Home Inspection Tip – Plan For Radon Testing

Because radon gas seeping from the ground into a home is a health hazard, you should have the home tested for radon levels. This is true whether you’re buying, selling or building a home. Your home inspector can do the test or help you find a professional who is qualified to do it.

Radon testing is something that must be planned for. It’s necessary to decide where in the home the testing should be done and how long the test will take. No reputable tester can come into a home and test in 30 seconds or even 5-10 minutes. It takes a minimum of 48 hours to test accurately for radon. Some devices require a longer period of time.

Your home inspector or other qualified radon testing professional should know the best place to put radon test equipment. It should go into the lowest level of the home that’s occupied regularly, such as any place used as a bedroom, play or exercise area, den or workshop. The EPA says testing should not be done in a closet, stairway, hallway, crawl space or in an enclosed area where there’s either high humidity or breezy air circulation. Avoid places like the kitchen, laundry room,bathroom or furnace room.

How long should a radon test take? Here are some considerations. Radon levels vary from day to day and season to season. That means a short-term test is less likely than a long-term test to tell you your year-round average radon level. However, if you need results quickly, a short-term test can be used to decide whether to repair the home.

Short term testing is the fastest, but the test equipment must remain in place for two to ninety days, depending on the device used. Two groups of devices are most commonly used for short-term testing-passive or active. The passive device group includes alpha track detectors, charcoal canisters, charcoal liquid scintillation detectors, and electret ion chambers. The active device group consists of different kinds of continuous monitors.

There are a couple of considerations to keep in mind when short term testing is used. Test accuracy is improved if two tests are taken at the same time. If you have two short term tests done, one right after the other, you’ll get a better idea of the seasonal average for radon level readings. Both active and passive devices may have features to help to prevent test interference.

For long-term tests, the test equipment remains in the home for more than 90 days. Alpha track, and electret ion chamber detectors are most commonly used for long term testing. The advantage of a long-term test is that it will give you a reading that is more likely to tell you your home’s year-round average radon level than a short-term test. If you’re able to allow for 90 days or more to test, long-term tests can be used to confirm initial short-term results. According to the EPA, when long-term test results are 4 pCi/L or higher,the appropriate steps should be taken to repair the home to reduce radon levels.

The office in your state that deals with radon issues can help you and your qualified radon tester to decide on the best testing options.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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