Hubbell to Put Radon Mitigation System in Homes
Hubbell’s new homes will come standard with a passive radon mitigation system to help protect families threatened by the deadly gas.
The West Des Moines developer’s move could push other homebuilders to provide the system that’s used to rid homes of the naturally occurring radioactive gas, said Rick Welke, a radon program manager at the Iowa Department of Public Health.
Radon — a colorless, odorless gas that’s produced from the breakdown of uranium in the earth — is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers, Welke said. Radon is prevalent in the state, “where over half of Iowa homes test above the EPA action level,” he said.
Building the mitigation system into Hubbell homes will help reduce costs for families that find radon is occurring above federally accepted standards, Welke said. Fans are added to existing mitigation systems to actively eliminate radon from a home.
Welke said some Iowa cities and counties require homebuilders to add active or passive radon mitigation systems. Hubbell’s voluntary inclusion could prompt more contractors to provide the systems to be competitive, he said.
Hubbell said it will test each new home for radon before it’s sold and activate the systems if levels are high. Iowa homes are not required to be tested for radon, but homeowners are required to be notified about the possibility of radon.
“We felt this was something we needed to get in front of, as a leader in our industry,” said Rick Tollakson, Hubbell’s CEO. “It means a lot to us to provide homebuyers with that sense of security, a feeling that will last long after closing paperwork has been signed.”
The mitigation systems will be added to Hubbell’s future homes, beginning with those built in March.
Welke estimated the cost to add a system during construction is about $300 to $500, about a third of the expense to add a system to an existing home.
Hubbell said the added construction expense would be added to the cost of a new home.
Welke encourages families to test their homes every couple of years for radon. A family can buy the tests for $10 to $20.
For more information, go to www.idph.state.ia.us/Radon.