So You Think Your House Is Radon Free?

The other day I performed a home inspection. It was your typical home inspection of a nice little house that had a few updated amenities. As I was walking around the outside with my client, I noticed there was a radon mitigation system installed. I commented on it and my client said “oh that’s what that is”. As I looked at it I noticed the top of the PVC stack was broken (not a big deal, all it needed was a new elbow installed to carry it above the eave).

A little while later my client says to me, “well I guess we don’t need to do the radon test so how much less will the home inspection be now”. I replied back to him, “just because there is a mitigation system here doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do the test”. My client looked at me and said “well there shouldn’t be a radon problem since this system is here so why should I pay for a test I don’t need”.

Instead of arguing the point with my client I said “I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do. I always want the test to be done, especially here as it is evident there is a radon problem. Just because there is a system doesn’t mean it’s working properly or addressing the obvious problem. I am going to do the test anyways. If it comes back and there is no problem and the system is doing its job, I’ll pay for the cost of the test myself.” My client looked at me and said “OK – you’ve got a deal”

A few days later I went and picked up the radon test canisters and sent them to the lab I use. The next day I get the results back from the lab and I forward it off to my client with a note attached.

About an hour later I get a call from my client that goes like this: “Hi Dave, thanks for doing such a great job on the inspection, the report was excellent by the way. I’m glad you insisted on doing the radon test, even though I was pushing you not to – just to save a few bucks. I can’t believe the radon levels were so high – even with a system installed. I called the company that installed the system and they informed me that they haven’t been out to the property to service the system in over 3 years. I called my realtor who in turn called the sellers realtor and they are having the company come out first thing tomorrow to service the radon solutions. When they are done, can you come back and do another test to make sure the system is operating properly and that the levels are within normal standards”? My reply: “Of course I will.”

Being a Home Inspector is a job I take very seriously. My clients are paying me for my advice and my experience. For something as deadly as radon can be, I’m not taking any chances. I’ll do what I have to do to convince my clients that it is in their best interest to always get a radon test done – NO MATTER WHAT!

Author: Kenzi Turner