Home Inspection and Real Estate Forum for Home Inspectors and Real Estate Professionals
  [Search] Search   [Recent Topics] Recent Topics   [Hottest Topics] Hottest Topics  
[Register] Register / 
[Login] Login 
[Logo]












What is a Home Inspection?
Seller Opened Windows During Radon Test  XML
Forum Index » Radon
Author Message
Jeremiah Anderson
P. Diddy
[Avatar]

Joined: 08/02/2014 01:45 PM EDT
Messages: 611
Location: Blaine, MN
Offline

After doing Radon testing for many years, we had the first instance where a seller opened the windows during a Radon test. On the one hand I was glad that they called us to disclose this (the sellers kids opened the windows while he was away at work). However, now we have a return trip to drive out again and reset the test. Just wondering how everyone else is handling this; do you charge the seller a fee for the retest?

Thanks.

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." ~Dr. Seuss

Chief Of Operations
J.B. Anderson Inspections Inc.
www.jbandersoninspections.com
www.jbandersoninspectionsconcierge.com
www.minneapolishomeinspectionguide.com
www.minneapolishomeinspections.net
www.minnesotahomewarranty.net

763-350-8509
[Email] [WWW]
Nathan
King
[Avatar]

Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
Messages: 5198
Location: Carmel, IN
Offline

Tough situation- also rare. I might do it gratis in hopes it turns into a marketing event. In principle I hate to punish the honesty.

P. Nathan Thornberry
www.Nathan.tv
Take Your Career to the Next Level > https://youtu.be/hdBCJbl5byo
The #1 Vendor in Real Estate & Home Inspection
www.InspectionSuccess.net
www.RWSwarranty.com
www.InspectorServicesGroup.com
www.RecallChek.com
www.InspectorLab.com
www.InspectionSuperConference.com

Find a Certified Inspection Expert exclusively at www.InspectionCentral.net
Get your E&O Insurance at 20%+ off your current rates at www.RWSinsurance.com
[Email] [WWW]
Jeremiah Anderson
P. Diddy
[Avatar]

Joined: 08/02/2014 01:45 PM EDT
Messages: 611
Location: Blaine, MN
Offline

I was struggling with penalizing the honesty. I decided to not ask the seller to pay for a retest. Pay it forward so to speak...

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." ~Dr. Seuss

Chief Of Operations
J.B. Anderson Inspections Inc.
www.jbandersoninspections.com
www.jbandersoninspectionsconcierge.com
www.minneapolishomeinspectionguide.com
www.minneapolishomeinspections.net
www.minnesotahomewarranty.net

763-350-8509
[Email] [WWW]
Juan Jimenez
Seal Team 6
[Avatar]

Joined: 06/18/2014 08:53 PM EDT
Messages: 988
Location: Richmond, VA
Offline

Id probably do it free as well. I have kids too.

http://www.ahouseonarock.com
http://www.chimneysweeprichmond.com
[WWW]
Chad D
Batman
[Avatar]

Joined: 06/24/2014 08:55 AM EDT
Messages: 783
Location: Marquette Heights (Peoria) IL
Offline

Depending on the stage of testing (first 24 hours) I would just let the test run longer if possible. Radalink AirCats can run up to 5 1/2 days. But I wouldn't charge for a retest since they called to tell about the window situation.

Chad Dunham
Eagle's Nest Inspections
Home Inspections
203K Consulting
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Testing
Radon Testing
Mold Testing
309-323-0252
http://www.peoriailhomeinspections.com
[WWW]
Jim Hanson
Maverick
[Avatar]

Joined: 06/18/2014 11:09 PM EDT
Messages: 84
Location: Bettendorf, IA
Offline

Good call. You got Karma on your side now.

Jim Hanson
Hanson Home Inspections
Bettendorf, IA
www.hansonhi.com
[WWW]
Charles46
Liger
[Avatar]

Joined: 06/22/2014 09:11 PM EDT
Messages: 22
Location: Athens, GA
Offline

In my opinion, you made the proper decision. From a business outlook, it may garner good will that will come back to bless you in the future. From a personal outlootk, you did what you felt was right and proper. You took what I feel was the high road and I applaud you for that.

Charles Wilson
A.Wilson Home Inspection Company
678-726-7271
www.awilsonhomeinspection.com
[WWW]
TriCounty
Wizard
[Avatar]

Joined: 10/03/2014 09:39 PM EDT
Messages: 186
Location: Wisconsin
Offline

Good Post.

From my experience and research it depends on the window that was opened, how long, and what the final result of the test was.

We did some research a few years back at the University of MN and we found that in a two story home if a second floor window is open it will lower the radon level in that particular room (obviously) but the radon level in the basement actually went up. Same thing when a chimney flu is open during the test.

The theory is the stack effect changed when the second floor window was open pulling air from under the slab through the basement and out the second floor window. So, opening a window can actually result in a higher radon test.

We perform quite a few radon tests. Around 75% of my inspections include radon. A few times a month we go to pick up a radon test and see the homeowner has a bedroom window open. Were not searching this information out we just see it from the driveway.

I read the test and if it is high, the result is the result. If I read the test and it is low, we do a free re-test and explain the importance of leaving the windows closed. Parts of my area I bet you could leave several windows open and as long as the basement windows are closed the home is going to test above 4. We are RED HOT here in Wisconsin. There are parts of Iowa where I can set my monitor outside and get +4. One more reason to hold your breath when driving through Iowa

When it comes to cancer I think we all agree it is best to do everything on the safe side. Window open=low test=re-take test

Aaron Marjala MBA, MSM
Certified Inspection Expert
Master Home Inspector
Tri County Home Inspection, LLC
262.225.6998
414.433.4983
888.290.7646
WisconsinInspection.com
MinnesotaInspection.com
IllinoisInspection.com
Aaron@WisconsinInspection.com
[Email] [WWW]
mikeauger
Gangster
[Avatar]

Joined: 10/21/2014 06:28 PM EDT
Messages: 242
Location: Rhode Island
Offline

Jeremiah Anderson wrote:After doing Radon testing for many years, we had the first instance where a seller opened the windows during a Radon test. On the one hand I was glad that they called us to disclose this (the sellers kids opened the windows while he was away at work). However, now we have a return trip to drive out again and reset the test. Just wondering how everyone else is handling this; do you charge the seller a fee for the retest?

Thanks.


I use a CRM, so id not charge extra, no lab or shipping etc...

Mike Auger, CMI
Patriot Property Inspections
RI Home Inspector
RI Reg. # 32856
RI Radon Lic. # RMC-142 RMB-096
401-578-4878
www.homeinspectorri.com
[Email] [WWW]
Jeremiah Anderson
P. Diddy
[Avatar]

Joined: 08/02/2014 01:45 PM EDT
Messages: 611
Location: Blaine, MN
Offline

I use a Radalink CRM Mike. Its the cost of another trip out to the property and the time spent that I had originally been factoring into my thought.

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." ~Dr. Seuss

Chief Of Operations
J.B. Anderson Inspections Inc.
www.jbandersoninspections.com
www.jbandersoninspectionsconcierge.com
www.minneapolishomeinspectionguide.com
www.minneapolishomeinspections.net
www.minnesotahomewarranty.net

763-350-8509
[Email] [WWW]
TriCounty
Wizard
[Avatar]

Joined: 10/03/2014 09:39 PM EDT
Messages: 186
Location: Wisconsin
Offline

I switched over from the sun nuclear 1027's a few years ago to the radstar rs300's because they are extremely easy to operate and the data reports were better. Radstar will be releasing a new and "better" report format in the next few months. Let's just say I own a lot of units.

In my area I do radon testing on the majority of my inspections. Radon testing is as uniform as testing GFCI's in my area and it is an excepted standard with any home inspection.

There are some guys that still use canisters but I gave those up years ago. I was sick of mailing them out and waiting for results to than e-mail. I had to pick the canisters up within 48-72hrs rather than with the monitors if it sits for 4-5 days its not a big deal. Typically I will have the monitors dropped off 2-3 days prior to the inspection and print the results right off the monitor for the client. Plus, you can adjust your monitor to cut the first 12 or 24 hours off for ramp up if you get to a house and a window is open or you start the test after inspecting the home when several windows have been open.

I looked at the radalink monitors and personally thought the monthly price to rent was to high (they said I could not buy the monitors). I purchase my monitors for around $850 plus $25 shipping. I pay $125 to calibrate and have the battery changed every year. For as many monitors as I run it would cost me like $15,000/year to rent units. With radalink they will send you a replacement unit if needed and calibration is free. Not a big deal. Good idea, except I can have another brand new unit to my door in 48 hrs and ship the broken one back and have it repaired. The renting of units just did not seem like a good deal when I can own and depreciate the units out. Why pay to rent when you could own the unit in 6 months of renting?

Anyways, if you're going to be in the radon game the monitors are the way to go renting or buying. Also, it makes for a great summer job for a high school kid dropping off and picking up monitors and sending reports. You can even have them sending out thank you cards in their downtime. Just check with your workers comp so you know they're covered.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 10/22/2014 10:51 PM EDT

[Email] [WWW]
Nathan
King
[Avatar]

Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
Messages: 5198
Location: Carmel, IN
Offline

I thought the same you did about Radalink.

I was wrong.

You'll save a lot of money with Radalink- especially with that many monitors.

P. Nathan Thornberry
www.Nathan.tv
Take Your Career to the Next Level > https://youtu.be/hdBCJbl5byo
The #1 Vendor in Real Estate & Home Inspection
www.InspectionSuccess.net
www.RWSwarranty.com
www.InspectorServicesGroup.com
www.RecallChek.com
www.InspectorLab.com
www.InspectionSuperConference.com

Find a Certified Inspection Expert exclusively at www.InspectionCentral.net
Get your E&O Insurance at 20%+ off your current rates at www.RWSinsurance.com
[Email] [WWW]
msteger
Cupcake
[Avatar]

Joined: 07/01/2014 03:42 PM EDT
Messages: 6
Location: Elizabethtown, PA
Offline

I am guessing things are different in Wisconsin than here in PA. Only PA DEP licensed radon testers are permitted to perform professional testing which also means only a licensed radon tester may drop off and retrieve radon test devices. Above, it states that a teenager can do this for cheap.. that wouldn't fly here in PA... unless he was PA DEP licensed.

Back to the OP.. The day before the radon test begins, I always call the seller/occupant to review the PA DEP radon test protocols with them and I ask about the layout of the home (full basement, partially crawl space, combo, etc.). I ask about the home to determine how many radon monitors I need to bring with me... if the home is only above a basement requires different testing than if part of the home is over a basement and another portion is above a crawl space or on slab. I also ask if there are any pets in the home and if they go into the area(s) that the radon test will occur. I've had cats jump on my radon test table and I have to void the test since the test results show interference. No way for me to know if a pet or a person touched the unit.

I also require sellers/home owners/tenants complete a radon test non-interference document that I leave at the test's start and pickup at the end of the test. The doc states when/where the radon test is being performed, describes closed house conditions in detail, etc. and also has a signature/date where the seller/occupant signs stating that I reviewed the test protocols with them and that the seller/occupant declares that all requirements have been met. On the doc, I discuss what closed house conditions are, mention that storm/screen doors aren't considered main entrance doors, that window/wall mounted A/C units must NOT be run 12 hrs before OR during the radon test unless operating in circulation mode, etc. I've run across sellers having doors/windows open when I come back to pick up the test... but since I started doing the above, I run across much fewer issues. If the home is vacant, I still contact the sellers (in case someone is checking on the home), but I simply write "VACANT" at the top of the form. When we get audited by PA DEP, they want all of our docs to ensure we're following the rules and our own Quality Assurance plan.

Since I use continuous monitors, if windows/doors are open when I arrive to place or retrieve the radon test, I discuss the requirements with the seller again, fix the issue, and I can leave the devices onsite longer and subtract XX data for the offending hours. For AC (passive) tests, however, this would not be possible since they have to be installed at least 12 hrs after closed house conditions have been met.

Matthew Steger, ASHI Certified Inspector
www.winhomeinspectionelizabethtown.com
www.facebook.com/winhomeinspectionelizabethtown
[WWW]
TriCounty
Wizard
[Avatar]

Joined: 10/03/2014 09:39 PM EDT
Messages: 186
Location: Wisconsin
Offline

Yes, you're correct about WI not requiring a certification however I think most of the testers and migrators are nationally certified. However we have been trying (against the wishes of other inspectors) to pass legislation to better regulate radon testing and mitigation. For all the radon we do we are still the wild wild west of radon.

Just like you I try to get into the home prior to inspection to start the test but having a seller fill anything out would be a challenge as we are making drop-offs throughout the day. I truly believe the majority of sellers are honest and when I print out a test I can see movement or sudden changes like a window being open. With the majority of our test's being high, there is little to argue about when a test is high. You opened a window, I don't care your test came back at 15pCi/L over 68 hours of testing so no reason to argue. When a test comes back low with irregular data and I am standing on the roof and can see all the homes around the tested home are mitigated, we have an issue.

As for pets, I get a call form time to time that Bango the dog knocked my test over. I just tell them to set it back up. A huge * shows up on the test for movement but the actual data should not change. Unless the dog dragged the monitor outside and around the block.

I hope someday soon Wisconsin gets their act together and starts regulating radon. Inspectors for the first time ever were audited last year for CEU's. From what I heard only 36% of the licensed inspectors had the required hours. No certs were pulled, a very fine was issued. Much lower than the amount I spend every year to get my creditable CEU's. I think the radon course I take every other year is over $1,000 and that's just to stay up on current trends.

Off my soapbox!!!


[Email] [WWW]
TriCounty
Wizard
[Avatar]

Joined: 10/03/2014 09:39 PM EDT
Messages: 186
Location: Wisconsin
Offline

Nathan wrote:I thought the same you did about Radalink.

I was wrong.

You'll save a lot of money with Radalink- especially with that many monitors.


If you have a chance, please explain. Maybe I was missing something in the explanation by the vendor (very possible) but $125/month x 12 months is $1,500 a year x 10 monitors is $18,000 a year in rent. I can buy brand new units for 850ish with shipping and own the unit. Calibration cost with shipping is 125-150/year and once in awhile something will break and that cost to have repaired. But when a unit breaks I have Radstar ship me a new unit (2 days) and I send the broken unit back for repair.

I am all about cost savings I just don't see it??? My #'s are rough I think they said $125/month maybe it was $150?
[Email] [WWW]
 
Forum Index » Radon
Go to:   
© 2014 Inspector Services Group