Radon is a radioactive gas that has no smell, no feel and you cannot see it and this makes it more dangerous to us. Testing is the most effective way we can test for Radon in our homes, schools and buildings. The testing is very affordable and something that you can do yourself. You can buy a Radon testing kit at your local Home Depot, Lowe’s and Target store locations. Once you have the test, follow the instructions to the T. There are two ways of testing; you can test for short term and long term exposure.
Short term testing which usually last 2 to 3 days, does suggest that you must have your windows closed as well as outside doors as much as possible since Radon comes from outside air or the decay of the soil which produces radioactive particles of Radon. It is also recommended that the windows and doors stay closes for 12 hours before the test. You can still use your heat and cooling systems that do re-circulate the air. It is not recommended that operate any type of fans or machines that will bring air in from the outside. If you have a Radon Reduction system or small exhaust fans that only run a few short periods of time during the day then you can use those.
The test is not recommended to be performed when a storm or high winds are present. The test should be done at the lowest lived in level of the home. If you have a basement but it is rarely used then the first floor may be the best place to get the most accurate reading. Place the testing kit in rooms like a bedroom, living room but try to avoid the bathroom or kitchen. Keep the test away from drafts, high heat and high humidity. Once the test is over, place the kit into the re-sealable bag and send it to the lab that the kit specifies for your test results. It should only take a couple of weeks to get the results.
If you have decided to go with long term testing then the test must stay in your home for more than 90 days. By using a long term kit, the Alpha Track and the Electrct Detectors can indicate your home year round Radon level. Then follow the same procedure about placing the test and sending it out to the lab for results.
Now, the EPA does recommend that you perform the short test first. If your test result comes back with a 4 pCi/L or higher then take a second test to confirm results. Then you can follow up with a long term test if you wish. What happens next is that if your results are 4 pCi/L then you should make a few calls and get some estimates with a certified Radon removal company. If you are planning on selling your home, it is recommended that you fix the Radon problem before you sell.