If you are buying an older home, there are many things you must do to ensure it is safe for you and your family. One of these things is making sure the radon levels are not too high. There is no way for you to know as radon cannot be tasted, smelled, or seen. Radon can be dangerous at high levels as this can cause things like coughing, wheezing, bronchitis, and can even cause lung cancer over time. Before anything like this happens, have your home tested for radon. Below is information on how to prepare your home for this test and how the radon testing is done.
Prepare Your Home
There are many things you should do to prepare your home for radon testing. You need to you to keep all the doors and windows closed for a few hours before the test is done. You can open entry and exit doors to come in and out but do not leave these doors open. Your HVAC unit can run, and the contractor will tell you the temperatures it can be set to.
You should not open windows or operate ceiling fans. If you have a fan in your attic you need to turn this off. All dehumidifiers and humidifiers should be turned off. If you have a fireplace, the damper must be closed.
Testing for Radon
You can purchase a radon test kit and test your home for radon. This will not give you the best accurate results, however, so it is much better to hire a radon testing company to do the test for you.
The contractor can test your home for radon in two ways. They may choose to do a short-term test. With this, the testing device is left in your home for a few days or a couple of months. This will depend on the type of testing device they use. One type of device that may be used is a passive device. This includes things like charcoal canisters or alpha track detectors. They may also use electret ion chambers for a short-term test.
There is a long-term radon test. With this, the testing device is left in your home much longer. The reading from this test will be the most accurate, however. The contractor may choose to first do a short-term test and then use the long-term test.
If the contractor finds the radon levels are too high in your home, they can get them back to safe levels. They do this in many ways, such as sealing the home and using heat recovery ventilation, sealing all cracks in the home, including the foundation, and more.