There are several ways to test a house for radon, including cheap do-it-yourself kits that an owner can buy for about $25 at a hardware store and do themselves. These are not considered professional and the results are often questionable, especially to buyers.
The most reliable and accurate way of testing in the limited time span of a real estate transaction is by using either an "ELECTRONIC RADON MONITOR, a HANGING CHARCOAL AIR KIT or a CHARCOAL CANNISTER ". We have the ability and trained personnel to provide any of these tests. One advantage of an “electronic radon monitor" is they provide hourly readouts and other tamper resistant deterrents that can help eliminate the false accusations and suspicions of seller or agent interference that can easily occur when using a cheap do-it-yourself type of test device.
If the results of the radon test do show elevated radon levels, they can be easily and permanently fixed by a RMP Certified Radon Mitigation Contractor. Since elevated radon levels are mainly a health hazard only after long-term exposure, it is in your best interest to test the radon level prior to buying a new home. Once the radon situation is corrected, many people also notice the air quality in the home has been improved (no musty odors). The average costs of installing a radon mitigation system typically range from $800-$1200 (considerably less than replacing an older worn out roof or a furnace). One final thought about radon; many people that work for large "Fortune 500 Companies" get transferred every few years. In these cases, the company often has a "buy-out program" that will offer to purchase the employee's house if it doesn't sell quickly. Most of these companies want a radon test on the house before they offer to purchase it. If you have a radon test and have radon at that time, it’s your high radon and your expense, while before you buy the house it’s someone else’s high radon and their expense …… Not yours!
Radon Do’s / Don’t To Get an Accurate Test
- Disturbing or interfering with the test devices or with closed-house conditions may invalidate the test results and is illegal in some states.
- Notify the occupants of the importance of proper testing conditions. Give them a copy of this guide if possible and explain the directions carefully.
- Conduct the radon test for a minimum of 48 hours and maintain closed-house conditions for a minimum of 12 hours before the 48-hour test begins AND during the test (closed house means all windows stay shut and only normal and brief entry and exit from exterior doors is allowed). Do NOT run attic fans.
- If the house has an active radon-reduction system, make sure the vent fan for it is operating. If the fan is not operating have it repaired and then retest.
- Operate the home's heating and cooling systems normally during the test.
- Do not disturb the test devices at any time during the test.
- After the test, the testing device(s) will be picked up and taken to our office where the results will be determined. Results of the test will in most cases be e-mailed or faxed to you within 12-24 hours after the we have determined the results.