Testing for Radon
Radon gas has no smell or color so a test must be done to detect it. In fact, the U.S. Office of the Surgeon General and U.S. EPA recommend that all homes be tested for radon, especially if you are buying, selling or building a home. Testing can be done by a professional or homeowner using a “do-it-yourself” kit. It is important that either the professional service or home test kit be EPA-approved.
Because radon levels can vary from day to day and from season to season, testing can be done on the short-term (two to 90 days) or long-term (greater than three months). Short-term tests are best done if the results are needed quickly and should be followed by another short-term test. Long-term tests will yield better information on a home’s average year-round radon levels. Radon test devices are placed in the lowest occupied level of the home.
Contact Us if you have any questions. One of our trained professionals can answer your questions and advise you on which testing method will work best for you.
Do-It-Yourself Short-Term Test Kit
Charcoal canister and charcoal liquid scintillation devices absorb radon or its products on to the charcoal. In the laboratory, the radioactive particles emitted from the charcoal are counted directly by a sodium iodide counter or converted to light in a liquid scintillation medium and counted in a scintillation detector.
Radon Solutions offers a low-cost short-term charcoal test kit. You simply place this kit per the instructions and then mail the kit to an independent laboratory. The lab will analyze your kit and send you the results.
Long-Term Radon Test Kit
Similar to the Short-Term test kit above, Radon Solutions also offers a Long-Term kit. Whereas the short-term kit test duration is 48 hours, the long-term kit test kit can be used between 90 days to a year.
Because of the longer testing period you will get a better idea of the overall average radon levels in your home or business.
How Does Radon Get into a Home?
Because radon is a gas, it can seep from the ground into the air in a house. The primary way that radon enters a house is through the foundation (crawl space, basement) by a variety of paths:
- cracks in basement floors
- sump pumps
- exposed soil
- construction joints (mortar, floor-wall)
- loose fitting pipes
Radon may also enter the air of a house from well water, but this is a minor source compared to that coming in through the foundation. Some parts of the United States have higher risks of radon than others. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a map that shows which counties and states have higher average radon levels. You can see the map here.