Radon Testing and Measurement
Since radon gas is colorless and odorless, you need special equipment to measure levels. The concentration of radon in the air is measured in units of Becquerel per cubic meter (Bq/m³) or Picocuries per liter (pCi/L). For real estate and consumer testing in the United States, your report will be in average picocuries/liter of air.
Radon levels in your home should be tested as often as every two years, or after a major remodel, addition, or ventilation change in the home. While no minimum amount of radon gas is considered safe, the EPA’s action level, or level where mitigation is recommended is 4 pCi/L or above. The World Health Organization (WHO), establishes a radon action level of 2.7 pico/liter. As radon levels fluctuate throughout the day, it is the average for the testing period that is most important.
Short-Term Tests – Most Common
Short-term testing devices are exposed for a minimum of 48 hours and no more than 7 days. This type of test is limited to measuring the average radon levels for a short period of time. As radon levels fluctuate seasonally, levels during the testing period are not always representative of the average levels throughout the year. Short-term tests tend to be the most common testing devices, as they can give us quick results. The home must be under closed-house conditions for 12 hours prior to and during the entire testing period.
$249 for a radon monitor testServices
- Add $85 per location for additional measurement locations (charcoal testing devices)
Long-term tests are run for a minimum of 90 days, no more than one year. A long-term test is the most accurate way to determine your exposure to radon. It provides a better estimate of your actual risk, as it often includes variations that can occur seasonally. A downside with long-term tests, is they require a minimum of three months. This is typically too long for real estate transactions, or situations where levels are suspected to be significantly elevated. This test does not require that closed house conditions be maintained, allowing occupants to continue with normal activities including the opening of windows.
Your Source for Radon Measurement
At Tahoe Mold and Water, we are certified for radon measurement. We are extensively trained and adhere to a Quality Control and Quality Assurance program consistent with NRPP requirements. This does not mean that a homeowner can’t accurately measure radon in their home without a specialist. There are many testing kits offered online or at hardware stores that are EPA approved for radon measurement. If the testing instructions are followed, and the testing device is functional, an accurate radon average can be obtained at a minimal cost. Of course unless the measurement is provided by an objective third party provider, a customer’s do-it-yourself measurement is not satisfactory in a real estate transaction.