14 September, 2016

When is a radon system not a radon system?

827
14 September 2016
827

R. Linda:

Buying a home usually is not always an easy process. Forget the mortgage company puts you through  hell to have all the necessary paperwork for them to approve your arse for a mortgage, but every time you think you gave them everything but your first born, they ask for something else. Its like what? You need what now? Having been through the mortgage process, it be a lot easier than the radon test and aftermath.

When we bought the house, we had a radon test which is essential in New Hampshire because it is one giant granite rock, we aren't called the granite state for nothing. Granite exudes a toxic gas which when a house is built on granite a system to filter the gas is needed. The radon gas can be in the water as well as the air. We noticed we had a radon filtering system for the water and have had it checked out and it be working as it should. We thought we had a radon mitigating system for the gas because on the property disclosure it said we had one. Imagine our surprise when the radon test came back in with a 7.9 pCi/L We went into the basement looking for that particular system and found it. It be a pipe that filters the gas from the ground and runs up through the roof to the outside. Some systems have a fan to help extract the gas out, but we did not have that system. When we went outside we did not see the exhaust pipe. Both of us thought because of the many roof angles we just couldn't see it.

Well, you guessed it, there is no exhaust pipe. At the closing when asking about the gas filtration, the former owner assured us it was there, but was not a system with the fan that sucks the gas up and probably for a minimal fee of a few hundred dollars I could have one installed. He lived in the house for 11 years and never had a problem said he, plus he had 10 kiddos and all healthy (for now maybe).

I wasn't taking any chances with me own three kiddos, so thinking the fan was all we needed I called a radon instillation firm. Out came a very nice guy who upon looking at the outside of the house, informed me there was no exhaust pipe. Maybe, he said, it was hooked up to the water exhaust? Yet, he didn't think so, but he said he's seen some strange radon systems in his career and wouldn't put it passed the builder to have done something like that.

Well, no the gas filtration was not hooked up to the water filtration. As a matter of fact, one was on one side of the house, the other at the other end. He went over to the pipe that came out of the ground to find it was not even hooked up to anything. Just a pipe in the ground that was cut to look like it had  gone into the ceiling. What the heck? Upon further inspection of the attic, no exhaust pipe from floor to roof was to be had. Except for a dead squirrel on sticky paper that the former owner never removed. Ugh!

Fake pipe - notice the top is attached to nothing
After removing the squirrel I realised I had to have a whole system put in. So that's what is being done as I write this. Am I happy? No, but I be doing the right thing, because if I have to ever sell, at least the radon test will pass. Hopefully, that won't happen, but at least I will have a healthier environment for me family and they come first.

I thought something be up with the former owner. Me wife even said he seemed sketchy to her and we have, since moving in almost 2 years ago, are finding this to be true. Everything the building inspection found wanting, at the closing the former owner said he had fixed. Come to find he fixed nothing and what he did do were minimally inexpensive temporary fixes. Already I have replaced three chimney flues when the chimney sweep informed me I had in the fireplace the wrong liner for a wood stove. Then he told me I had the wrong liner for the furnace and neither was up to code. I had this replaced and wood stove removed. If I didn't replace the one in the fireplace we could have burnt the house down. Seems the flues were never cleaned in the eleven years the FO (former owner) lived here.

You know about the flying squirrel problem (which he assured me was non-existent), it took a professional wildlife company to come in to rid us of the varmints. Sticky paper was not the solution and what a miserable way to die. At least we killed none, just blocked them from their entry portals.

The house was constructed from steel beams, not wood as the builder owned a steel mill. The FO told us the house was really sturdy as a result. Now we used to live in a colonial cape that was built all post and beam in 1779, and talk about sturdy, that house may have had wavy, creaky floors (which we fixed) but you couldn't hear anyone in another room, and when you walked the house didn't shake. Not so with this 1996 gem, you do a load of wash on the first floor and the entire house shakes when it reaches spin cycle. We joked about it that we are about to blast off into space, but in truth it isn't reassuring that eventually the whole pile of sticks won't fall down on top of us. We replaced the washer for a quieter, non agitator model and still you can feel a slight rumble under your feet when it gets to spin mode. At least I don't hear me Mam shouting, "Get ready fur Scotty ta beam us all oop!"

So owning this house has been a money pit trip and then some. The grounds are lovely, not as woodsy as the old house which was surrounded by woods. This one has fields and such and a pond one can see from the house instead of walking into the woods to find it. The pond is filled with koi and absolutely serene to look out on while sipping a cup of joe. It be quieter and more remote and very rural compared to where we were. That town has grown and become more pedestrian and we wanted small town USA and are happy for the most part, though most people thought the town we came from just as rural. I just wish this house didn't have so many things I have to have installed or fixed. Yes, I be complaining a thousand + dollars later but it works!

The real thing
Gabe
Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

9 comments:

  1. Hmmm ever hear of a building inspector BEFORE paying for the house? Sorry but it sounds like the old movie money pit. Bathtub stii in the bathroom? Sorry you had problems, you bought from a jerk scammer.

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    Replies
    1. That lone pipe got passed the home inspector. He thought it was the real thing.

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  2. Good reminder to get mine looked at. Hasn't worked for years.

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    Replies
    1. The basement smell is not as pronounced since the system was installed.

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    2. That's good. I have crawl space and well I don't go in there much. Same radon extractor fan installed as you but not working. Should probably fix

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  3. if you're a smoker dewdrop you should get that system fixed you are double jeopardy for lung cancer but then you probably already know that

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the public service announcement

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    2. LMAO I can almost hear your announcer voice

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    3. Thank you Fi. Nice of you to point that out.





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