How Do I Test For Radon?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) recommends testing for radon bi-annually and during a home transaction. A radon test is the only way to find out how much radon is in your home and if you and your family are at risk. The results of a properly performed radon test will help you determine if you need to take further action to protect yourself from the health risks of radon.
Elliott & Associates uses state-of-the-art computerized testing monitors that take readings every hour for 2-4 days and give a printout of each hourly reading as well as the average radon level for the testing period. This is the most accurate short-term test available and allows you to avoid lengthy laboratory analysis.
Radon is measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/l) which is a unit that measures levels of radon/radioactive gas.
The USEPA and Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) has set the recommended action level for radon at 4.0 pCi/l. This means that if your radon levels are 4.0 pCi/l or greater you should fix your house.
What if High Radon Levels Are Found?
If your radon levels are elevated, don’t worry! The levels can easily be reduced to below the USEPA’s guidelines and should never keep you from enjoying your current home or buying a new one.
A variety of methods can be used to reduce radon in homes:
- Sealing cracks and other openings in the foundation can be performed but results are inconsistent.
- Installing a ventilation system prevents radon gas from entering the home from below the foundation. This system does not require major changes to your home and is guaranteed to reduce the radon levels to below the levels set by the USEPA.
Can a neighbor’s test results be an indication of whether my home has a problem?
A neighbor’s test result is a poor predictor of your radon risk because each home can have different indoor radon levels. Furthermore, previous test results may not reflect current or future radon levels if the home has been remodeled, weatherized or had changes to its heating, air conditioning or other ventilation systems (such as exhaust fans).
How often should I test for radon?
- Every home should be tested for radon.
- You should retest your home every 2 – 5 years and save your results.
- Be sure to test before and after you make any major structural renovations such as building and addition or finishing a basement. Radon-resistant techniques can be inexpensively included as part of the renovation, if needed.
- You should also perform a radon test after buying a new heating system or adding central air conditioning.
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