Colorless, odorless and tasteless, radon is a radioactive gas that tends to accumulate in low-lying areas, such as house basements, but it can be found anywhere. Second only to smoking, it is a leading cause of lung cancer. It causes 21,000 deaths per year in the United States alone. Given the severity of exposure, few people fully understand how to detect or treat areas contaminated with the chemical. Selecting a qualified radon remediation company is imperative when performing a home inspection.
It goes without saying that before a contractor can visit your home to perform the necessary tests and guide you through the mitigation procedure, you need to hire one. When you do so, a professional radon contractor will analyze your residence and help you choose the best method for radon gas reduction. Moreover, they will ensure that the mitigation system is operating properly.
When looking for a contractor, there are several things you need to watch for. Here are five basic questions to ask when hiring a radon remediation company.What licensing and certification has the radon remediation company obtained?
There is not one mandatory national licensing program for those involved in the radon trade. It is important that the remediation company you choose is certified by the NRPP. AARST-NRPP professionals adhere to the ANSI American National Standards, and must undergo rigorous training, testing and continuing education to retain certification. Companies that do not follow these standards expose their clients to unhealthy levels of radon due to improper installation. Additionally, clients must pay extra money to have the systems reinstalled due to faulty or cheap installation practices.
Is the radon remediation company insured?
Dealing with radon is a risky business, one that occasionally requires major alterations to houses and buildings. Request to see the agency’s Liability and Worker’s Compensation insurance certificates prior to having any work done. Ensure that it is current. If the radon remediation company does not have appropriate insurance, you face tremendous financial risk if any of the employees become injured or ill while on your property.
Does the radon remediation company offer a warranty or guarantee on parts and service?
Most quality companies provide a written guarantee that if the mitigation system or fans malfunction, or if improper installation causes bad functioning, the contractors will return and fix it at no additional cost to you. The Environmental Protection Agency advises that radon levels be adjusted to lower than 4 picocuries per liter. Some contractors will have more comprehensive warranties than others. A reputable radon remediation company should be able to install the system with confidence that the radon levels will be reduced. A refusal to offer a performance warranty may indicate a lack of quality and experience.
What references are available?
When inexperienced or unqualified contractors install systems, the systems often work immediately but then falter soon thereafter. Improper installation causes condensation issues and premature system failure. Ask for multiple references. Question references about cleanliness, quality, punctuality and professionalism. If there is no record of work done previously, use caution in proceeding.
What post-tests are performed to ensure quality?
Though not mandatory in most areas, at least one post-test should always be performed after installation. A short term test should be completed within one week of installation. A long term test should last 90 days. Both tests work to show that the installation was done properly.
Radon is a serious concern. So is hiring a radon remediation company. Determining a potential hire’s answers to these questions is important. Don’t subject yourself to sub-par work that may put your health in danger by hiring the wrong contractor.