RADON testing is conducted by two distinct methods:
1. Granular Activated Carbon (GAC)
2. Electronic Detector
GAC is the most accurate method of RADON testing, and preferred by all laboratories and the USEPA scientists. Testing should be performed in two separate places, and depending on the size of the structure, possibly three or more.
A radon test should be conducted for a minimum of 3 days, and more preferably 7 days. Under no circumstances should a RADON test be conducted less than 3 days.
There are dozens of electronic RADON counters/detectors in the marketplace. While these detectors are a marvel of modern technology, they are not that accurate; in fact, they require frequent recalibration which is hardly ever done and can be KNOCKED out of calibration by just bumping them! Overall, this isn't the way you should have your house tested. If a so-called Certified Inspector shows up at your house and pulls one of these devices out, run him or her off your property!
In addition, they'll want to run a 1-day test or even a 2-day test. They'll tell you that their instrument is so accurate they can determine your risk level in that short time. NOPE! Don't let them even set it up!
DON’T GAMBLE WITH YOUR OR YOUR FAMILIES’ LIVES!
The testing period has been set and stands as the only testing period by the USEPA. Any other testing periods do not conform with standard testing methods. Consult American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency documents for the first, best, and foremost standards regarding RADON.
All other published so-called "standards" are private corporation standards and exist so those corporations can hold themselves out as "experts" and can then create education and testing courses for the creation of special certifications for which they charge large sums of money.
USEPA Document 402-R-93-003, May 1993 states:
"Short-term tests are conducted for two days to 90 days."
If you are a Real Estate Professional and you call your favorite RADON Contractor and say, "I need a quick test at........", You're going to get a 24-hour continuous-readout electronic RADON Detector test. Here are just a few things wrong with that and the damage quickie testing can do:
1. Nearly all electronic RADON Testers are used again, and again, and again, without ANY calibration. Don’t believe it? Just ask your RADON contractor for their calibration log. They can't produce one; it’s in the office (it is supposed to travel with the instrument), or they will look at you blankly and say, "we don't calibrate our instruments."
2. You have just certified to the buyer, that there is/is not any RADON in the home they're buying, and YOU DON'T REALLY KNOW!
3. USEPA recommend testing for three days and prefer a test be run for "7-days" to give valid and meaningful results!!
4. If anyone in the dwelling you just recommended a specific contractor to test and/or mitigate for RADON gets sick, and a knowledgeable attorney gets ahold of the testing documentation....as the recommending Real Estate Professional, YOU'RE ON THE HOOK FOR A MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT!
5. Chances are, you'll get a single one-page so-called testing "report" that provides you with no way to verify that the property was truly evaluated for a RADON hazard! NO ANALYSIS! Just Results....NUMBERS, really! If you ask where the rest of the report is, you'll get some lame excuse or simply told THAT is an industry STANDARD! It's NOT!
EPA recommends that testing device(s) be placed in the lowest level of the home suitable for occupancy. This means testing in the lowest level (such as a basement), which a buyer could use for living space without renovations. The test should be conducted in a room to be used regularly (such as a family room, living room, playroom, den, or bedroom); do not test in a kitchen, bathroom, laundry room or hallway. Usually the buyer decides where to locate the radon test, based on their expected use of the home. A buyer and seller should explicitly discuss and agree on the test location to avoid any misunderstanding. Their decision should be clearly communicated to the person performing the test.
RADON Testing services - $150 per test ($75 with Valpak Coupon)
- includes a thorough foundation inspection by an experienced geotechnical engineering geologist;
- includes a comprehensive written report complete with drawings and recommendations, signed by a professional environmental specialist;
- includes a personal consultation with a professional environmental specialist and;
- includes a written proposal for the recommended mitigation including a firm price for installation – complete.