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Radon, A Buyer Beware Industry (Part 1)

Choosing a Radon mitigation professional is as simple as research, and for good reason. There are several factors that you’ll want to consider when making your decision in choosing a Calgary Radon mitigation company. Knowing that there are more than a few companies in Calgary operating without certification, experience, or education makes us dedicated to informing our clients on this “get what you pay for” circumstance. The list of factors to consider are:

  1. Certification

  2. Cost

  3. Years of experience

  4. Equipment/Supplies

  5. Industry conduct

Part 1 of the Buyer Beware Industry blog post will include details on certification, cost, and years of experience. Stay tuned for Part 2 which will cover equipment/supplies and industry conduct.


Certification

The number one thing to ensure your chosen Radon mitigation professional all possesses is a C-NRPP certification. C-NRPP certified professionals undergo rigorous education and training as well as adhere to high standards for insurance and continuing education.

Without C-NRPP certification companies are not required to hold proper insurance and provide homeowners with agreements that do not observe the industry standards. This allows them to provide warranties and guarantees that have no repercussions when they are not adhered to as well as face no consequences from a governing body. Businesses that do not uphold the standards within the industry or have received many complaints are at risk of getting decertified, a full list of C-NRPP certified radon mitigation professionals in your area can be found here. This type of certification is the only one that is suggested by Health Canada to ensure that the work being done in your home is done by someone who has been properly trained and accountable. C-NRPP certified mitigation companies are required to hold a minimum of $2 million of commercial general liability insurance. Businesses operating outside of this certification could have little to no insurance covering them and yourself as a homeowner in the event of mistakes or negligence. Businesses that do not bother acquiring C-NRPP certification tend to also avoid acquiring proper WCB insurance that would then hold the homeowner liable in the event of injury while working in their home. All of these factors put the homeowner at risk of not only safety but also legal/financial liability.


Cost

We completely understand clients wanting to get the best possible price for the best possible product, isn’t that what everybody wants to have? The radon mitigation industry is very much “get what you pay for” industry. There are some mitigation companies in Calgary and surrounding areas that look like they provide very inexpensive mitigation in comparison to the more experienced and reputable companies. The trouble with getting a “good deal” is that the system that was installed for a few hundred dollars less can not only look terrible it can also be ineffective and in the worst case scenario can also be unsafe. What looks like savings of a few hundred dollars can end up costing you more than double after paying to get the poor system installed and then having to pay a company like ours to come out and fix the poorly installed system (it happens!). It’s better to do the job properly once than to have it done poorly first and then have someone come back to fix it. This not only wastes time but also materials as well as money. Another few factors we like to remind our clients about are the many hidden costs in running a small business properly in this industry. Paying for; proper insurance, continuing education, advertising costs, fuel costs, proper tools/equipment, increased supply costs as well as proper employee compensation for work well done.


Years of Experience

Out of all the other factors that help determine the correct business to work with for radon mitigation services, this could be the most important. Radon services being a relatively new industry in Canada there are very few companies that have been operating for more than 10 or 15 years. But more than years in business, the most important factor is how many mitigation systems within those years have been installed by that particular company. Companies that offer a variety of services including radon mitigation don’t necessarily have the specialty of installing just radon mitigation systems day in and day out. A majority of the years of experience others claim to have can be referencing other services and skills and not necessarily radon mitigation system services. There are also many tactics involved in securing work such as 15% off for 15 years in business etc. These types of claims are very easy to verify by looking up the business number on the Service Alberta website linked here (search prepaid contractors). The claims involving many years in business to create the image of experience should really be scrutinized further. Has this business been operating as a radon mitigation business for that many years or has that person had a business number in place for many years including several other forms of operation under that same number? Another factor is that if the company has been operating as a plumbing company for 10 years for example, and in the last years has added mitigation services to their service offerings. The claim of having 10 years of experience is technically true, but not as it applies to mitigation experience. Be wary of these claims!!

There are many factors that can also display lack of experience when dealing with radon mitigation installations. These factors are: no diagnostic testing (placing the system and hoping for the best not doing the proper testing and calculations to make it a certainty), aesthetically unappealing systems installed in not ideal locations within the home, drilling to the exteriors of homes in a way that damages exterior materials, using improper or ineffective tools and materials. Improper exhaust installations can leave the exterior of your home damaged and open to water intrusion risk in the future. Professionals that are experts in this field understand the importance of putting in the time for proper diagnostic testing and calculations in order to determine the correct size of fan needed to render ideal results for radon mitigation. Companies that lack experience will also choose the path of least resistance, choosing a mitigation system location that makes the job easier and faster for them but doesn’t necessarily work best for the homeowner. There are so many factors that make experience trump price, this industry more than others is truly buyer beware story in getting what you pay for.


Great-West Radon is a "One Stop Shop" for all your Radon related needs. We provide detail-oriented, honest, and reliable radon testing in Calgary by using state-of-the-art tools and technology. From radon mitigation to radon removal, we are the top-rated Radon services company in Calgary, and we are proud of the work we do and the relationships we've created with our clients. We only use the best materials and equipment, ensuring all guidelines set out by the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program and Health Canada are being met. If you require radon testing, mitigation, removal, or a radon test kit in Calgary, Great Radon West has you covered.

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