Radon Testing: How to Do it Right!
Short Term Radon Testing 48-96 Hours. The EPA considers any test under 48 hours to be invalid!
Make sure everyone living in your home understands the dangers of Radon Gas, and how important this test is.
Conduct the Short-Term radon test for a period of at least 48 hours but no more than 96 hours.
Close your house for at least 12 hours before the beginning of the test and during the entire test period. Keep all windows and doors closed except for normal entry and exit, and donot operate fans or other machines which bring air in from outside. Fans that are part of a Radon-Mitigation system or small exhaust fans, may run during the test. Promptly return the test kit to the lab, and make sure to complete the required information, including start and end time and date, location, serial number of the kit, etc.
Use a qualified radon detection device and follow the instructions.
If the house has a Radon Mitigation system, make sure the fan is on and operating normally during the test.
Operate your heating and cooling systems normally during the test, but only keep on air-conditioning units which recirculate interior air.
If an elevated level of Radon is found, contact a qualified radon-reduction contractor immediately. the EPA recommends that you fix the home when the radon level is 4 pCi/L or more.
For Long Term Radon Testing, the test period is 3-12 Months. Follow the same information as above, but open and close windows and doors as you normally would.
How Radon Enters Your Home
Radon gas is harmless when dispersed in outdoor air but can be a serious health hazard when trapped in homes and buildings.
Radon gas can enter a home through soil, dirt crawlspaces, cracks in foundations and walls, floor drains, pipes and sump pumps. Radon can invade any home, old or new, or even those "tightly sealed homes" with no visible cracks. Because each home is unique, the ground underneath it is also unique. Two houses side-by-side can have completely different radon levels. The only way to know your home's radon levels is to measure them.
Radon also can enter a home through the well water. If your water contains high levels of radon, the radon gas escapes into the household air when the water is running. According to the EPA, radon in your water supply poses an inhalation risk and an ingestion risk. Research has shown that your risk of lung cancer from breathing radon in air is much larger than your risk of stomach cancer from swallowing water with radon in it.
Radon gets into your home through:
1. Cracks in solid floors
2. Construction joints
3. Cracks in walls
4. Gaps in suspended floors
5. Gaps around service pipes
6. Cavities inside walls
7. The water supply