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Old 10-23-2017, 01:38 PM
 
8 posts, read 2,631 times
Reputation: 11

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I live in a new construction home in which the builder put a passive radon mitigation system which involves the pipe venting the sub-slab to the roof. After moving in, I realized that this system wasn't working well because the radon levels in the basement are between 10pCi/L and 11pCi/L and on the upper floors its around 5pCi/L. The EPA considers both these levels high and recommends taking corrective action. We have been in the house for about a year now but within a month of moving in, I requested the builder to install a radon fan in the vent pipe. The builders refused. In talking to the County inspector, he said the builder is only required to install a passive system by code. Since the passive system is not working, my question is, do I have any recourse as far as builder liability in this situation. The contract does not say anything about Radon specifically but it does say defects would be fixed. I consider this to be a defect but not sure if I have any recourse on this. This is in Howard County.
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Old 10-23-2017, 01:48 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,148 posts, read 39,236,941 times
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If it's built to code, and it sounds like it is, then you likely have no recourse against the builder, he installed what was required.
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:50 PM
 
8 posts, read 2,631 times
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Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
If it's built to code, and it sounds like it is, then you likely have no recourse against the builder, he installed what was required.

Thanks
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
1,539 posts, read 1,597,367 times
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That really stinks that the builder won't convert that for you; its not terribly costly. Contractually, they followed the law but I don't like that they left you hanging with a home that definitely need mitigation based on the EPA standards. Out of curiousity, did you test for radon when you bought?
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Old 10-26-2017, 04:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cjmeck View Post
That really stinks that the builder won't convert that for you; its not terribly costly. Contractually, they followed the law but I don't like that they left you hanging with a home that definitely need mitigation based on the EPA standards. Out of curiousity, did you test for radon when you bought?
We tested for Radon about a week after the construction was complete. We had not yet moved in and the radon was around 6pCi/L. This was with done with a charcoal test kit. Since then I bought an electronic radon detector and the levels have gone much higher. Speaking to the County inspector, he said the rise is normal for new construction homes simply because when its first built, radon hasn't had time to build in a closed environment. As time goes on, it has time to settle/build up in the home.
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Old 10-28-2017, 09:24 PM
 
887 posts, read 464,120 times
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This is why people need to hire decent home inspectors....no, not the guy the real estate agent recommends (remember, they're trying to "get the sale" too).

You have to ask yourself WHY a radon system was installed in the first place. There is no code that says one is needed....unless you have a radon problem.
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Old 11-03-2017, 12:27 PM
 
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I'm going to have the fan installed myself. Met with a contractor today and he suggested installing the fan in the basement. I've always heard of fans being installed in the attic as the "proper" way. So, are there any issues with installing the fan in the basement vs the attic? Only thing I can think of is if there is a leak in the pipe between the basement and the attic. Other than that, any issues?
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Old 11-03-2017, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
1,539 posts, read 1,597,367 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InchingWest View Post
This is why people need to hire decent home inspectors....no, not the guy the real estate agent recommends (remember, they're trying to "get the sale" too).

You have to ask yourself WHY a radon system was installed in the first place. There is no code that says one is needed....unless you have a radon problem.
Well, that was rather rude but I'll bite. The same radon company I recommend to clients is the same one who tested my own home. It is a test; from an independent lab. Second, these mitigation systems are just standard in all new construction homes.

OP, I'm sure you know by now that the EPA recommends mitigation on anything above 4.0. So if you got that reading of a 6 prior to settlement, someone representing you should have suggested you demand that the Builder pay for the fan installation. I'm terribly sorry you're dealing with this but glad you caught it rather early.
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Old 11-03-2017, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
1,539 posts, read 1,597,367 times
Reputation: 2426
Quote:
Originally Posted by shobuddy View Post
I'm going to have the fan installed myself. Met with a contractor today and he suggested installing the fan in the basement. I've always heard of fans being installed in the attic as the "proper" way. So, are there any issues with installing the fan in the basement vs the attic? Only thing I can think of is if there is a leak in the pipe between the basement and the attic. Other than that, any issues?
The fan should be installed in the lowest level of the home, that is where the levels are the highest. And it is the only location I've ever seen them installed.
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Old 11-03-2017, 07:11 PM
 
8 posts, read 2,631 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjmeck View Post
Well, that was rather rude but I'll bite. The same radon company I recommend to clients is the same one who tested my own home. It is a test; from an independent lab. Second, these mitigation systems are just standard in all new construction homes.

OP, I'm sure you know by now that the EPA recommends mitigation on anything above 4.0. So if you got that reading of a 6 prior to settlement, someone representing you should have suggested you demand that the Builder pay for the fan installation. I'm terribly sorry you're dealing with this but glad you caught it rather early.
The reading I got was after settlement and I did it myself. We asked the inspector we hired to perform the radon testing prior to settlement, during the inspection but it was not something he did. This was the first home purchase for both me and my wife so we've learned quite a bit.
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