Installing Mitigation

 

What are the benefits of radon mitigation?

Radon reduction systems work. In most new homes, use of radon-resistant features will keep radon levels to below 2 pCi/L. Some radon reduction systems can reduce radon levels in your home by up to 99 percent.

Homeowners should consider correcting a radon problem before making final preparations to sell a home. This often provides more time to address the problem and find the most cost-effective solution. In addition, the current occupants—not just the buyer's occupants—will reap the benefit of reduced risk.

How much does it cost to reduce radon in an existing home?

The cost of making repairs to reduce radon is influenced by the size and design of your home and other factors. Most homes can be fixed for about the same cost as other common home repairs, like painting or having a new hot water heater installed. The average cost for a contractor to lower radon levels in a home is about $1,200, although this can range from $800 to about $2,500. Your costs may vary depending on the size and design of your home, which radon reduction methods are needed, and market conditions.

Fan warranties are typically 5 years with life spans from 10-15 years.

Part of the mitigation cost can depend upon what is required to conceal the system and maintain the aesthetic value of the home. For example, a retrofit system routed outside the house can reduce radon quite well, but it may not be as visually pleasing as one routed through an interior closet.

In addition, the operating costs include electricity for the fan (similar to running a 60-90 watt light bulb continuously), and potential additional costs for heating and cooling some percentage of air drawn out of the home by the radon system. This source of air can be minimized by effective sealing work.

Who should I hire to correct a radon problem?

Lowering high radon levels requires technical knowledge and special skills. You should use a contractor who is trained to fix radon problems.

The EPA stopped operating its National Radon Proficiency Program (RPP) on October 1, 1998. That program was designed to test radon contractors and provide a measure of quality control. Today two national organizations certify radon professionals. 


Many states certify or license radon contractors. Call your state radon office for information about qualified service providers in your state.

If you plan to fix the problem in your home yourself, you should first contact your state radon office for the EPA's technical guide, "Radon Reduction Techniques for Detached Houses."

Will any more testing be needed after a radon mitigation system has been installed?

Most radon reduction systems include a monitor that will alert you if the system needs servicing. However, regardless of who fixes the problem, you should test your home afterward to be sure that radon levels have been reduced. This test should be conducted no sooner than 24 hours nor later than 30 days following completion and activation of the mitigation system(s). Potential conflict of interest can be avoided by using an independent tester.

In addition, it's a good idea to retest your home sometime in the future to be sure radon levels remain low. Testing should be done at least every two years or as required or recommended by state or local authority. Retesting is also recommended if the building undergoes significant alteration.

How do I find qualified radon mitigation contractors?

Contact your State Radon Program to determine what are, or whether there are, requirements associated with providing radon measurement and or radon mitigations/reductions in your State.  Some States maintain lists of contractors available in their state or they have proficiency programs or requirements of their own.

There are two national certification programs that require participants to successfully complete training courses and follow established protocols or standards. EPA recommends that you hire a contractor that is either state or nationally certified. To find qualified radon contractors, EPA recommends that you contact one or both of the two privately run national certification programs listed below. You can find a listing of certified individuals through their websites as follows:

The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists
National Radon Proficiency Program (AARST-NRPP)
Address: PO Box 2109, Fletcher, NC 28732
Phone: (800) 269-4174; (828) 890-4117
Fax: (828) 890-4161
E-mail: angel@nrpp.info (link sends e-mail)
Website: www.aarst-nrpp.com
National Radon Safety Board (NRSB)
Address: PO Box 703, Athens, TX 75751
Phone: (866) 329-3474
Fax: (903) 675-3748
E-mail: info@nrsb.org (link sends e-mail)
Website: www.nrsb.org (link is external)

In addition to asking about a radon contractor's training and credentials, homeowners should always:

  1. Ask for references;
  2. Require proof of certification, including agreement to follow protocols and codes of ethics;
  3. Ask for proof of insurance including workers' compensation; and
  4. Ask for a concise contract.