Since radon is odorless, colorless and tasteless, it is impossible to detect without a professional radon testing kit. Testing needs to be done in the lowest livable level of the home; preferably a room that is used quite frequently. Avoid testing for radon in the kitchen, bathroom or laundry room.
Passive & Active Radon Devices
Passive radon detectors include charcoal canisters, alpha-track detectors, and liquid scintillation devices which contain a patented pharmaceutical-grade charcoal material. These types of radon detectors test the air in the home and are then sent to a lab for analysis. The test period can be from two days to one year, depending on whether the device is for long-term or short-term use.
Active radon detectors need power to function. Often called continuous radon monitors (CRMs), they provide radon concentration readings over time. These devices, used by trained professionals, provide information about the fluctuation in radon levels during the test period.
Short-Term & Long-Term Radon Testing
Short-term tests most commonly are placed in the home for two to seven days (and sometimes up to 90 days), as required by the manufacturer. Keep in mind that radon levels fluctuate and can be affected by multiple factors including outdoor weather conditions.. This means short-term tests, when performed properly will give you an accurate “snapshot” of the radon level during the testing period, but cannot provide you with a year-round average radon level.
Long-term test devices stay in the home for over 90 days, and they provide a reading of your home’s average radon levels throughout varying weather conditions and seasons
I Have High Levels of Radon in My Home, Now What?
If you ran a short-term radon test in your home and found a radon level of 4 pCi/L or higher, the U.S. EPA suggests performing a second short-term radon test . For those in the process of a real estate transaction, the U.S. EPA recommends using two short-term tests placed side-by-side in your home for the most accurate reading..
It’s important to have a professional radon mitigation system installed in your home to reduce radon, if an elevated level is found through testing. . The most commonly used process is Active Soil Depressurization (ASD), which involves creating a negative pressure field beneath your home, using suction point(s), a radon fan, and PVC pipe to draw radon gas from the soil beneath your home, safely venting it above the roofline..
When you find high levels of radon in your home, it’s essential to take action immediately. High levels of radon can cause serious health issues when inhaled over time.