Radon Testing Following a Mitigation
Protech’s standard radon mitigation contracts and cover letters include a prominent statement that we will run a post-mitigation test only if specifically requested. We do provide a factory sealed mail-in test kit so that the clients themselves can verify that the system is performing as warranted. We also encourage third party evaluation of our work, and even provide a phone number where clients can find qualified professionals.
In real estate transactions, it’s best if the purchasers wait until they have moved in before using the kit. That’s the only way they can know without a doubt that the test conditions had been properly maintained. We do not expect to be paid until they are satisfied, and have no problem with our funds being escrowed to give them time.
Occasionally a customer or agent may be confused by this process. They wonder how we can possibly warrant something without having tested it. The short answer is that we know what we are doing. Beyond the experience factor, here are some specific reasons why our procedure is clearly correct:
- EPA Radon Mitigation Standard #17.4 requires a contractor to recommend a third party or mail-in test. Wouldn’t it be odd to conduct a test and then tell customers that they shouldn’t rely on it?
- It is a blatant conflict of interest for a contractor to conduct a test for the purpose of claiming that his system is performing to spec. In some states, it is illegal. Michigan has no radon laws or regulations whatsoever, so there is no outright illegality, even though it is obviously a questionable practice.
- In a home sale, the current owner has an inherent and entirely understandable desire to have a successful test. This is true even if the contractor has guaranteed the work. The only way to avoid conflicts of interest is for the test to be conducted when the purchaser is in control of the property.
NOTE: We do not in any way equate conflict of interest with dishonesty. It’s just a sound business principle to avoid conflict of interest situations whenever possible.
- Our records show only 15 post-mitigation tests in our last 200 mitigation jobs. Why should customers be charged for something that almost nobody needs or wants?
Here are reasons why we occasionally do a post-mitigation test (i.e. on about 7% of our jobs):
- When the client needs a certified test report ASAP to support closing or to satisfy a relocation company. Unlike many contractors, we are actually EPA/NEHA-certified for radon testing, and also have the specific certification that allows using electronic monitors. Even in such cases, though, we insist on calling our test merely supplemental to the mail-in kit.
- In those rare situations when we are not certain that the job will be successful, and need to see an hour-by-hour datatape before telling the client that the system is working right.
Finally, here are some other reasons why someone might want to do the test himself:
- To make more money.
- To keep third party evaluations out of the picture.
- If he is inexperienced, and cannot predict whether the mitigation was successful.
People at the Michigan Radon Hotline (1-800-RADON GAS) can add to this discussion. Talk to them about contractors who place convenience and money above professional ethics.
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Super quick and efficient service of installing a radon mitigation system in the house we were selling. The installers were very knowledgeable and explained the system and the information to pass on to the buyer's. Definitely would recommend.
(a) at least ten feet off the ground,
(b) above the eave (not necessarily the edge) of the roof, and
(c) either ten feet away from, or two feet above, windows.