Radon is an odorless, tasteless gas that can seep into your home from the soil surrounding the foundation. Radon is responsible for a host of health problems, most notably cancer. Radon testing can help catch radon issues early so you can have a mitigation system installed.
1. Set Aside Time for the Test
A radon test takes about 48 hours, or two days, to complete. This is because radon levels can fluctuate throughout the day, so it's necessary to get a good baseline average for a more accurate test. The easiest way to test is if no one is home, such as right before moving into a new home. If this isn't possible, then care must be taken to leave all interior doors shut and to quickly open and shut entrance doors only as necessary. Windows should not be opened during the test. Keeping the home closed up is key to successful testing.
2. Pick the Right Location
Location also matters when it comes to radon testing. Radon tends to collect most heavily in the lowest floor of the house, so the first floor for slab homes and the basement or crawl space for all others. Testing for radon on an upper floor will not provide an accurate reading since upper floors may have next to no radon while the lowest has levels well above what is considered safe.
3. Pay Attention to the Weather
Another factor that can affect the accuracy of the test is the weather. It's generally recommended to perform tests in winter since this is the time of year when radon buildup is most severe because the AC is off and the windows are closed. Periods of heavy storms or rain can also affect radon testing, as pressure changes can affect the reading. A high-pressure storm, for example, can lead to inaccurately low readings.
4. Don't Disturb Testing Materials
Testing materials must be left undisturbed for the entirety of the 48 hours. You can not move them, cover them, or otherwise disturb them. Your testing technician will work with you to determine the best location to set up the test. Make sure pets and children can be kept out of the area so they don't inadvertently compromise the test.
5. Consider Further Testing
Radon testing is not necessarily a one-and-done proposition. If you live in an area known for radon issues, plan for annual testing so you can catch developing problems early. Further, if you are on a private well for water, you should also have the well tested for radon.
Contact a radon testing and mitigation service for more assistance.