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Radon mitigation system doesn't seem legitimate


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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)]

Les: Please provide a list of all of the "scams" of ours that you are aware of per your blog post above. Don't worry, we didn't take that personally but our attorney is interested in taking a look at the documentation that you have to support your accusations. In my opinion, any company that falsely claims to be certified to perform radon testing and uses devices that are out of calibration (i.e. Accurate Inspections LLC) is a scam!

Mike: I know that my postings seem to be taking an aggressive approach. Normally I would simply ignore this type of pandering, but for some reason I felt compelled to respond. Whether you see it or not, what you are doing is wrong. When someone seeks your advice you should give them information that is in their best interest, not yours! Jumping to "you got ripped off" or "the system isn't working" without having even a fraction of the facts is simply ignorant. An ethical person would give advice like "perform a radon test to find out if the system is working" or "contact the company that installed the system and ask them about it." Instead, you chose to launch an attack on us by throwing bad information out there simply to make yourself feel like a hero. I don't know how you could expect me not to fire back! Wouldn't you?

Honestly guys, this blog is doing nothing but senselessly breeding negativity and I'm done with it. I'm sure that we all have better things to do than bicker like school girls (at least I do!) You have my phone number and email address so if anyone is aware of an actual customer, who is having a problem with a radon system that my company installed, simply let me know and I'll take care of it. End of story.

Well, all I can say is if you are going to toss stones do not live in a glass house! If I was a service manager and I worked for a national firm like Air Quality Control I would not be harping about how good we are to anyone outside of my service area. Erby has shown with his photos the substandard work performed by Air Quality Control in his area of Kentucky, so we know that it happens.

This is a good example of what happens when a company gets too big! The overall quality tends to suffer due to the lack of good supervision.

If I needed a radon mitigation system put into my home and after I found this post on the Internet, I would most likely not use Air Quality Control. This is just my humble opinion.

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Wow. I am shocked at what Matt Noss wrote here. On Saturday, what 2 days before he commented on this forum, he offered to take our system out and return our money, in writing! Yes, in writing. Now he is backing out and wanting to test, claiming that his attorney says it is a liability issue to remove our system in case we ever get lung cancer. LOL

I will keep this short but add that I just got off the phone with Henry Erb from Target Team 8 (the local news) and I sent over all the emails, warranty info, proposal, etc. He is interested in running this story if I don't in fact get a refund. I have to keep him posted.

There are so many issues with this transaction. When we first questioned the method of install and they didn't jump to put our minds at ease, we started researching and reading all the fine print. Those couple of days with no contact from them led me to this forum, led me to understand that I really had no guarantee of any particular outcome from their "system" and that this was indeed a scam. I hope this gets resolved and that they change their business model.

I will be sure to post updates when we have a resolution.

Michelle

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Michelle,

You need to know that 48-hour tests are permitted for real estate transactions, but because the levels vary so divergently, NEHA says that a minimum 6-month test should occur to accurately test a house for radon.

So . . . the two-day test won't really tell you whether the mitigation system is operating correctly, and if it's a fail after six months, then your family has been exposed to radon for that length of time.

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Michelle,

You need to know that 48-hour tests are permitted for real estate transactions, but because the levels vary so divergently, NEHA says that a minimum 6-month test should occur to accurately test a house for radon.

So . . . the two-day test won't really tell you whether the mitigation system is operating correctly...

Last time I checked, a short-term radon measurement test, performed in accordance with EPA protocols, is the requirement for postmitigation clearance. Where can I find something that states that a short term test "won't really tell you whether the mitigation system is operating correctly"?
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Michelle,

You need to know that 48-hour tests are permitted for real estate transactions, but because the levels vary so divergently, NEHA says that a minimum 6-month test should occur to accurately test a house for radon.

So . . . the two-day test won't really tell you whether the mitigation system is operating correctly...

Last time I checked, a short-term radon measurement test, performed in accordance with EPA protocols, is the requirement for postmitigation clearance. Where can I find something that states that a short term test "won't really tell you whether the mitigation system is operating correctly"?

You're right, of course, technically. But there's a presumption in the short-term, post-mitigation clearance that a system was correctly configured and installed.

Since Michelle--and some who have posted here--have questions about whether her system is installed correctly, a two-day test could easily produce a false negative for radon.

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My responses are in red.

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. Not true. It is just like any walk out basement.

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.) Not true. We had a very available closet that was offered up.

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. Not true. Our ductwork is very predictable and it would have have never been bothered. My husband told the installer at the time exactly where it was when he was trying to convince the installer to do the job the correct way.

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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I view it as a constructive move for all members to accommodate the desires of others to correct or improve their posts as they wish.

Where we're going is always more important than where we've been.

Just my opinion, is all.

Marc

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Michelle: It was a pleasure talking to you on the phone today. As I explained in our conversation, you will see from performing some post-mitigation radon testing that the system is working properly and your radon problem has been fixed. If for any reason the system malfunctions, we will repair it free of charge.

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The method used is effective at mitigating radon by depressurizing the aggregate (loose soil) around the outside perimeter of the footings.

From the EPA Radon Mitigation Standards:

"Contractors who expect to deviate from proven radon mitigation technologies and methods (as defined in the RMS and other EPA references in Section 8.0) for purposes of research on innovative mitigation techniques, shall obtain prior approval from state regulatory offices, document the non-standard techniques, and inform the client of the deviation from standard procedures. In cases where radon mitigation is not regulated by the state, contractors shall obtain prior approval from a Regional EPA office."

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The method used is effective at mitigating radon by depressurizing the aggregate (loose soil) around the outside perimeter of the footings.

From the EPA Radon Mitigation Standards:

"Contractors who expect to deviate from proven radon mitigation technologies and methods (as defined in the RMS and other EPA references in Section 8.0) for purposes of research on innovative mitigation techniques, shall obtain prior approval from state regulatory offices, document the non-standard techniques, and inform the client of the deviation from standard procedures. In cases where radon mitigation is not regulated by the state, contractors shall obtain prior approval from a Regional EPA office."

Bill, where can I find those standards?

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Michelle: It was a pleasure talking to you on the phone today. As I explained in our conversation, you will see from performing some post-mitigation radon testing that the system is working properly and your radon problem has been fixed. If for any reason the system malfunctions, we will repair it free of charge.

Matt, you removed the lovely video you had posted with this comment which completely changes the tone. Keeping it classy.

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I thought some of you might be interested in looking at their limited component/performance warranty. This is something that should be given to the client before install, preferably with the quote. In our case it was given to us as the installer drove out our driveway. I have erased address and signature for privacy reasons.

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Michelle: It was a pleasure talking to you on the phone today. As I explained in our conversation, you will see from performing some post-mitigation radon testing that the system is working properly and your radon problem has been fixed. If for any reason the system malfunctions, we will repair it free of charge.

Matt, you removed the lovely video you had posted with this comment which completely changes the tone. Keeping it classy.

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It certainly wasn't him. It was one of the moderators here "keeping it classy".
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Bill, thanks for the reply.

I actually contacted the regional EPA office to ask about the section that you quoted. He said that it only really comes down to what the NEHA requires, and to file a complaint with them, which I had already started to do. He also said that I should take it to the Michigan Attorney General for fraud, which I will also be doing.

I want to thank everyone here for their input. I will be sure to keep this thread updated as this moves forward. Otherwise I don't know what else can be accomplished here.

One last thought, if radon mitigation was as easy as dropping a bucket in the ground and hooking up a fan, wouldn't it be all over the DIY sites? LOL

If anyone wants to further contact me, they can feel free to through this site or over on my blog: http://www.earthsheltered.org

Thanks again for all your help. :)

Michelle

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Michelle:

The system is working. Perform a radon test for any duration that you choose (48-hour, 30-day, 90-day, 1-year...) and you will see that it is working. We would be happy to perform the test or you can hire an impartial third-party to do it. If the test shows that the levels are elevated, we will make any and all necessary repairs to correct the problem. We will even pay for the third-party test if it fails!

If you'd like, I can stop by with a radon grab sampler (which gives real time, instantaneous radon readings) and take measurements both with the system running and with it turned off and you will see that the system is working. We can even take radon measurements below the slab, in the air stream of the system, or anywhere that you choose. Obviously, a longer-term test will give you a better indication; but hopefully this demonstration would put your mind at ease for the short-term.

If there are any provisions of the warranty that you are unhappy with, let's discuss it. It's not etched in stone. Within reason, I can modify it to where you're comfortable with the wording.

Mitigating radon is all that we do and we've been doing so since 1988. We know what works. The method used for your home was not experimental; it's been done thousands of times with great success. No offense to any of the bloggers on this site, but Michelle; you are getting a lot of information from people who have never installed a radon system in their lives. They are citing excerpts from EPA documents that have not been supported by the EPA for over 5-years.

We are willing to work with you in every way possible and I don't think that any of the solutions that I have offered are unreasonable by any means. I'm sure the Attorney General will agree that there is nothing fraudulent about installing an effective radon system in your home and they will be just as confused as I am as to why they would be brought into this.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to respond. I hope that we will have this matter resolved very soon.

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Warning,

If there is one thing that really irritates me, it's someone referring to TIJ as a "blog" which it isnt'.

To me it's as offensive as the N word. Call this site a "blog" one more time or refer to these forum members as "bloggers" one more time and you're going to find your profile locked and will no longer be able to respond.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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We have all learned something. The purpose of this site is education and a little conversation about inspections.

Nothing good is happening. OP got some good advice, got Air Quality's attention and will get some remedy. We lost our focus on the house, foundation, site, soils etc.

I have taken a couple of personal hits, let them go and now find the entire thread to be quite boring. I could lock it, but will let one of the other moderators make that decision.

For the record, I have had conversations with the original poster.

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I do find it amazing that the original poster has gotten to this point without any attempt at a post remediation test.

It is pretty simple. Air Quality Control didn't do what I paid them to do.

I don't know the provisions of the contract under which you hired them, but I presume that you agreed to pay them money and they agreed to install a radon mitigation system that would bring your indoor radon levels below 4 pc/l.

From what I've read in this thread, you have no idea about whether or not they succeeded because you haven't bothered to test.

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Actually, come to find out they don't guarantee any specific level, so I guess I did get what I paid for...BUT I did assume that they would install a standard system. Call me crazy. Here is the actually proposal. I was a dumb consumer, I will take that blame. I just didn't realize that although they talk about certain levels and show systems that in the end I would get neither. "Create radon collection chamber beneath concrete floor in appropriate location." to me doesn't mean a bucket outside my foundation. We will see what the NEHA and the attorney general think.

Download Attachment: icon_adobe.gif proposal (3).pdf

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Actually, come to find out they don't guarantee any specific level, so I guess I did get what I paid for...BUT I did assume that they would install a standard system. Call me crazy. Here is the actually proposal. I was a dumb consumer, I will take that blame. I just didn't realize that although they talk about certain levels and show systems that in the end I would get neither. "Create radon collection chamber beneath concrete floor in appropriate location." to me doesn't mean a bucket outside my foundation. We will see what the NEHA and the attorney general think.

So why haven't you performed a post mitigation test?

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I have a continuous monitor running so I know that the levels are not below 4, so there really isn't a point. Let's say they are 3.9, isn't it fair for me to wonder if they could have been much lower if the system was done the way that is standard? The way that I paid for. Why didn't I get a choice in that matter? They have yet to prove that they couldn't do it the standard way. They cheesed it. That isn't what I paid for. What part of that is so hard to understand?

In fact, in a letter where Matt offered to refund our money and remove the system, he acknowledged that many companies wouldn't have even installed a system under our "unusual conditions"...so why wasn't I told that? Why wasn't I given the option? They were happy to take my money for a "unconventional" system. They also were going to refund my money and have since back tracked. Why is that? Oh, right, because he told me he didn't want the liability of us getting cancer down the road.

This has nothing to do with whether the system works. (Which I have a firm belief that it doesn't and might end up deciding to prove it just for kicks.) This is about whether this is what I paid for. Anyone could drop a bucket in the ground. I didn't pay for that. If I wanted to drill through my concrete, I would have just done it myself. That is why I paid for this to be done.

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