Home Buying in Plainfield>Question Details

Marie Arpin, Home Buyer in 06331

How much does it cost to mitigate radon ?

Asked by Marie Arpin, 06331 Sat Dec 21, 2013

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BEST ANSWER
Hi Marie,

Good question. I assume you are asking what the cost might be for 'active mitigation" system installation. My clients have seen costs between $1000-$1800 depending on the physical conditions and size of home.

If you are a home seller and a buyer has done a test that exceeds the 4 picocuries action level by just a little bit, you might opt for seeing if you can get the level reduced by taking a few steps and employing "passive mitigation". What I mean is you may not need "active mitigation" which requires installation of a low speed fan (which draws power 24/7) to create negative pressure under your basement slab and thus drawing the radon gas out of the home and safely discharge into the atmosphere.

Radon is a gas and its entry into the home can often be stopped by you eliminating pathways for it to enter the home. If you try the following steps and then retest, that might eliminate the need for an active system (good for you and good for future owners since no power is used and equipment to be maintained).

Check the following:

1. Make sure all cracks in the basement slab are caulked and sealed. This includes control joints, wall-to-slab joint around perimeter of basement slab, shrinkage cracks.

2. Minimize negative pressure in the home. This is done by air sealing penetrations in the framing (mainly in the attic at the penetrations of the wall's framing top plates). Seal around all wires and pipes coming up into the attic. A force called "stack effect" allows air to migrate up and out of the home simply due to pressure from heat rising wind conditions. Sealing these penetrations will stop that heat lost (reducing energy costs) and help reduce negative pressure which can draw radon into the home.

3. HVAC equipment for heating and making hot water often needs make-up air. The best equipment is sealed combustion where air is drawn from outside the home and then run through the equipment. Older equipment draws air from the basement area. Some owners have their HVAC service persons provide make-up air to the area adjacent to the equipment thus reducing negative pressure.

4. Fireplaces - if you have a wood burning fireplace, be sure to shut the damper when not in use. When burning wood in a wood burning fireplace, many owners will crack a window in that same room for make-up air or they have fresh air intakes built into the fireplace.

5. Sump Pumps - if you have a sump pump or floor drain, you should seal off that from the basement. You can take thick poly sheet and lay a bead of caulking around the pump/piping and create an air-tight seal thus eliminating a radon pathway.

Confirming that you don't have obvious pathways for radon to enter the home often a good thing to do before simply pulling the trigger on installing an active radon mitigation system. That advice isn't something you would hear from the radon mitigation installer. You do need to retest to confirm that levels are acceptable though after you eliminate obvious pathways.

Hope this info helps.

Greg Hanner, Broker, REALTOR, e-PRO
http://www.GardenRealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 21, 2013
Understand Marie. If there are obvious pathways that can be corrected and you want to try to employ passive mitigation, then doing that and retesting is an option. You are correct on disclosure requirement however, if corrective action brings levels down below 4.0, then you can disclose steps taken and avoid out of pocket costs to you as seller now and then operating costs for future owners. If active mitigation is in fact needed, then I like the idea of providing the buyers a credit and then letting them install the system of their choice after occupancy. Sounds like you know what needs to be done and your buyers should have confidence in the home since radon problems are manageable. Also, having a more accurate test done has been beneficial to all parties involved and you could offer doing that and paying for it or providing a mutually agreed to credit should the 2nd test exceed 4.0.
Flag Sat Dec 21, 2013
Thank you, Greg. Your information is very helpful. Since the radon test revealed levels above 4, it will now need to be listed in disclosures. We are trying to give the buyers a fair credit rather than fix the problem ourselves. Up to this point negotiations have been good. We don't want to lose the sale because of this issue.
Flag Sat Dec 21, 2013
Hi Marie,

Good question. I assume you are asking what the cost might be for 'active mitigation" system installation. My clients have seen costs between $1000-$1800 depending on the physical conditions and size of home.

If you are a home seller and a buyer has done a test that exceeds the 4 picocuries action level by just a little bit, you might opt for seeing if you can get the level reduced by taking a few steps and employing "passive mitigation". What I mean is you may not need "active mitigation" which requires installation of a low speed fan (which draws power 24/7) to create negative pressure under your basement slab and thus drawing the radon gas out of the home and safely discharge into the atmosphere.

Radon is a gas and its entry into the home can often be stopped by you eliminating pathways for it to enter the home. If you try the following steps and then retest, that might eliminate the need for an active system (good for you and good for future owners since no power is used and equipment to be maintained).

Check the following:

1. Make sure all cracks in the basement slab are caulked and sealed. This includes control joints, wall-to-slab joint around perimeter of basement slab, shrinkage cracks.

2. Minimize negative pressure in the home. This is done by air sealing penetrations in the framing (mainly in the attic at the penetrations of the wall's framing top plates). Seal around all wires and pipes coming up into the attic. A force called "stack effect" allows air to migrate up and out of the home simply due to pressure from heat rising wind conditions. Sealing these penetrations will stop that heat lost (reducing energy costs) and help reduce negative pressure which can draw radon into the home.

3. HVAC equipment for heating and making hot water often needs make-up air. The best equipment is sealed combustion where air is drawn from outside the home and then run through the equipment. Older equipment draws air from the basement area. Some owners have their HVAC service persons provide make-up air to the area adjacent to the equipment thus reducing negative pressure.

4. Fireplaces - if you have a wood burning fireplace, be sure to shut the damper when not in use. When burning wood in a wood burning fireplace, many owners will crack a window in that same room for make-up air or they have fresh air intakes built into the fireplace.

5. Sump Pumps - if you have a sump pump or floor drain, you should seal off that from the basement. You can take thick poly sheet and lay a bead of caulking around the pump/piping and create an air-tight seal thus eliminating a radon pathway.

Confirming that you don't have obvious pathways for radon to enter the home often a good thing to do before simply pulling the trigger on installing an active radon mitigation system. That advice isn't something you would hear from the radon mitigation installer. You do need to retest to confirm that levels are acceptable though after you eliminate obvious pathways.

Hope this info helps.

Greg Hanner, Broker, REALTOR, e-PRO
http://www.GardenRealty.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 21, 2013
Depends on a number of factors including the size of the home and the foundation type, but prices generally range from $1000 - $2500. Best thing to do is get a couple of Radon Mitigation companies out to give you a quote.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 21, 2013
A company called SWOT will do it for $1000. for a air system. I have used them in the past and my clients have been happy with their work. Google them.......
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 21, 2013
Thank you. Our buyers are asking for an aeration system. Even though the water test said "safe for drinking" they want air and water addressed. What do you think this would cost? We are in negotiations now.
Flag Sat Dec 21, 2013
Please Keep RADIATION DATA in Skillman NJ in mind for ALL Radon Testing/Remediation , Basement Waterproofing & Mold Testing/Remediation. 1-888-Radon-Gas .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 12, 2014
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