How To Find a Great Radon Mitigation Contractor
Looking for a radon mitigation contractor but don’t know where to start? You’re in the right place! In this article, we’ll show you where to find a radon mitigation contractor in your area and provide a list of questions to ask contractors to help you make the best decision for you and your family.
First, you need to see who works in your area. State websites can be a great place to start. For example, the Minnesota Department of Health website allows you to search for radon professionals using your zip code. All mitigators in Minnesota must become licensed through the department of health; however, not all states require licensing or have contractors listed on their websites. If you’re in the US, we recommend using the links below to find contractors certified by the National Radon Proficiency Program or by the National Radon Safety Board.
-National Radon Proficiency Program
-National Radon Safety Board
Now that you have a list of professionals to choose from, it’s time to determine who will be the best fit. If you’re unfamiliar with radon mitigation, it can be hard to know what to ask. We’ve compiled a list of questions below to get the necessary information for you to feel confident in your decision.
Are you licensed, bonded, and insured? Will you pull the proper permits?
Make sure the contractor you hire is licensed, bonded, insured, and willing to obtain a permit for radon mitigation if required by your city.
Do you arrange for a licensed electrician?
DO NOT allow a radon contractor to wire the fan themselves. This could be a fire hazard, and any damage may not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance, as a licensed electrician did not complete the work.
American Radon can arrange for a licensed electrician to wire your radon fan. The licensed electrician will pull the necessary permits and inspect their work.
If the radon fan is in the attic, it needs an outlet within 6 feet of the fan. If the fan is outside, all wiring is required to be protected in conduit, unless otherwise permitted by local code, and should not be a plugged disconnect. Additionally, your radon fan cannot be plugged into an extension cord.
Do you perform diagnostic and pressure field extension testing on every job?
Creating a vacuum under your entire home is key to getting your radon levels as low as possible. American Radon Mitigation performs a thorough diagnostic process often overlooked by other contractors called Pressure Field Extension (PFE) testing. These tests help us design and engineer a system that is both efficient and effective by helping us decide:
The best location for a suction point
How many suction points are necessary
How much air we need to draw from each suction point
What size vent pipe is needed
Which radon fan is the best choice for your home
Do you offer a guarantee and warranty on materials and workmanship? If so, how long does the warranty last? What is your average post-mitigation result?
American Radon Mitigation Inc. has a five-year warranty on materials and workmanship.
Our goal is to protect you and your family by reducing your radon levels as much as possible. We guarantee that your home’s annual average radon level will not exceed 1.5 pCi/L for five years, beginning on the installation date, so long as all items on the bid are selected. The 1.5 pCi/L guarantee does not apply to homes with sub-slab ductwork, aftermarket drain tile, untreated crawl spaces, inaccessible air leaks to the soil, or multifamily homes. The average outdoor radon level in the Midwest is between 0.3 pCi/L and 0.7 pCi/L. It is not possible to reduce indoor radon levels below outside concentrations. Our average post mitigation radon level is 0.5 pCi/L.
What type and size of pipe will be used in my radon system?
Many contractors use thin-wall PVC pipe that becomes brittle and cracks easily when cold. American Radon, however, uses only schedule 40 PVC pipe, which is higher quality and longer lasting.
Typically, we use a 4-inch pipe when higher airflow is required. Systems requiring high suction and low flow utilize 2-inch and 3-inch pipes. When pipes are exposed to the cold, we always use 4-inch, as it is less susceptible to freezing in the winter.
According to the ANSI/AARST standard when this article was published, the pipe must exhaust at least one foot above the roof, at least 10 feet above the ground, and 4 feet above any window within 10 feet. These guidelines prevent radon from re-entering the home or exhausting near decks or patios where people could inhale it.
Will you insulate the vent pipe?
American Radon insulates all pipes in garages and attics, as required by code. This helps prevent system freeze-up and any water damage from condensation on the pipe dripping onto the drywall.
Where will the radon fan be placed?
Depending on your property, the order of preference is typically:
- Garage attic: It’s less invasive, quieter, protected from outdoor elements, and aesthetically pleasing.
2. House attic: Protects the system from outdoor elements and is aesthetically pleasing.
3. The exterior of the home: It’s less expensive but results in a shorter fan life, is more susceptible to freeze up, and is not aesthetically pleasing.
Do you seal gaps and cracks on every job?
Not only does sealing increase the effectiveness of a system, but it can also save you money on operating costs over time. Sealing increases the amount of suction that we can achieve under the house. It . also allows us to use a smaller fan with a lower operating cost and prevents conditioned air from leaving the home.
Will you use firestop collars if you need to route the vent pipe through the garage?
Firestop collars prevent a fire from spreading from the garage to the house. Unfortunately, we often see contractors skip this very important step. American Radon takes your family’s safety seriously and never omits essential measures such as this.
Do you test for backdraft?
Backdrafting is the reverse flow of exhaust gases from fuel-fired appliances (such as water heaters and furnaces) that results in a buildup of carbon monoxide inside your home. American Radon tests for backdraft and takes measures such as sealing air leaks to fix most backdraft issues. However, additional makeup air is sometimes required.
If installing an outside system, do you offer measures to reduce freeze-ups in the winter?
American Radon installs a self-regulating heat cable that adjusts with how cold it is outside. As temperatures drop, the cable puts out more power and more heat. This prevents the radon system from freezing and keeps your family safe from radon during the cold winter months when radon levels tend to be highest.
Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about radon mitigation and how it works.
Contact us for a free estimate if you’re in the Twin Cities, MN area and think we’d be a good fit.