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curtis596

Radon mitigation system doesn't seem legitimate

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Last weekend we had a company install a mitigation system for our underground home. It is an older home that we purchased last fall. It is basically a walk out basement with an earth roof. We decided to test for radon which came back in the 8s. We bought an electronic continuous tester and that runs around 7 or so.

The company came out and rather than drill any holes into our slab or foundation, they simply dug down next to our foundation and installed a bucket and attached pipes and a fan to that. I have questioned the legitimacy of such a system. They have yet to show me proof that this is an acceptable method. They did suggest that the bucked draws from under the footing, but I don't know how that would be possible.

Do you have any input? Do you think this is the most efficient method? I am concerned they are just shooting to get us under 4 and be done. They tried to claim that due to the style of home that this was the only option. I think that is complete BS and that they were just taking the laziest route. Thoughts?

Michelle

P.S. The installed the fan and bucket at the far end of my home. Pictures of my home can be found at http://www.earthsheltered.org/my-granol ... -true.html If looking at the pictures, it would be the right hand side, by the retaining wall.

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Radon mitigation contractors are not licensed or regulated in Michigan. That means there is no standards and no government agency enforcement. I think the contractor's only obligation is to satisfy what was written in the accepted proposal.

There better have been something in the proposal that states they would reduce the radon level to below the EPA's action level of 4 pCi/L. A "clearance test" is required to make that determination.

Here is the USEPA's radon mitigation standards: http://www.radon.com/pubs/mitstds.html#systemsdesign

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Yes, it is in the contract. After all the research I have done since the install, I just don't feel comfortable with the method as being efficient, let alone effective. I guess time will tell. I am really more questioning the method and wondered if anyone has seen this done before?

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I would simply retest to see what the levels are now that a mitigation system has been installed. However, it does sound screwy to me, but then again I have never seen an earth home with a mitigation system, but I have seen thousands of mitigation systems in "typical" homes, so I'll stick with my screwy opinion for now.

Secondly I am pretty sure the radon tester you have (it plugs into the wall and is about the size of a CO detector) has not been accepted by the EPA, I forget the reason, but I seem to remember reading they are unreliable.

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Last weekend we had a company install a mitigation system for our underground home. It is an older home that we purchased last fall. It is basically a walk out basement with an earth roof. We decided to test for radon which came back in the 8s. We bought an electronic continuous tester and that runs around 7 or so.

The company came out and rather than drill any holes into our slab or foundation, they simply dug down next to our foundation and installed a bucket and attached pipes and a fan to that. I have questioned the legitimacy of such a system. They have yet to show me proof that this is an acceptable method. They did suggest that the bucked draws from under the footing, but I don't know how that would be possible.

Do you have any input? Do you think this is the most efficient method? I am concerned they are just shooting to get us under 4 and be done. They tried to claim that due to the style of home that this was the only option. I think that is complete BS and that they were just taking the laziest route. Thoughts?

Michelle

P.S. The installed the fan and bucket at the far end of my home. Pictures of my home can be found at http://www.earthsheltered.org/my-granol ... -true.html If looking at the pictures, it would be the right hand side, by the retaining wall.

For starters, I doubt you will find any guidelines on how to properly install a radon mitigation system in an underground home! You have a unique home and thus it will require a unique system. As said in another post, you need to re-test and see what the results are.

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Hey Michelle,

I am in the Lansing area, so have a little insight into common practice. Your system is worthless. Likely the company that installed it also is unskilled. Was it an Air Quality Control system?

There are several skilled folks in your area that you should contact and have them take a look. Email me if you need names.

I have inspected several thousand systems and have never seen one that is as you described.

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Bingo! That is the place.

I want to really pressure them into getting their stuff and returning my money. I am prepared to go to the media. So I will contact you for some names. I would rather pay more to get it done right. I really just thought we had a minor problem and that a standard fix would easily fix it. Then they went and pulled this one. I would have never thought.

I can see the benefit of having this industry regulated.

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I think you got ripped off. And I don't understand why this house is so unique when it comes to radon. Go down into any basement of any standard house with a radon mitigation system. Now envision the entire house being removed except the floor above, and the whole thing being covered with dirt. Isn't that your situation? Put in the same type of mitigation system.

Also, it sounds like the system you have could allow ground water to infiltrate more easily.

Even if this system gets the level under 4, a proper system would probably make it much less than that. Good luck.

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Michelle,

I have emailed you.

Do you have any photos? I can't seem to make any sense from your link, other than a bunch of ads.

There are lots of questions regarding your system.

Who contracted with the company? Did they represent anything? Costs? Who paid? How was initial screening done? Size of fan? Configuration and size of pipes? etc

We also have to know the details of your unique house foundation.

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Once again this site fuels a mad homeowner looking to sue.

"of course you realize this means war"

Members here don't "fuel" anything. We state things the way they are with no obfuscation.

What's your alternative - not tell him/her the truth, hide from the facts, pretend everything is OK?

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Once again this site fuels a mad homeowner looking to sue.

"of course you realize this means war"

I agree with Mike. We're just here stating facts. That's all.

And, this is what the rule of law is for.

Where are you in the 'zoo? I lived there for years, and still know a bunch of people throughout SW Michigan.

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We are in Oshtemo.

I contracted this myself, thinking, "what could go wrong? It seems so simple." Hindsight is of course 20:20. We paid $749. It was a job my husband considered doing himself but for that priced figured why not let them do it.

I agree that I don't think this is such a unique situation. It is a basement! A walk out basement. Lol. Of course, Zak (the service manager) tried to explain away the "job" as just that, a unique situation. It is obvious they just didn't want to go through the concrete. Ugh, to do some things differently. *shakes her head*

I really appreciate the input. I just wanted to make sure my instincts were correct.

Michelle

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Yes.

All it takes is a Hilti w/a concrete hold saw. Make a hole, then route the pipe up through wherever to above the roofline.

I built some of the first (then new) houses out in Oshtemo back in the 70's.

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Lee,

it ain't about litigation. It is about a "company" that has a very clear record of selling a service that usually turns into a scam. We, inspectors, are in the business of knowing how houses are put together and selling our opinion.

I am not shy about initiating any cause of action if that is what it takes. Nearly everyone has the idea they will sue, at first, but kinda slow down when they have a chance to talk to an objective party.

Erby, I am pleased to see there are others that share my opinion!

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some examples. I love the plexiglass caulked to floor.

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The reason that the system was designed/installed the way that it was is based on several unique factors about your home:

1. Your home is fully buried below grade so there is no direct pathway from the slab to the outside.

2. The entire area of the lowest level of the home is finished living space (which would require a significant amount of destruction/disturbance to tap directly into the slab and route the pipe to the outside.)

3. The home has the heating and cooling ducting (both supply and return) embedded below the slab. Tapping into the air space below the slab could adversely impact the efficiency of the home.

The method used is effective at mitigating radon by depressurizing the aggregate (loose soil) around the outside perimeter of the footings. Once a post-mitigation radon test is performed you will see that the radon levels inside the home are now in check. The post-mitigation radon testing can be performed by us or a certified third-party company. Please contact us at your convenience so we can make arrangements to get this done. And rest assured that if for any reason the system is not performing properly, we will make repairs free of charge.

Sincerely;

Air Quality Control

(517) 322-2999

mattn@radonmail.com

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a case of buyer's remorse fueled by a small handful of bitter, out-of-work "home inspectors" that have nothing better to do than criticize anyone who has achieved a level of success that they envy and have failed to reach
What do you know about the level of business success of anyone here? You carp about folks slandering you and then you come here and spout that - and you took five long paragraphs to say it? Sounds like you're trying to convince yourself that what you say is true.

If you had a pair, you'd come on here and address the issue like a competent professional and include diagrams and explanations of why/how the system was installed that way instead of bleating like a kid that got spit on at the playground.

One thing is for sure, the next time anyone here is asked by their clients for the name of a competent radon mitigation company I strongly doubt that your's is one that'll be recommended - more likely than not, they'll advise their clients to avoid dealing with you. Way to go, genius!

For the sake of Google, what was the name of your company again., so I don't forget it?

Air Quality Control, Air Quality Control, Air Quality Control, Air Quality Control

OK, I think I'll remember it now.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Matt or Jamey, If you understood my comments to be personal, you would be wrong.

Nothing personal.

I have never spoken or communicated with a Jason.

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Erby: If the malfunctioning system in the video is one that my company installed, the solution is quite simple: shoot me an email (mattn@radonmail.com) with the info and we'll get right out there and repair it... unless you are still waiting to see if the homeowner is going to surrender to your fear mongering tactics and accept your inflated $1,500 bid to repair it [b)]

Aw, come on Matt. Y'all already repaired it, well, except for the electric service. That's supposed to be done by a licensed electrician. The bigger question is why your guy installed it that way in the first place.

By the way, I don't install OR repair mitigation systems, $1,500 or not. I just find em and I've found a quite a few of your company's that don't comply with established standards.

Like the one where your guy put the suction point at the right front corner of the garage, outside the house foundation which was at the left and back of the garage.

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Or the one where your guy powered the system by plugging into an exterior GFCI protected outlet.

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Or the one where your guy didn't seal the vapor barrier joints and this was his idea of sealing it to the crawl space walls.

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Your company may have installed some quality systems somewhere, but it sure isn't around here.

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