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  • Jeanine Humphrey

What to Expect when Testing for Radon


Radon is a radioactive gas that is broke down in the soil from Uranium and is found in every home in the United States. You cannot see, smell, or taste Radon. Radon moves up from the ground through your home creating a stack effect. These radioactive particles can become trapped in your lungs, increasing your chances of developing lung cancer. Radon is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer.


1. Testing for Radon

There are several methods to test for Radon both passive and active. Passive tests no power is needed and Active requires a power supply. Passive devices include charcoal canisters, alpha-track detectors, charcoal liquid scintillation devices, and electret ion chamber detectors, which can be found in any local hardware store. There are short-term (2-90 days) and long-term (91 days or longer) testing devices, or CRM or Continuous Radon Monitoring.

Self-deploy Radon tests include an activated charcoal pad or packet you place in the lowest livable space in your home. Once testing is complete you send it off in the addressed envelope to the lab to read and they will send a report.

CRM or Continuous Radon Monitoring will sample over short periods of time, usually 48 hours. CRM’s will provide an hourly number and average the radon levels at the completion of the test. At Certified we have the newest equipment which allows us to provide you with results at pick-up of the monitor.


2. Once testing is complete

Once testing is complete the next step is determining if you need to mitigate. The EPA recommends mitigation for any levels over 4pCi/L; however, no level of Radon is safe.

If testing was done for a real estate transaction, the results will need to be shared with all parties.

If testing was done as a homeowner and there is no real estate transaction, the EPA recommends following up with a same 2nd short term test in the same location immediately after the first test and using the average number of the 2 tests for a final number.


3. Radon Mitigation Process

The most common mitigation method is Active Soil Depressurization System. This method begins with coring a 4” hole in the floor and removing enough dirt to create an air pocket. After corning the hole, you core a hole through the rim joist leading to the exterior of the home. We would use a 4” scheduled 40 PVC pipe to connect the 2 holes. We then connect and install the appropriate radon fan to the pipe on the exterior of the home and run 4” schedule 40 PVC from the top of the fan to one foot above the roof line. Once the system is installed, we will install power to the fan from the closet available circuit. At completion we will install a manometer on the pipe in the basement to monitor the fans operation and show the homeowner what to look for the ensure the fan is operating properly. At the end of the mitigation process we supply the homeowner with a testing device to ensure it is operating properly.


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