How To Conduct Radon Testing In Homes?
Radon testing in homes is becoming commonplace, especially during real estate transactions. When buying a home, it is important to know if dangerous levels of radon have accumulated, for your own safety and also because excessive radon could be indicative of underlying flaws in the foundation.
All homes new and old should undergo radon testing. In houses more than twenty years old, it is important to check for cracks in concrete and mortar as well as open sump pump pits and open drains. Homes fifty years and older may have been built with partially finished basements or dirt floors down below, and this issue must be addressed as soon as possible.
The raw soil of a dirt floor has absolutely no barrier to prevent the release of radon gas into the air, and since most basements such as these were not well ventilated, the radon has no place to go. Homes with unfinished basements or dirt cellars are prime candidates for excessively high radon levels, and they can be seriously endangering the health of the occupants.
A radon test is simple and inexpensive, and can be performed by the homeowner, or by a company that specializes in radon testing in homes. The most inexpensive way to test a home for radon gas is the use of a passive radon test. Passive methods of testing involve placing a test device in a room for a specified number of days, weeks or months, then sending it to a lab to be analyzed.
Most passive radon test devices can be purchased at hardware or home supply stores, or from many online stores. For short-term testing, charcoal canister and charcoal liquid scintillation tests can be performed over a span of a few days before sending them for analysis. These devices work by collecting radon as it adheres to the charcoal. The laboratory measures the amount of radon collected by the device to determine the average amount of radon present in the home. Although short-term devices can give a quick picture of the presence of radon gas, experts recommend the long-term methods for more accurate results.
A long term testing device such as the alpha track detector is typically left in place for several months, and sometimes up to a year. The device consists of a small container that has a piece of special plastic film inside that records alpha tracks left by radon particles in the air.
Another passive device that can be used for both short and long term is the electret ion chamber. This device can be used for as little as a week or for as long as a year, and it is not available in hardware stores, but must be purchased from a laboratory.
For radon testing in homes that requires more immediate results, a digital monitor yields fast results and shows a continuous display of radon levels. A digital radon tester has the advantage of being usable in every room of the house instead of just one, and provides constant information without having to be analyzed.
To read more about related topics, please follow these links:
What Is Radon Poisoning?
What Are The Common Radon Mitigation Supplies?
Can Radon Gas In Homes Be Dangerous?
What Are The Different Types Of Radon Gas Detector?
Why Do People Buy Home Radon Test Kits?
Why Might A Digital Radon Gas Detector Be The Choice For You?