Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and the second most leading cause overall, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. Your Better Business Bureau offers tips of what to look for when hiring a radon mitigation contractor.
Radon is an odorless, tasteless, colorless gas. Radon cannot be traced by the human senses, but it can be detected by a professional radon test and can be mitigated and reduced to a healthy level. Nearly one out of every 15 homes in the U.S. is estimated to have an elevated radon level. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Radon can also enter your home through well water.
When searching for a radon mitigation company, your BBB offers these tips:
- Get recommendations from family and friends. If they’re pleased with the company, most likely you’ll be too.
- Get a written estimate detailing everything agreed upon.
- Consider the company’s reputation, years of services and services provided. Remember, the cheapest bid is not always the best.
- Be wary of anyone showing up in an unmarked vehicle. Also, beware of those going door-to-door in your neighborhood. Do your homework before hiring them on the spot.
- Confirm whether companies employ full-time employees or hire independent contractors.
- Get references and check them.
- Make sure you’re comfortable with the contractor.
- Determine if the company belongs to a professional organization like the National Radon Safety Board. Professional organizations typically offer continuing education.
- Be sure contractors are properly licensed/certified/registered, bonded and insured as appropriate.
- Don’t pay cash. Pay by check or credit card.
If you have any questions regarding radon mitigation companies, you can always get help from your BBB, such as a list of BBB Accredited companies and business reviews on ones you’re considering. Visit www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.
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John North is president of the Dayton Better Business Bureau.