If you’re in the process of searching the market for a home, there are a number of things you may see during a tour or inspection of a given home. How should you be proceeding if one such thing you find in a home you may consider purchasing is an existing radon mitigation system?
At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re here to help clients with every part of the realm of radon testing and radon mitigation for clients throughout Colorado. We even offer radon testing for real estate agents, as we know limiting the risks of radon is often a vital area of consideration for those looking to purchase a home. Here’s a rundown of what you should be thinking about if a home you’re considering already has a radon mitigation system, and how this may impact (or not impact) your decision to move forward.
It’s Not a Bad Thing
First and foremost, we wanted to get this out there up front: Finding a radon mitigation system active in a home you’re considering is not a negative thing. In fact, it can actually be seen as an indicator that homeowners in the past have taken steps to limit their risks surrounding radon and mitigate the risks of exposure to it.
That said, you do need to remember that the mitigation system may not have been installed very recently. Depending on when the home was built, and how frequently the homeowners have been testing and mitigating, there may be a good chance the system is no longer functioning as it should.
Many of our upcoming sections will focus on how to assess and value the radon mitigation system that’s present if you find one.
Qualities of a Properly-Installed Radon Mitigation System
As noted, one of the first things you should be doing upon locating a radon mitigation system in a home you’re considering is confirm its quality, both at installation and moving forward. Here are some signs that you’re in good shape:
- Fan on the attic, roof or other exterior location: One important sign that a radon mitigation system is properly installed is the presence of an exhaust fan on the attic, roof or other exterior location. This is vital to making sure the system can remove radon from beneath the home and mitigate risks accordingly. This fan should never be located in a crawlspace, mechanical room or any other area that is only accessed during an inspection.
- Noise levels: If a radon system is operating properly, there should be very little to virtually no noise present. While functioning, the fan should be running at a very low speed and may produce some noise, but this should not be a loud or obnoxious level of sound.
- Airflow gauge: On the pipes inside the home, there should be an airflow gauge installed. This will help you confirm that the system is pulling the appropriate amount of air through to work as intended, and can also help you troubleshoot any potential issues with it down the road.
- Hidden where possible: While certain visible pipes must be present in the home, both the mitigation system and its piping should be hidden from sight as much as possible. This will help limit the risk of damage, and also give you a sense of whether or not the system is in good shape moving forward.
- Installer information: Maybe most importantly, you want to take note of who installed the radon mitigation system and make a point to ask about that company’s reputation. If you’re able to review past work or speak with the installer, it will help give you confidence in their abilities moving forward.
Even if you find a radon mitigation system active in a home you’re considering purchasing, it should not dissuade you from moving forward. But it’s vital to know what to look for and how these systems can operate, so that you know whether or not the mitigation system is providing enough protection and value in the home.
As always, we encourage all interested parties to consult with professionals like us if they have any questions about radon mitigation systems.
Possible Problem Signs
On the other hand, here are a few possible signs that a radon mitigation system was not properly installed, or has had issues in the time since it was put in place:
- Fan in wrong location: As we noted before, a major sign of a properly installed system is the presence of an exterior fan. If you find that fan in a crawlspace, mechanical room or any other interior location, it’s a cause for concern and may mean the system isn’t operating as intended.
- Multiple fans: In some cases, two fans may be present in the home instead of just one. If they are, they should be placed in a balanced location and connected to the same piping, rather than located at opposite ends of the house. If you find multiple fans present in your home, it’s likely there is a problem with this system that you need to bring up before moving forward with the purchase.
- No installer information: Finally, if you don’t see the information of who installed the system in your home, it’s a concern. An installer will be able to help fix problems with their own work, and should also be able to give you peace of mind moving forward.
Get it Tested
If you have any concerns or doubts about the radon mitigation system in a home you’re considering purchasing, get the home tested on your own. Our team of professionals can conduct a full test of both the home and the existing mitigation system to give you an accurate picture of what’s going on, and what needs to be done to mitigate risks as effectively as possible.
For more on how to approach the situation if a home you’re considering has a radon mitigation system already installed, or to learn about any of our radon testing or mitigation solutions, speak to the staff at Absolute Radon Safety today.