Many times while inspecting homes in the Chicagoland area, I find radon mitigation systems that were not known about by the buyer.  Sometimes my clients want to stop the inspection and pack up and go?  I then have to put on my teachers cap and educate my clients.  Its not that I’m afraid I’ll lose a sale.  They called me once and they will call me again.  I don’t want my clients to lose  out on a home that they seemed to like but found out that a system that they have little or no knowledge of is determining what they do.  If they still feel the same after I explain the pros and cons of the system then its their decision.  After class they never go.

Last week I was hired to inspect a beautiful home in Naperville, Illinois.   The home was recently built and had everything buyers are looking for.  While doing my pre-inspection walk-thru I noticed that there was a radon mitigation system.  When my clients showed up we went over the exterior of the home and the radon mitigation system was brought up.  The wife from the Naperville home inspection became very uneasy with the thought of the radon mitigation system being in a home with her children.  They definitely wanted to leave, but I was able to give the pros and cons and that was all they needed.

The pros of having a radon mitigation system definitely out-ways the cons in my opinion.  All homes have some radon gas inside.  You can see what the levels are in your area at ~  Because all homes have some level of radon gas you will be able to rest assured that your home is having the levels reduced or controlled on a regular basis.  That means that the radon gas is being removed all the time by a fan out of the home to keep the levels at a safe place.  This is why the pros out weigh the cons, period.

The cons to having a radon mitigation system is that the fan runs all the time and will use energy (electric).  This electric costs money to run.  The amount of electric is comparable to that of a box fan.  It costs about $25.00 – $35.00 to run this fan for a year.  That’s about the cost of a visit to Burger King with the kids.  This is what I explained to my clients at the Naperville home inspection.   The other con is the fact that radon measurement will be required on a bi-yearly basis to ensure that the radon mitigation system is working properly.  The cost for a radon measurement is between $150.00- $225.00.

As you can see the radon mitigation system that was installed in the Naperville home was in my opinion a plus.  So if your looking for homes and you find a piece of pvc pipe on the outside of the home don’t be afraid.  That system was installed to protect your family.

If you have further questions about radon or radon mitigation systems please contact me at ~

Thanks for stopping by.  Jim Kolke


We see the signs daily ” foreclosure for sale” or ” bank owned”  and so on.  Its just the way it is. We have to just understand it is a fact of the current economy.  This includes the people in the inspection industry.  It seems that 60% of our inspections are foreclosures.  This number is up from 20% a year ago.  We recently were hired  for a home inspection in Naperville, Illinois.  This home was a foreclosure that was abandoned for 11 months.

I arrived at the home inspection in Naperville with the buyer who was also the realtor.  The property had exterior issues from neglect like you would already expect.  We documented that repairs would be needed.

I climbed the roof of  the 2 story colonial to see what potential issues could be found.  At the eaves of the home inspection in Naperville ,I found a small hole in the wood siding about 4″ in diameter.  Generally, squirrels make these holes all the time.  I make my way down the ladder to go into the home to inspect the attic next.

Good thing, the attic for the home inspection in Naperville had a pull down staircase for an attic entrance!  I proceeded into the attic with no noise to speak of.  The attic was very large so I could easily walk around to inspect in.  As I get to the end of the attic, I hear something- raccoons!  It looked to be a mother raccoon with 3 baby raccoons.  The mother started coming at me and all I had was a flashlight in my hand??  Yes,  I ran !!! Luckily I got out of there before she got me.

I got down and called Naperville animal control to see what their thoughts were.  I finished the inspection, but warned my clients to remove the insulation and all the feces from the raccoons.  These items can carry disease and will become air borne if not removed.

If you run into issues like these call your local animal control and if they can not help contact us at- Jim Kolke