Radon Testing – An Inexpensive Investment That Could Save Lives

Radon Testing Colorado Springs is an invisible, odorless, and tasteless gas that can build up to dangerous levels in homes and buildings. It causes lung cancer, which can be fatal in many cases.

Getting your home or business tested is easy and inexpensive. A test is especially important before buying a new home or changing an existing one.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil and can leak into homes through cracks in foundations. If left unchecked, prolonged radon exposure can cause serious health problems, including lung cancer. If your home may have elevated radon levels, several options are available for testing. One alternative is hiring a professional radon tester, which is generally more expensive than a DIY test kit but more accurate.

6tFor homeowners who want to test themselves, DIY kits are available at home centers, hardware stores, and online retailers. They contain activated charcoal-based or electret ion detectors that measure radon for two to seven days, then are mailed to a lab for results. The cost of these tests is around $40 per kit.

Before beginning a test, read all manufacturer directions carefully to ensure the correct setup of the device and adherence to the testing process. It is important to remember that if you follow the test instructions precisely, your results will be accurate.

Depending on the type of test you choose, it is recommended that you place the radon detection device in the lowest living area of your house, which may be a basement or an open, unfinished room that could be finished in the future. Keep the radon detector away from drafts, fans, and windows that lead to the outside, and be sure it is not in an area that would be disturbed for the length of time suggested by the kit (typically 2-90 days).

After the test period has ended, send the test kit to the laboratory specified on the packaging as soon as possible. Some kits have pre-paid postage; take advantage of this if necessary. Tests not sent to the lab within eight days of the test end date will not be valid.

It is also a good idea to have your home tested again after major renovations are complete, as this can alter the radon levels in your house. A licensed radon tester can recommend radon-resistant techniques that can be incorporated during renovation.

For homeowners who want to get results quickly, short-term tests are available. These kits contain a canister of activated charcoal that measures radon levels for two to seven days before being sealed and sent to a lab for analysis. The most popular test kit types are available at many hardware stores and online retailers. When conducting a short-term test, the EPA recommends keeping your home under closed-house conditions for the duration of the test. That means keeping all doors and windows to the outside closed except for normal entry and exit and not operating whole-house fans that recirculate air.

This type of test is often used for real estate transactions because it provides results relatively quickly and can be done by a homeowner. When purchasing a home, it’s best to perform the test twice and take an average of the results. This helps ensure the testing process isn’t compromised by weather or other variables. It also gives you the confidence to know that the radon level you’re buying a home at is based on a long-term average, not just a snapshot.

The EPA also recommends performing a long-term test after a short-term test, at least 90 days but usually six to 12 months. This provides a more accurate indication of your home’s average year-round radon level and allows you to see how your ventilation and lifestyle affect the radon levels over time.

With a long-term test, you don’t have to keep your home under closed-house conditions, and you can open and close doors as you wish. You can also operate your heating and air conditioning systems and use whole-house fans normally. These factors can change radon levels significantly over a day or month and influence your testing results. A spike in radon levels during a test can lead you to believe your home needs radon mitigation when it might not need it, and a dip could lead you to think your home is safe when it isn’t.

Radon is an invisible and odorless gas that can cause serious health problems, such as Stage IV lung cancer. It can affect people who are non-smokers and those who smoke. Fortunately, the health effects of radon are preventable with testing and remediation. A radon test is an inexpensive investment that could save lives.

A long-term radon test is the most accurate way to determine a home’s radon level because it measures the radon over an extended period. Long-term radon tests are typically performed by a state-certified radon measurement professional and mailed or e-mailed to the homeowner for analysis. A long-term radon test can also be conducted with a short-term follow-up to determine the average radon level over several days or weeks.

During a long-term test, a radon measurement device is placed in the lowest lived-in level of the home, preferably in a room used most frequently (living room, bedroom, playroom, etc). The device must remain undisturbed for the duration of the test, and it should not be placed in areas of the house where excessive humidity or drafts may bias the results, such as the kitchen, bathroom, laundry area, or exhaust fans.

Long-term tests utilize charcoal canisters or electret ion chambers to collect radon and decay products for later analysis. The charcoal canisters are usually affixed to the foundation wall of the home. The electret ion chambers are fitted with sensors to measure air pressure changes due to the movement of radon and decay products. These sensors are connected to a data logger, which records the readings and transmits them to a computer for analysis.

The long-term results provide an annual average of radon concentration, which is more representative of a home’s actual risk than a single test result. In addition, long-term tests allow for more accurate comparisons of radon levels in similarly occupied and ventilated homes.

The EPA recommends that any radon level above four pCi/L be fixed. Any level above that is a health hazard and should be treated as such. Whether buying or selling a home, taking a radon test before closing on the property is important to ensure it is below the EPA action level. After a house is fixed, it should be retested to verify that the radon level has been reduced to an acceptable level.

Radon is an invisible, odorless gas that can build up in your home and, over time, increase your risk of lung cancer. It comes from the ground and seeps into your house through cracks and gaps in the foundation, walls, or floors. Radon gas is radioactive and can break down into tiny particles that can get into the lungs, causing damage over time that can lead to lung cancer. The EPA recommends testing your home for radon before buying or selling it. It can be easy and inexpensive to fix if your home has high radon levels.

Professional testing can be done using passive devices or continuous monitors. Passive devices, like charcoal canisters or liquid scintillation test kits, absorb radon and its daughter products and then allow them to be measured in the laboratory. Active devices use an electronic sensor that measures the rate of radon decay over time and then sends a signal to a computer. The computer then analyzes the data and reports a radon level.

Most home inspection companies can conduct a radon test and a full home inspection. They can also do long-term radon tests that measure a home for 90 days to a year. These are based on alpha particle tracking and give a more accurate picture of the average radon levels in a home. Long-term tests require closed house conditions, so you must complete all windows and doors except those used for normal entry and exit. These tests cannot be conducted during severe weather conditions, as rain, snow, and strong winds can cause temporary high radon levels in the home.

A continuous radon monitor (CRM) is a device placed in the home to measure the radon level continuously over 48 hours. These devices are plugged into an electrical outlet or run on batteries and require annual calibration and maintenance. They can be used for short-term or long-term testing and are often recommended in real estate transactions because they provide a continuous record of radon levels.