The EPA set guidelines years ago for Radon exposure. For Real Estate transactions a passing test is 3.9 or lower and a fail is 4.0 or higher. For regular home owners the EPA recommends where you sleep to be 2.0 or lower. That is more of a personal choice.
What unit is Radon measured in?
The measurement most widely used is called a Pico Curie. This is named after Madame Curie, who discovered Radon & Radium in the late 19th century. Working with these materials also eventually led to her and her husband’s deaths.
Who should I hire to test if I don’t want to do it myself?
Hire a known certified professional tester. They have gone through proper training and have passed a rigorous test to prove they are knowledgeable. But if you are not in a Realty transaction conducting a home test is very easy.
Are there different ways to test for Radon?
Yes, there are many approved methods to test. Most common are activated Charcoal and Radon monitors. Just make sure the home Radon test is from an approved lab. And, make sure the monitor used is approved for use and has been calibrated a minimum of once a year. Ask for proof if using a company to test for you.
Who gets the Radon test results first?
You should always receive the results first for your home. If using a lab, make sure the test is mailed or emailed to you directly. If a testing company says it must be sent to them first do not use them. If using a monitor, you should be able to see the results before it is unplugged in your home.
If our home tests high for Radon gas, what’s the next step?
Have a certified professional confirm you tested properly. Then have them give you an estimate of what it would cost to fix. Have them come to your home if possible. Make sure they are certified, have proper insurance and can provide references.
I have seen the term “Mitigate” for Radon. What does that mean?
Simply to fix a problem. If you test high for Radon you have it mitigated, fixed. You do this by having a Radon system installed.
Are there different ways to mitigate a home?
Yes. The most common methods are to route a system to the outside of the home or through an attached garage. The vent must go above the roof line and be a certain distance off the grade and away from windows.
Is there a “code” for Radon systems or standards?
Yes. There are national standards for mitigation. AARST/ANSI has had standards for some time. A Radon vent pipe must be a minimum of 10 feet above grade, 10 feet away from an opening or 2 feet above it and reach above the roof line. The fan must be in unlivable space. Such as outside the home or in an attic space.
So, there are no codes to follow?
In Wisconsin Radon work is still unregulated, unfortunately. However, because installing a Radon system involves cutting holes in someone’s home, doing electrical work to power the fan and sealing sump pits, state & local codes must still be followed. For instance: cutting the bottom out of a floor joist is a no-no.
Are you certified to test for and mitigate Radon?
Yes, I have been certified to test & mitigate since 2000. All my installers are also nationally certified.
What is AARST?
AARST is the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists. The main organization the sets standards for testing Radon and mitigation. I am also the National President of this organization.
What is ANSI?
ANSI is the American National Standards Institute, the premier organization for national standards.
What kind of piping do you use?
We use schedule 40 cellular core PVC pipe. Most systems are installed with 3-inch piping. Some homes and commercial buildings require larger piping in 4 and sometimes even 6-inch piping.
How long have you been in business?
I started in July of 2000 out of my home, by myself. We now have two offices: one in Neenah, and another in Menomonee Falls, both with multiple installers. We have installed over 20,000 systems.
Do you warranty your systems?
Yes. We have a lifetime warranty on all our systems. The fans we use come with a five-year warranty. The Warranties automatically transfer if you sell your home.
Can you guarantee results?
Absolutely. In most homes we guarantee Radon levels to be 1.9 or below. On some homes we must guarantee the 3.9 or below. Most homes, however come in under 1 when we are finished. If anyone stands behind their systems, it is us.
Are all Radon systems the same?
Essentially, yes. They all have PVC pipe and a fan. Some systems require different fans though. The fan we use is dependent on how the home was constructed, how large the foundation is, and what is under the foundation.
Do you have to use a sump pit to install a Radon system? We don’t have one.
No. Some homes do not have sump pits. And, even if they do, we normally dry cut through the slab. A sump pit is normally the last place we want to install a system. If you need to get into your pit you have to take apart the system first. And coring through the slab gives you more options on where it can be installed.
If we have a sump pit, does it have to be sealed?
Normally yes. If it drafts air after the system is installed it needs to be sealed so the system can work properly and not pull conditioned air out of the home. You only want air pulled from under the foundation/slab. If no drafting is detected there is no need to seal it.
How do you seal a sump pit?
We make our own sump pit lids out of clear Polycarbonate. We cut a hole for the sump pump pipe, a notch for the cord and then slice from the hole to edge. Then we flex open the lid to place around the pipe and cord. This makes it easy to remove if needed.
I have a pedestal/upright sump pump in the pit. Will that work?
Unfortunately, no. If drafting is detected the sump pit must be sealed 100% airtight. With a pedestal sump pump, it is impossible to do that. A submersible (motor sits on bottom of pit) type pump needs to be present or we install one in order to seal the pit.
Do you use different fans?
Yes. Some Radon systems only require a small fan because resistance on the piping is very low. If it is high, then a stronger vacuum fan is needed. A larger fan will not get you lower levels. But you need the right vacuum fan to be able to move enough air to do the job right.
Are there smells associated with installs?
Yes, because we must use glue to put the piping together and caulk to seal things there is some off gassing. If someone is sensitive to this, windows can be left open for a day or two after an install. In winter that is not possible. The products we use work well. We can use less off gassing material’s, but they do not work as well, and still create some smell. It normally clears up in a day or two.
How long does a Radon system install take?
We normally budget four hours for most Radon system installs. This is why a site visit is important. Some systems will take longer and might need additional work. Better to know up front than find out once we arrive for the install.
What does a Radon system cost?
Since I started this business, I have tried to charge everyone the same price based on a few variables.
Does the system get routed to the outside, or through an attached garage and roof?
Do we have to install a new sump pump? Will one suction point do the job or are two needed?
Most Radon mitigation systems cost $800 - $1400 depending on where you are located and what we have to do to get the system installed properly. To be honest, some system have cost more. But those are the exceptions not the norm.
Is Radon all you do?
For Radon Specialists of WI, yes. Radon is all we do. I do have another business though called Compassion Homes. I only build in the Fox Valley area and only a few homes a year. I am a licensed building in WI. I have studied building construction and sciences for 20 years and wanted to put that knowledge to go use in building top quality affordable homes.
Why should we hire you?
This is where I brag on our company a bit. Honestly, I do not think you will find a more dedicated, educated and skilled group of employees who deal with this in Wisconsin, and probably the whole country. I have witnessed systems in many parts of the country as a consultant and trainer. We are saving lives here, and every system must be perfect. And if it doesn’t work at first, we go back until it does.
If we have a question not covered here can we contact to ask?
Absolutely. We are here to help. There probably isn’t a situation we have not dealt with or have knowledge about. Feel free to ask through our contact page or call us direct.
We Are a Nationally Certified Radon Removal Company
Radon Specialists of Wisconsin offers the highest quality Radon system install at the best possible price … guaranteed!
If you’re anywhere in Wisconsin, our service area includes YOU.