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  1. #1
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    Default Thinking of offering radon testing

    I've been getting a lot of calls lately and am looking into offering radon testing. So, how does it work? Do I just set the tester, go collect it and then mail it in? Or, do I have to become certified and actually do something other than just being a go-fer?

    Thanks for any info.....

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    I've been getting a lot of calls lately and am looking into offering radon testing. So, how does it work? Do I just set the tester, go collect it and then mail it in? Or, do I have to become certified and actually do something other than just being a go-fer?

    Thanks for any info.....
    Depending your location radon may not be that much of an issue in Oregon. I don't know about any state regulation in Oregon, but if not you still need to attend an education session and pass the NHEA exam. That exam is the standard for the profession.
    This is the EPA radon map for Oregon and this is the EPA site that show the entire county.EPA Map of Radon Zones | Radon | US EPA

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    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    Thanks Scott.... I'm in the NW part of the state, basically in the tri-county area that includes Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties. I've lived here my whole life and have never heard much about it. Maybe it's just a fluke but I've had several requests for it lately and I know several of my competitors are offering it. Honestly, that's my main reason behind looking into it. I just don't want to lose business to anyone because I don't do it.


  4. #4
    Bill Thacker's Avatar
    Bill Thacker Guest

    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    Hi Matt,

    There are no requirements for radon inspection in the state of Oregon, however, they do maintain a list of certified radon professionals. The Oregon Radon Program endorses Radon Measurement Professionals who are certified through National Radon Safety Board (NRSB) or National Environmental Health Association - National Radon Proficiency Program (NEHA).

    Radiation Protection Services - Radon Gas Testing for Radon

    The proper protocol for testing is found here.

    Indoor Radon and Radon Decay Product Measurement Device Protocols | Publications | Radon | Indoor Air | Air | US EPA

    Even if you do not provide the testing, can you sub it out to a radon contractor in your area? Tack on a few extra bucks and use the sub if you are not ready to perform your own radon testing and want to offer this service........besides, going back to the house twice can interfere with scheduling.

    Good Luck,

    Bill

    AllPro - PA and MD Home Inspection and Radon Test - MD Licensed Home Inspector


  5. #5
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    I've been getting a lot of calls lately and am looking into offering radon testing.
    Getting the calls to do Radon testing is a good indication for demand. Converting jobs so you're getting paid for the home inspections and Radon testing means more money. $350.00 for a home inspection plus $150.00 for the radon test = $500.00. That's not bad even though you have to drive back to pick up the machine.

    I do full home inspections 97% of the time so I can't do 3 to 7 inspection a day, plus most of my jobs are between 15 to 30 minutes away so I can find time sometime during the day to pick up the machine.

    Good luck.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    We never have anyone ask for radon testing as it is not a issue in this area. So to supplement the inspection, I offer to bless the home with Holy water for an extra 75. bucks.

    Ghost and evil spirit eradication: fees begin at 5K

    Rick


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    Great info.. thanks,

    I'm a bit confused, though.

    Do I have to be certified to sub out the work to somebody? Or, do I just tack on a few bucks to the inspection and let him take it from there? (I'm likely not interested in this option but am curious)

    Once I'm certified I need to aquire some equipment that I use to do the tests? I leave it for a couple days and then come back for it? If so, where do I get this equipment and how much does it cost?

    Running back for the stuff isn't a big deal in most cases. My competiton is charging $150 on top of a normal inspection for this. One trip back is not a big deal for this add on.


  8. #8
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    Winston-Salem, NC
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    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    Matt,

    The info from Bill Thacker is very useful. The NEHA certification course I took 1-1/2 years ago took 3 days, with an exam day at the end. The certification is good for 2 years.
    Last month - January - was Radon Awareness Month, so that's probably why you are getting those requests. Ask some realtors about the level of requests they have seen lately. Establish an add-on price, and a stand-alone price. I have had some realtors call for an inspection on new construction.
    I tried using the charcoal canisters for a short time, but got burned when the canisters were lost in the mail to the lab. Egg on the face...
    A company in Florida makes a great continuous monitor - Sun Nuclear Corporation. About $600 each. Downloads data directly to your PC and creates a nice bar graph for your customer.

    Hope this helps


  9. #9
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    Matt Fellman
    Do I have to be certified to sub out the work to somebody? Or, do I just tack on a few bucks to the inspection and let him take it from there? (I'm likely not interested in this option but am curious)
    Check with your area if your planning to sub out radon work. Even though the liability is probably the lowest compared to other services home inspectors offer, if the sub breaks anything or does anything else negative (Example: leaving a door open and items were stolen), your client might be able to hold you responsible legally. In the state of Indiana, if a client hires us to provide services for them and we sub out some of the work, we are responsible for the action of the sub. If we lose the case against the client, we do have the right to go after that sub to make us whole $ wise. This is a direction I never wanted to take. If you do, check with your lawyer since this might not be a factor in your area.

    Yes I refer. These are adults I'm talking to and if they don't like what the company I referred them to are saying, they can act like adults and looks for another company.


  10. #10

    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    Hi Matt,

    Back when I worked for someone else, I did the testing. We used canisters that were mailed in...... never had one lost that I can remember.

    It seems like demand does fluctuate quite a bit. Several months ago I had a few requests for this test.... none since then.

    I would think that to go with a continuous monitor such as the Sun Nuclear, you would really have to market it for it to pay off. Figure in the purchase price, calibration fees, certification fees, etc. Then, you need to make sure you are covered by your E&O provider. (may be an extra cost).


  11. #11
    Bill Thacker's Avatar
    Bill Thacker Guest

    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Great info.. thanks,

    I'm a bit confused, though.

    Do I have to be certified to sub out the work to somebody? Or, do I just tack on a few bucks to the inspection and let him take it from there? (I'm likely not interested in this option but am curious)

    Once I'm certified I need to aquire some equipment that I use to do the tests? I leave it for a couple days and then come back for it? If so, where do I get this equipment and how much does it cost?

    Running back for the stuff isn't a big deal in most cases. My competiton is charging $150 on top of a normal inspection for this. One trip back is not a big deal for this add on.
    Hi Matt,

    Everyone has solid points about liability and such. To answer your questions....

    No you do not have to be certified. If used, make sure your radon provider is qualified, trustworthy etc.....and yes you would tack on a few extra bucks if you can.

    There are several options for testing. Mike mentions Sun Nuclear Continuous Radon Monitors. I use these myself, they are simple to deploy and read. They do require yearly calibration. Some use devices that upload data to an equipment leasing company such as Radalink, I believe. Others use electrets or E-perms. These can be used for both short term and long term tests (> 90 days). Other devices on the market include air check. Here are some useful links, you can compare costs.

    Sun Nuclear - Your Most Valuable QA & Dosimetry Tools
    Radalink Radon Monitor | Radalink, Inc. 800-295-4655
    The Radon Information Center
    Radelec - Home
    Radon Monitors || Femto-Tech, Inc.

    Charcoal canisters, you need to use two, about 20 bucks. Find a local lab if possible and use the diffused barrier type, they have a cloth over the top for moisture absorption. These can be left in place up to 7 days vs. 2 days for the non-diffused barrier type.

    My experience has shown only 10-15% of home inspections have a radon test performed. I have performed some general homeowner radon tests but most are for real estate transactions.

    Good Luck
    Bill

    AllPro - PA and MD Home Inspection and Radon Test - MD Licensed Home Inspector

    Last edited by Bill Thacker; 02-09-2009 at 09:25 AM.

  12. #12
    Bill Thacker's Avatar
    Bill Thacker Guest

    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post

    Ghost and evil spirit eradication: fees begin at 5K

    Rick
    That's what all the buzz about IR imaging is about. One spiritual eviction pays for the equipment.


  13. #13
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Thacker View Post
    That's what all the buzz about IR imaging is about. One spiritual eviction pays for the equipment.
    Ghost or evil spirit Booooooo

    Best

    Ron

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  14. #14
    Bill Thacker's Avatar
    Bill Thacker Guest

    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    Ghost or evil spirit Booooooo

    Best

    Ron
    Is that an example of "ghosting" on the floor?

    Heh heh....

    Looks like the heat is working in the bathroom anyway.

    Bill


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    Most of the folks that want radon testing need the results ASAP for the real estate transaction. This is why the majority of the test are done with a CRM. You will need to invest in a machine or go with one of the companies that rents them out. I think that most rent them for around $100 a month.

    I use Sun Nuclear 1027's and I just bought two 1028's. Units like this are paid for after 4-6 test. Then you have a $125 or so fee every year to have them calibrated.

    You need to go and get trained so that you know how to do a test properly. After the training most of the time the exam is given.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  16. #16
    Daniel Leung's Avatar
    Daniel Leung Guest

    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    Hi Ron,

    What type of infrared camera for your IR photos? It looks good to check heating and leaking. Could you please give us more information. And how much it cost?

    Thank you!


  17. #17
    Patrick McCaffery's Avatar
    Patrick McCaffery Guest

    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    Hi Matt,
    Contact Radalink in Atlanta Georgia. They provide electronic measuring equipment, for which you have to be certified. The advantage of the electronic monitor is that you pick it up in 48 hours, down load it over a phone line and withing 30 minutes you and your client will have a report.
    Radalink is a top notch company and provide the best customer service I have seen from anyone.


  18. #18
    Kevin Luce's Avatar
    Kevin Luce Guest

    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick McCaffery View Post
    Radalink is a top notch company and provide the best customer service I have seen from anyone.
    I agree completely. I used them for a number of years. Even when I stopped using them, I needed some information from them and they were very professional and got me that information quickly. For everything they offer and the use of one of the best machines used by the average home inspector, you can't go wrong with them.


  19. #19
    Join Date
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    Oregon
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    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    Thanks guys..... I'll check them out.


  20. #20

    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    Yesterday's clients had set up 2 radon tests in the crawlspace of a split level home. Upon arrival, the agent requested that I not open the crawlspace door until the client showed up to remove the tests. I just smiled and said sure. Funny thing, they were not inside the living space, and there were 4 crawlspace vents open to the exterior. I wonder how accurate those things were.......... (yes, I did tell the client he should re- do the tests and actually read the directions).


  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Anacortes, Washington
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    395

    Default Re: Thinking of offering radon testing

    I used to do radon testing around Boulder, Co. one of the hotbeds of radon. I had 3 Sun 1027 and they were cash cows as far as I was concerned. They paid for themselves quickly and then everything else was profit. Only about 40% of the clients took advantage of the testing and usually I could drive into a neighborhood and tell if it was hot as usually the abatement system were visible.

    I then relocated to the Pacific NW and decided that the areas weren't hot enough to justify testing. That was 4 years ago, since then the only time we get requests are from the relo companies and I can count those on one hand.

    Realistically I would weigh your costs to become qualified/ certified against the potential revenue. My guess is that the number of high readings you will see are under 10% of the total properties. Another way to judge the potential is count that number of radon testing companies that serve that area - I checked there were any for the counties you mentioned and they were only 3 for all of Oregon.....

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

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