Builder Installs Skeletal Radon System Incorrectly, But Passes Inspection

We recently encountered a situation with a builder of a new home in the near western suburbs of Chicago. An Illinois State law requires that a skeletal radon mitigation system be installed in all new construction homes in accordance with the Radon Resistant New Construction (RRNC) Act written in 2013. The RRNC Act is a law in Illinois (read more about it HERE.) The difference between state law and local code is that there is no variation in a law between each village, city or county, but there can be a variation in a code.

We are all human – and even a village inspector can miss a code violation. However, it doesn’t relieve the builder of their responsibility for the violation.

During a recent activation of a skeletal system, we found the following violations after the builder had passed all of the Village inspections:

1. Ground water sump cover was not sealed in an airtight manner.
2. Wall/floor joints and cold joints were not sealed.
3. Other penetrations in the floor were not sealed.
4. The primary suction point was not installed to code – it was buried into the clay below the loose stone. No air movement was even possible.

During the purchasing process, the builder promised that they would fix and resolve any issues with the house. The new owner thought that getting the builder to fix these issues would be easy. He was wrong. Now the builder will not resolve these issues. Their position was that since the Village inspector approved the work, it meant that it passed the inspection and met all codes. Let’s face it – mistakes happen, and a good builder will fix the mistakes and learn from them. This builder refused to meet with us so that we could show him how to correctly install the system according to the law and improve his product.

Think of this analogy: Just because I don’t know the speed limit, does not give me an excuse to speed. And just because a police officer doesn’t catch me speeding, I was still breaking the law by speeding.

I am telling you this story because this is a real health issue and mistakes are being made that need to be fixed. We are doing our best to educate builders, inspectors, property owners, and anyone else who wants to listen about the correct, science-based ways to install a radon system.

We have worked with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), attorney general, and news stations to help our clients get what is legally owed to them. We are here to help you get what you paid for.