NWI Radon & Environmental Q&A

I've seen radon fans for sale at my home improvement store. Can I install one on my own?

It is generally not recommended by anyone other than the company selling that fan. Our fans are only sold to licensed professionals and far surpass the performance of anything sold direct to consumers. Professional design requires specialized equipment to determine sub slab air movement. Additionally, most homeowners do not have the tools or the willingness to drill through concrete slabs, foundations or parts of the exterior or interior structure of the home. It is critical to follow AARST/ANSI radon mitigation standards to ensure safety and performance of your system. I will never tell anyone that they are incapable of doing anything if properly trained or directed, but ask any reputable, qualified and proud trade professional if you can do their job better and I'm sure I can predict the answer. Radon is a carcinogen and environmental concern, so it's best to use licensed and AARST/NRPP certified professionals.

My home builder put in a passive radon pipe, is that sufficient or effective?

Some builders have started installing passive radon mitigation pipes. Numerous studies have shown that passive systems may be effective in reducing radon levels by about 50% or more when installed correctly by licensed, knowledgeable professionals. The problem we encounter is that these systems are often installed by unqualified and unlicensed individuals. Minimum standards in our state require all systems to be designed and approved at completion by a licensed mitigation professional. Preparing your extraction point and understanding your sub slab soil composition is just as important as sealing cracks, gaps and sump pits in a passive system. A simple key component that is often lacking is whether the property had been tested after the system was installed to ensure it even reduced the level adequately. Sometimes these systems have to be activated with a radon mitigation fan or redesigned all together. If your home has a passive system installed, be sure to have it tested and evaluated by a licensed and certified mitigation professional to ensure optimal performance. 

My builder told me elevated radon levels in the home were due to carpet adhesive, which can effect radon testing equipment. Is this true?

No, it is not true. We are not aware of any equipment affected by what would likely be VOCs. Carpet adhesive can have some known toxic chemicals that off gas into the home, but it does not produce radon or radon progeny. Radon gas is a byproduct of uranium in the soil. Granite slabs have been known to carry varying concentrations of uranium that may contribute to indoor radon levels, but again, this is an isolated minor contributor. If building materials or glue contain uranium, then someone is in big trouble! You may hear other variations or theories based upon what people were told or what people have read on their own. My suggestion would be to always contact a qualified professional or reference the EPA, cancer.org, lung.org or AARST/NRPP websites for accurate information.

Another company quoted me over the phone, do you do the same?

Because we firmly believe it is a disservice to our clients if we set an expectation without properly evaluating a structure. That is just one of the many reasons we stand apart from our competitors. It is virtually impossible to understand how a system will function, let alone be placed in an aesthetically pleasing manner without seeing it first hand. Would you do a kitchen or bathroom remodel solely based upon an over the phone quote? We set the expectations up front and strive to outperform on every job. Creating a safe environment, optimal performance and aesthetics that blend well with the home is what we deliver.

I had a 4 year old system installed and the company who did the work was going to charge me a service fee to evaluate broken supports and failed piping. How do you stand behind your work?

We have assisted many customers where other installers were content to do the initial work, but did not respond to repair requests, honor warranties or make themselves available otherwsie. We have office staff and installation professionals that answer their phones. We pride ourselves on the level of service we provide. Our fans are considered the highest performing and most advanced in the industry and we offer the longest replacement warranty in the industry at 10 years. We also provide a limited lifetime installation warranty on every system. This means that we stand behind our work for the life of the fan and will evaluate and repair any system failure that was not caused by the property owner. 

I have a crawlspace, so how would you install a system to reduce radon?

It's a bit more involved, but absolutely effective to reduce radon in a crawlspace. Most crawlspaces have open exposure to the soil or may have a stone base, so the area has to be encapsulated. This means that a very durable, reinforced and anti-microbial material has to be anchored and sealed around the perimeter, then 12" or greater overlaps in the interior have to sealed with seam tape and/or sealant. Once an air-tight barrier is installed, we can depressurize and create vacuum to remove radon gases and other environmental gases and particulate. We encourage anyone with a crawlspace to contact us so we can discuss your situation and recommendations for improvements. 

I was told Radon is a hoax, is that true?

Radon gas, a byproduct of the natural decay or uranium and radium, is listed on the periodic table of elements and classified as a known carcinogen by nearly all of the major scientific and environmental organizations and associations. It is far from fake or a hoax as a shortened answer. The risk lies with long term exposure to elevated levels within a home. Although the estimate is roughly 21,000 deaths per year are related to radon exposures, it's very difficult to trace the exact cause of nearly any cancer diagnosis. I have a daughter with Leukemia and fully understand that how or even why it happened specifically to her will never be known. With radon gas, we know it's problematic and we have a known way to address it, so I find comfort by advising my clients and those we teach within our state about the facts.

If my house is on a slab does it make radon less of a concern?

No, in fact, if you are on a slab the area of highest radon concentration will be on the main floor of the home. We often get this question or hear where people are told that radon doesn't exist other than in basements. This is simply a misunderstanding of how radon gas travels. As always, we recommend testing first to understand the level within a given structure.

My radon test was under 4 at roughly 3.7, should I be worried?

This is a common question and one that I feel has become clearer the longer we do this. The EPA and WHO both recommend homes should consider lowering their indoor exposure level below 2 pCi/L. They also state that there is no safe level. That being said, we often tell people that if the concern will linger in your mind, then it's likely beneficial to address it. There is no negative impact on the home if you install a system. We don't advocate spending money for no reason and we routinely design complicated systems in a stepped approach to avoid significant expenditures, but I firmly feel that peace of mind far outweighs the stress associated with constant worry. 

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NWI Radon & Environmental
588 N Indiana Ave
Crown Point, IN 46307
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