How Much Does a Radon Mitigation System Cost?
A radon mitigation system costs between $771 to $1,185, with the national average at $978. Larger homes and those with a complex layout can cost up to $3,000.
- Typical Range: $771 to $1,185
- National Average: $978
Radon is an odorless and colorless radioactive gas. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second overall cause of lung cancer in the United States. Radon gas forms when radioactive elements such as uranium and thorium decay underground. Radon gas leaves the soil and enters homes through cracks in the foundation, junctions, and drains. When warm air rises inside a house, it creates a vacuum that draws radon gas up from below the foundation.
The EPA recommends homeowners test their homes for radon and reduce the level in homes with high radon levels. It’s recommended to test for radon in the colder months since more radon enters the house when windows are closed and there’s less air circulating. Homes with radon levels of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher need radon mitigation. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L can still pose a risk and should be lowered.
According to HomeAdvisor, radon mitigation system costs range from $771 to $1,185, with the national average at $978. Larger homes and those with more complex layouts can cost up to $3,000. The flat rate usually includes labor, but be sure to ask your radon mitigation professional. Radon gas remediation costs can vary due to the size and design of the house, foundation type, and geographic location. The levels of radon gas can vary from state to state and even neighborhood to neighborhood.
Radon Mitigation System Cost: Cost Factors to Consider
Calculating radon mitigation system costs depends on a few factors. Prices can differ from the national average due to the home size and design, foundation type, climate, geographic location, labor costs, permit fees, equipment, testing, inspection, and the kind of radon system.
Home Size and Design
Since every home is a different shape and size, radon mitigation professionals will need to see the house before giving an estimate. Homes that just have a basement typically cost less than homes that have an additional crawl space. Crawl spaces need to have an airtight vapor barrier installed to prevent radon gas from entering the home. Larger homes usually cost more since the project requires more materials and time.
There are three main types of foundations: below-grade slab (basement), crawl space, and on-grade slab. Each requires a slightly different approach to radon mitigation.
- A below-grade slab (basement) requires using a sump pump hole or drilling a hole for PVC pipe insertion below the slab.
- A crawl space uses an encapsulation technique with the PVC pipe sticking out from beneath a plastic membrane. Installation time for crawl spaces is usually longer due to accessibility issues.
- On-grade slabs often have the PVC pipe inserted from the exterior side of the house, although it’s not unusual to have a hole drilled through the floor.
Regardless of what type of foundation you may have, expect to pay an average of $1,200 for radon removal.
Climate and Geographic Location
Depending on the climate you live in, there are different ways to mitigate radon gas. If a home has a crawl space, additional ventilation that uses a fan may work, but in colder climates, sewer lines and water pipes may need extra insulation against the cold. This type of remedy could increase energy costs. Radon mitigation system costs vary from area to area, depending on the cost of living, number of specialists in a particular location, and EPA regulations specific to your geographic location.
Labor and Permits
The price of labor is usually included with the estimate for radon mitigation costs. It’s important to note that more experienced contractors will charge more for their expertise. If a contractor uses lower-skilled labor, the quality of the work may be compromised, and radon mitigation is not an area where you want to cut corners. Some cities and towns may require a permit for radon mitigation. Permit fees typically range from $25 to $150, and any additional electrical work will also require a permit and inspection. You’ll need a licensed electrician to wire and install a radon fan.
Radon mitigation professionals use different types of vent fans and pipes to set up a radon system. The larger the house, the more equipment will be needed, and the more expensive the project will be. Many radon mitigation contractors recommend a high-quality schedule 40 PVC pipe instead of the cheaper schedule 20 PVC pipe.
Radon Testing and Inspection
Smart radon detecting devices and radon testing kits can run from $12 to $250. These are available at most home improvement stores and online retailers. A professional radon test costs from $150 to $800. While it may be tempting to buy a do-it-yourself testing kit and be done with it, these kits sometimes have questionable results. Smart devices and kits are recommended for screening purposes, not to replace a professional test.
- Home radon test kit. These kits are a passive, short-term test left in an open area in the lowest level of the home for 2 to 4 days. The test is then mailed for testing and will yield emailed results within 72 hours.
- Ongoing radon detectors. These detectors provide a good idea of radon gas levels in the home. They need a power source to sample the air continuously. They will provide radon level averages and sound an alarm if radon levels go above the EPA recommended 4 pCi/L.
- Professional testing and inspection. An experienced radon mitigation expert will detect radon levels in your home quickly and efficiently. Look for a certified professional with the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) and a member of the National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP). You can find certified professionals via the National Environmental Health Association.
- Water testing kit. There is a risk of radon exposure from a water source, but radon exposure from the air is more of an immediate threat. A radon water testing kit can run from $47 to $200, depending on the test and its features.
Radon mitigators and inspectors are not the same. Inspectors will test your home for radon gas, while mitigators will install the mitigation system. Inspections typically cost $150 on average.
System Type: Depressurization vs. Lower Level Pressurization
There are two effective types of radon mitigation systems: depressurization and lower level pressurization. There is another option for sealing the basement, but it’s 50 percent less effective than the other mitigation methods so won’t be discussed here.
- Depressurization. This is the most common type of radon mitigation method. It comes in various subtypes that use a fan to remove radon gas by creating a vacuum under the foundation. These types use PVC pipe under the foundation or crawl space that runs up to the house’s roof or off to a remote corner of the yard. The continuously running fan creates suction under the foundation to direct the radon gas away from the inside of the house. These slightly differing active methods have varying costs. Sub-slab systems can run from $800 to $2,500.
- Lower level pressurization. Basement and lower level pressurization costs between $500 and $1,000. Pressurization happens when the lower levels of the house are sealed and air is blown into them. This method works conversely with the vacuum and keeps the radon gas from penetrating the home via the foundation. This method is successful in airtight homes, but energy prices can vary depending on the climate and geographic location.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When budgeting for radon mitigation system costs, there are usually additional price factors and considerations. These can include the crawl space, basement sealing, energy costs, and type of warranty.
The average cost for radon mitigation in crawl spaces is $800 to $3,000. If you need a crawl space encapsulated, the price will go up from there. Most crawl spaces need to be encapsulated since there is no foundation slab, just a dirt area that will allow radon gas to get into your home. Encapsulation on its own can cost $1,500 to $15,000, but if you also get a mitigation system installed, you can usually get a price break. Encapsulation entails plastic vapor barriers positioned around the entire crawl space and sealed along the edges. A PVC pipe is installed to create a vacuum under the barrier. An exterior mitigation system will use a vent to remove the radon gas up and out of the home.
Expect to pay approximately $4,600 on average for basement sealing. An unfinished basement can be sealed with radon sealant as a DIY project for between $400 and $1,000. Sealing a basement typically only works in conjunction with active or passive suction systems to create a vacuum.
Having a radon mitigation system installed in your home may affect energy costs. The suction needed to direct radon gas up and out of your home will ventilate heated and cooled air inside your home as well. An experienced radon mitigation professional should be able to diminish this type of energy loss.
Since radon is such a serious threat, it’s a good idea to purchase a warranty for peace of mind. If something goes wrong with your radon mitigation system, a professional contractor should guarantee their work that radon levels will be below the EPA standards.
Radon Mitigation System Cost: Types of Radon Mitigation Systems
There are several types of radon mitigation systems to control the amount of radon in your home. Each of them has its own advantages, and some work better than others in certain climates. Each type of system will affect the overall cost of installing a radon mitigation system. Here are the most common ones.
Interior Active Soil Depressurization
This is the most common type of radon mitigation system. Interior active soil depressurization systems are effective in most homes, and they work without installing pipes on the exterior walls. Pipes are installed on the inside of the house, usually running through closets, that vent upward to a fan installed in the attic. This type of system keeps the home’s overall curb appeal and ensures that the radon gas will be vented out of the top of the house. A system monitor is usually placed near the vent line in a closet where the pipes run through or in the basement. The monitor will help a homeowner keep a close eye on the system and make sure it’s working correctly.
Exterior Active Soil Depressurization
Exterior active soil depressurization is similar to an interior system, but the pipes are installed outside the home. Pipes are installed on the foundation and a fan at the ground level to push radon gas out of the basement area and out through the pipes. Some homeowners prefer an exterior system so they won’t have pipes running inside their homes. To make the exterior pipes blend into the house, the pipes are painted the same color as the house or installed in a less visible area. Exterior systems aren’t as popular, but they work well in homes with a complex layout where an interior system just wouldn’t work. A radon monitor is installed on the lowest level of the house.
Active Sub-Slab Soil Depressurization
Sub-slab active depressurization systems can cost between $800 and $2,500. This type of system removes radon gas under the foundation by creating a vacuum. These systems use a PVC pipe installed below the foundation or a crawl space that runs to the house’s roof. A continuously running radon fan will create suction and draw out the radon gas.
Crawl Space Sub-Membrane Depressurization
Since air pressure is the cause of radon gas leaking into a home, crawl space sub-membrane depressurization reduces the pressure. This process uses a plastic vapor barrier to block the entrance of radon through the soil of the crawl space. The pressure in a crawl space beneath a home is lowered using a fan that draws the air up from the area under the home. The air is pushed out via a pipe that runs up to the roof. Radon membrane costs can range from $800 to $3,000.
Radon Fan or Pump Prices
Radon fans cost from $100 to $300 or more depending on the strength and size. A suction monitor or U-tube manometer is an additional $10 to $20. Since a radon fan will continuously run, it can add between $30 and $300 to an energy bill each year, depending on the local price of electricity and the size of the fan. Exterior fans are typically installed at the ground level and interior fans in the attic.
Drain Tile Suction
Expect to pay $800 to $1,700 or more for a drain tile suction system. This type of mitigation method taps into the drain tiles around the house to create suction under the foundation. Drain tiles are used for homes with slab foundations in areas with high water tables or drainage issues. These drain tiles around the slab offer an optimal location for suction. They can be underneath the slab, internal, or around the exterior. Drain tile suction costs vary according to placement.
Sealed Sump Pump Hole System
Sealed sump pump hole systems that use the existing sump pump hole cost between $800 to $2,500. The crock is sealed completely to ensure that the vacuum stays under the foundation. Typically, this type is connected to drain tile, although not every house with a sump pump hole system has drain tile. If both a mitigation system and a sump pump are installed, installation costs between $700 to $2,000 for the sump pump will be added.
Block wall suction methods cost between $1,500 and $3,000. This system uses cinder block construction to create suction within the walls of the blocks. This is a more expensive and less effective method than sub-slab systems.
Passive Soil Suction
This type works the same as active depressurization but without the use of a fan. This system works due to a pipe and the naturally rising air within a home to remove radon gas. These systems run from $500 to $2,500. A PVC pipe runs under the slab or in a crawl space up the house and vents out of the roof. By using the home’s natural ventilation and the rising of warmer air, the radon gas is removed via air currents. For homes with higher levels of radon, a passive depressurization system is not recommended.
Radon Mitigation System Cost: Do I Need Radon Mitigation?
If you’ve had radon testing done in your home and the results showed that there are high levels of radon that will endanger you and your family, it’s time for radon mitigation. The age of the house doesn’t matter: Radon can affect old and new homes. This colorless and odorless gas travels up through the soil and into a home and is the second-highest cause of lung cancer. A reputable and qualified radon mitigation professional will guide you in deciding on the best radon mitigation system for your home.
Radon Poisoning Symptoms
Radon poisoning symptoms rarely appear unless the person already has cancer or is very close to developing it. Some signs are constant coughing, wheezing, hoarseness, chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, frequent bronchitis and pneumonia, fatigue, loss of appetite, and unexplained weight loss. Since radon gas builds up slowly, it’s crucial not to ignore symptoms when they appear. This is why it’s vital to test for radon in your home, even if no one is showing symptoms.
Radon Levels Exceed Safe Levels in the Home
Many homes have radon levels that exceed the EPA recommended safe level for a home. The EPA advises that radon should be mitigated at levels of 4 pCi/L or more, although some homeowners will begin radon mitigation at lower levels to ensure their family is safe.
Radon Mitigation System Cost: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
The EPA does not recommend a DIY approach to radon mitigation systems. Sealing cracks in unfinished basements can be done with radon sealant, but it’s not recommended to install a radon mitigation system on your own. If you don’t do the installation correctly, you could increase the radon level or compromise the air quality in your home. Using a professional radon remediation company will give you peace of mind that the job is done correctly and that you’re protecting your family the best you can.
How to Save Money on Radon Mitigation System Cost
Radon mitigation system costs can be high, and the additional costs associated with the project can quickly add up. It may be tempting to go with the cheapest radon mitigation professional or try to do it yourself, but this is not an area to cut corners. Here are a few ways to save money on radon mitigation systems costs.
- Ask your radon mitigation professional if they offer discounts.
- Inquire if a warranty is included in the system’s price.
- Talk to your radon mitigation professional to see which type of system will work the best in your home. Sometimes a smaller and less expensive system will work to remove radon.
- See if there is a benefit for making a customer testimonial video.
- Research if you qualify for tax advantages or home repair grants in your area.
- Ask if the company will offer a discount for paying in cash.
Questions to Ask About Radon Mitigation System Cost
Asking a professional the right questions about radon mitigation system cost can minimize miscommunication, save money, and get the desired results. Here are some questions to ask radon mitigation professionals.
- Are you licensed to install a radon mitigation system?
- Do you have references?
- Do you carry insurance?
- Do you offer free estimates?
- Who will be installing the radon mitigation system?
- How long will the project take?
- Do you carry workers’ compensation insurance?
- Will you review the radon test results with me?
- Will you provide a contract explaining the cost of the system?
- Will you do a post-mitigation test to make sure the system works properly?
- Do you offer a warranty?
- Is the warranty included in the project’s price?
Deciding on the proper radon mitigation system for your home while staying within your budget can be a daunting process. Here are some frequently asked questions about radon mitigation system costs to help guide you in your decisions.
Q. Should I be worried if a house has a radon mitigation system?
No. A radon mitigation system not only keeps radon out of the home, but it will also keep other types of soil gases out, such as methane and chlorine, as well as water vapor and other unpleasant odors. More and more potential home buyers are opting to buy a home with a radon mitigation system already installed to reduce cancer risk. A radon mitigation system is viewed as an improvement to a home.
Q. What does a radon mitigation system protect you against?
A radon mitigation system helps protect you and your family from radon gas. Radon gas is a radioactive gas that causes lung cancer in those who are exposed to it.
Q. When should you mitigate radon?
According to the EPA, you should mitigate radon when a test shows that it is above the recommended levels. If radon levels in your home are above 4 pCi/L or more, mitigation methods are immediately necessary. Some homeowners will start mitigation methods if the levels are below the recommended levels to keep their families safe.