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 ~ http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/our-services/69-radonmeasurement.html.  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 ~ http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/about-jim-kolke.html.

Thanks for stopping by.  Jim Kolke

So your buying a home and your questioning if you need a radon measurement with your home inspection or not.  Today I will help you with deciding  if a radon measurement is needed.  Iwill be using a home inspection I performed in Downers Grove, Illinois as my test subject.  I’ll really be speaking about the metro area in Chicago, Illinois but you can see maps that can help you in your area of the United States.

The first thing that always comes up is the cost of the radon measurement.  The standard price for a radon measurement is between $175.00 – $225.00, depending on where you are in the Chicago area and if you are getting a break on the price because you are getting a home inspection.  In Illinois a radon measurement must be done with a continuous radon measurement device.  We are not allowed to use charcoal canisters in real estate transactions.  These monitors are plugged into an electric outlet and they take a sample of the air every 15 minutes.  We generally put these monitors in finished basements or  rooms above crawl spaces.  Sometimes we may have up to 5 monitors for one home.  The Downers Grove home inspection had 2 monitors because there were two different types of foundations.

If your in Illinois and your wondering if you need to spend $175.00 on this measurement go to http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/images/stories/pdf/2008datahigh.pdf and see how your city or village rates with past radon measurements.  We measure radon by Pc/l.   This is a standard guideline that all can understand nationwide.  Radon can only be found by the measurements that we employ due to the fact that radon gas is colorless, tasteless and odorless.  This gas can cause cancer from its alpha and beta particles that implant themselves into your lung fibers.

So you want to remove the radon.  How much will it cost?  This depends on multiple factors and a radon mitigator can go over that with you and your family.  Mitigation systems can cost between $1200.00 – $2000.00 and more if there are multiple foundation areas that the mitigator will have to work with.  You can see other items that are related to radon measurement and mitigation at http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/our-services/69-radonmeasurement.html.  This seemed to be very helpful for my clients of the home inspection in Downers Grove, Illinois.

If you have any questions about radon and how they can affect you and your family please contact me through ~ http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/about-jim-kolke.html.

Thanks for stopping by.  Jim Kolke

 

Radon??  Does the house we want to buy have it? Yes it does. What I will do is measure the amount you have.  How we measure radon is with a CRM (continuous radon monitor).  This is a monitor that takes measurements every 15 minutes and stores them.  Then I  hook the monitor on the computer and download all the readings for a report.  We do quite a few inspections where our clients order a radon measurement.  That was the case of the home inspection in Villa Park, Illinois.

We send out an email  confirming  your order to the client and the buyers realtor to inform the sellers that a radon measurement will be performed at the clients request at the home inspection in Villa Park.  We want the sellers realtor to inform the home owners to keep all windows closed 12 hours prior to the radon measurement to prevent extending the radon measurement period.  The standard period for a radon measurement is 48 hours.  The  measurement is not done until the unit is picked up by a IEMA licensed technician.  All windows and doors must be closed,  the furnace should be set to a temperature above 67 degrees  and set in the auto mode.  Whole house fans should not be used and ceiling fans or portable humidifiers should not be used  within 20′ of the monitor.   If a radon mitigation system has been installed, it must be ran prior to the measurement for 24 hrs.  All windows in the area of the monitor must be sealed with security tape.  Also clothes dryers, bath fans, cooking hoods should be used at a minimum.

The home inspection in Villa Park was vacant.  The owners moved to Kansas and were selling the home through a relocation company.  That is generally a good way to sell and buy a home.

If the “closed building conditions” are not followed and the technician finds grounds that the measurement has been compromised the test will be considered “Void”.  In this housing market that would be an issue of a sale of a home.

The home inspection in Villa Park had a reading of 0.9 pCi/l which is below the EPA national indoor average of 1.3 pCi/l.  There would be no need for a mitigation system at the home inspection in Villa Park.

If you have a home or are buying a home and have questions about radon please contact us at~ www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com

Please leave a comment if this was helpful or if you have an issue we can assist you with.  Thanks ~ Jim Kolke