What is the Cost of a Radon Mitigation System?
As a radon mitigation company, this is of course a question we receive everyday. As a general rule, radon mitigation systems range from around $800 to $1,200. However, in some select instances, the cost of a radon mitigation system could be even more. The important concept to take away from the aforementioned cost average is that since every home is very different, the cost of a radon mitigation system may also differ from home to home. Additionally, if you are in search of a radon mitigation contractor and you come across a price significantly less than the price range listed above, it is safe to view that quote as a red flag. Since Wisconsin has no radon mitigation regulations, literally anyone can call themselves a radon mitigation contractor and attempt to install a system. Therefore, pricing significantly below the industry average should serve as a red flag for improper installation, lack of insurance coverage, or a multitude of other deficiencies associated with uncertified contracting. With that being said, we wanted to provide our customers with a brief summary of some of the main concepts that could affect the cost of a radon mitigation system. Furthermore, these brief descriptions and concepts may also help you sort out the unprofessional or uncertified contractors in the state of Wisconsin.
Electrical Hardwiring of Radon Fan
This may be the most common issue we see surrounding both cost estimates and professional installation. Although there are no state standards associated with the radon industry in Wisconsin, it is still very important to adhere to state electrical code when installing a radon mitigation system. Many unprofessional radon mitigation contractors do their own electrical work. This is dangerous for a number of reasons but mostly because of professional liability and municipal citations. You might ask yourself, if the radon mitigation contractor is willing to cut corners on something as serious as proper electrical installation, where else might they be cutting corners? Furthermore, this is why it is important to ask the radon mitigation contractor if the cost proposal includes professional, electrical work and permits pulled by a master electrician. The cost for electrical hardwiring of a radon mitigation fan can cost as much as $300. Again, a cost significantly less should be considered a red flag.
Submersible Sump Pump Installation
If the sump crock or drain-tile system is being used during the sub-slab depressurization process you should have a submersible sump pump installed in order to properly seal the sump crock. It is strictly advised that you replace your pedestal sump pump with a submersible sump pump for both proper sealing and proper functionality. The cost of a new submersible sump pump can range, with installation, from around $150 to significantly more depending on the brand and size of pump used. This is of course quite a bit less than it would cost to fix/replace your flooded basement if your “rigged” pedestal pump malfunctioned during heavy rains.
Suction Pits and Fan Upgrades
If you have an older home or a home that doesn’t have a drain-tile system, it is extremely important to dig what is known as a suction pit. In order to get proper suction from beneath the slab, the radon mitigation technician will core a hole and physically dig out around 5 gallons of soil from beneath the slab. This suction pit will allow the fan to pull the radon gas from beneath the slab and become even more effective over time as the undersoil begins to dry during constant depressurization. Because the radon technician has to do extra work and spend extra time, this style of radon mitigation system costs a bit more than a standard drain-tile or sump pump system. Furthermore, consistent with the sub-slab soil consistency, a specific upgraded fan will be chosen by the radon technician to gain proper suction and vacuum pressure from beneath the slab. For instance, gravel and loose soils are a bit easier to pull air through, however, compressed clay or compressed sand soil consistencies are much tougher and require a different, even more powerful fan. Therefore, homes where suction pits are needed to properly preform radon mitigation will generally cost more for two reasons: 1.) extra labor and 2.) an upgraded radon fan consistent with sub-slab soil conditions.
Dirt and Gravel Crawlspaces
Homes with dirt or gravel crawlspaces will cost more because of both extra labor and extra materials. Because radon is a soil-gas, dirt and gravel crawlspaces create direct exposure to the harmful gas. Therefore, homes with elevated levels of radon gas that contain dirt or gravel crawlspaces must be sealed to properly mitigate the radon gas from the structure. In most cases, the extra materials needed for dirt or gravel crawlspace mitigations are plastic sheeting known as vapor barrier, specific caulks and adhesives, and extra piping. Once the crawlspace is properly measured and the extra materials and labor are calculated, an accurate cost proposal can be presented. It is important to understand that generally, a dirt or gravel crawlspace is something that needs to be sealed in addition to the standard sub-slab depressurization system needed to mitigate the rest of the footprint. Therefore, expect the normal cost of a radon mitigation system as well as the additional materials and extra labor, calculated on the size of the crawlspace, to determine the total price of this style of system.
If your home has a weeping wall drainage system, this system has to be sealed. Since this system is in direct contact with the soil and drain-tile system, it must be sealed to a.) prevent radon gas from seeping through and b.) create proper vacuum pressure beneath the slab. The additional cost for this service will depend on how large the footprint is and how accessible the weeping wall is throughout the basement. Generally, this process is more costly because of the extra caulk and materials as well as the extra labor and time associated with the project.
The situations stated above will in most cases help to determine the extra costs associated with a radon mitigation system. However, there may be other factors to consider as well. Some of those factors include larger homes with larger footprints, custom runs and special designs, or systems with multiple collection points. This is not intended to be a list of all the different concepts that could affect the cost of a radon mitigation system, but simply a guide to understanding why and how some companies could charge different rates and why it is important to not just simply hire the contractor with the least expensive price. When choosing a radon mitigation contractor you should consider their understanding of your home, the design and suggestion of the system proposed and the warranties and service included. Look for a company with years of experience, positive reviews, and the infrastructure to handle the warranties and service your system may need down the road. At the end of the day, it is very rare that you will see two proposals with a huge cost differential. In the radon industry, the cost difference is at most a matter of a couple hundred dollars, usually much less. Being cheap now can become very expensive later. Expensive issues like basement floods, mold issues in attics and garages, or even house fires have all occurred from improper or uncertified installations. Choose your contractor wisely, not frugally, and if you are the property seller, remember the golden rule: treat others the way you would want to be treated.