Radon Testing

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Detecting the invisible killer

This page presents the key facts you need to know about radon gas and radon testing. Use the links below to quickly go to the section that interests you most.

Inspection Connection, Inc., employs state licensed, independent (not associated with any radon mitigation services) radon testers all over North America to make sure you get accurate results and high quality service.


Radon gas - the second leading cause of lung cancer

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. It moves up through the ground and into your home through the cracks and holes in the foundation, ending up in the air you breathe. Radon can get into any type of building and accumulate to high levels. You can't see it, smell it, or taste it - but it may be silently undermining the health of your family.

Radon causes thousands of deaths each year. If you breathe air containing radon you can get lung cancer. In fact, radon is recognized as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. Only smoking has been associated with more lung cancer deaths.

Note: If your home has a high radon level and you smoke, your risk of lung cancer may be very high.

 

What is an elevated radon level?

The amount or radon in the air is measured in "picocuries per liter of air" or "pCi/L." The radon level naturally found in the outside air is around 0.4 pCi/L, while the average indoor level is estimated to be about 1.3 pCi/L.

EPA recommends that homes with radon levels of 4.0 pCi/L or higher have a radon mitigation system installed.

The next section gives you details about radon testing devices and how to use them.


Testing radon level in your home

You can hire a professional radon contractor to do the test or do it yourself. However, it is recommended that the testing be done by a professional. That's because the results of a radon test will vary depending on the proper placement of the testing device. For example, if you place the testing device in the kitchen or bathroom, the excessive humidity can void the test.

An expert is able to select the proper place for the testing device in your home so that you get most accurate results.

Radon testing devices

The most commonly used radon testing devices are:

  • Passive charcoal canisters
  • E-perms
  • Continuous Radon Monitors (CRM)

The first two are called passive testing devices. They need to be sent to a certified lab to be analyzed once the testing period (2-4 days) is over.

The third type, Continuous Radon Monitors, are computer-operated (active) testing devices that produce a continuous read-out of the radon levels during the 2-4 day period. They provide the most accurate test results. The test results are available within two hours.

When conducting a radon test, it is important to observe the following guidelines:

 

  • The house has to be closed for 12 hours prior to the start of the test. This means you have to keep all the outside doors and windows closed, except when entering or exiting the house.

 

  • The radon testing device has to be placed in the lowest livable level of the house. This is defined as either an area currently used as living/recreational space or easily converted for such use. For example: an unfinished basement used as a rec room for children, with only carpets on the floor and unfinished walls and ceilings.

 

  • The testing device must be left undisturbed for the duration of the test. Again, doors and windows should be kept closed. If an upstairs window is opened, the resulting drafts may increase the radon level.

 

Note: Given the importance of accurate test results, it is wise to hire a certified radon tester. An expert understands differences between homes and various other factors concerning radon, and it is to your advantage to make use of his level of expertise.

Inspection Connection, Inc., can arrange and manage a radon test anywhere in the United States within 72 hours of your request. Our independent radon testing technicians are State licensed, insured, and highly experienced. They utilize passive or active testing devices to make sure you get accurate radon test results.

We test family homes, commercial buildings, government facilities, and schools.

How to contact us for more information or to order your radon test

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What to do after you receive the test results

When you receive the test results, discuss them with your radon technician. If the radon level is above 4.0 pCi/L, EPA suggests the following:

 

  • Do three follow-up tests over the next year in different seasons. Take the average of all four tests. If the average is over 4.0 pCi/L, consider installing a radon mitigation system.

 

  • If the reading is over 4.0 pCi/L, but there is no time for retesting (e.g. if you are selling your house within the next 30 days), then contact a professional radon mitigation service.

 

 


Radon Testing - if you are selling your home

There are many radon "hot spots" all over the United States shown on the maps prepared by EPA. When a prospective buyer looks at your property, he will want the house to have a radon level below 4.0 pCi/L.

Note: It is to your own advantage to do the radon test one year before you list your property. If the initial test shows an elevated radon level, you will still have time to perform the three follow-up tests in that 12-month period and find out the average level. If your average is below 4.0 pCi/L, you will not be required to cover the costs of a radon mitigation system.

On the other hand, if you haven't done the radon test 12 months before the sale, the prospective buyer will perform the test quickly, and there will be no time for follow-up tests to establish an average. If the test results happen to be 4.0 pCi/L or higher the buyer will demand that you pay for a professional mitigation system.

How to contact us for more information or to order your radon test

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Radon Testing - if you are buying a home

As a home buyer, you want to protect yourself. Here are the steps you should follow:

1. Ask your Realtor to obtain the results of the radon test for the property you are about to buy. The test should be performed by a certified radon technician.

2. If the test shows a radon level of 4.0 pCi/L or higher, request that a professional radon mitigator evaluate the home and provide a bid for a mitigation system.

3. If you decide to request the seller to install the mitigation system, you should also require that the house be retested by a different technician after the system is completed. This is to insure that the system is working properly.

4. Obtain a copy of the warranty from the radon mitigation company.

 

How to contact us for more information or to order your radon test

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Inspection Connection, Inc. - Radon Testing - last modified 12/19/2004