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  • Great West Radon

What is Radon Testing? Part 1

Updated: Feb 3, 2022

Radon testing is essential to protect your home against the threats of this silent killer. But what type of test should you undertake? In Part 1 of our blog series, we look at Short-Term Radon Testing...

At Great West Radon, we offer two methods of radon testing: long-term radon testing and short-term radon testing. The duration of long-term radon detectors is a 3-12 months period, and short-term radon testing can give you preliminary results within 96 hours, a popular choice for many homeowners and homebuyers wanting to know a home's potential Radon levels.

Before we explain the advantages of short-term testing, let's look at the basics of radon testing first.

Understanding the Basics of Radon Testing in Calgary

The "When" & "How" of Radon Testing

The “heating season” of October to April is the ideal time to conduct radon testing. Long term Radon testing is the most simple method and should be done in average home conditions. Meaning closing all the windows and doors (outside of normal home functions) to replicate your current living conditions.

The compact testing kit is put in the lowest lived-in area of the home (usually your basement) following the instructions. Avoid using the device in the kitchen, bathroom, crawl space or any highly ventilated spaces (i.e. laundry room). Follow the procedure and when the test is finished (after 90 days and up to 1 year of exposure), return it to the lab by mail for analysis. Within a few weeks, you will get your results via e-mail.

The Guidelines of Radon Testing

In collaboration with different territories and provinces, Health Canada has prepared a guideline for indoor radon level concentrations.

According to the current guidelines, the radon in indoor air for homes in Canada can be a maximum of 200 becquerels per cubic meter (200 Bq/m3). This recommendation tells Canadians when they should take corrective steps to lower their radon levels. You can contact Great West Radon to fix radon-related issues at your home. Please note that these levels are a maximum allowable level and not necessarily considered a safe level for long term lung cancer risk.

According to WHO guidelines, radon levels above 100 Bq/m3 need attention as this is the point at which a significant increase of risk begins. They prove more dangerous for young children and smokers because their lungs are more susceptible to DNA level damage.

radon testing calgary

The Short-Term Radon Test

Ever think of putting your health at risk just by staying at home? Radon, a carcinogenic gas, may be doing precisely that. Radon gas is radioactive, colourless and odourless. Therefore radon-specific testing is the only method to find out if you are in danger.

A short-term radon test or assessment is commonly performed as part of a home inspection, needed in some real estate transactions. Great West Radon deals in short-term testing services and is C-NRPP certified to do so. However, since radon gas fluctuates constantly, it is better to test it on a long-term basis for knowing your long term average exposure.

Need of Short-term Radon Testing

According to Health Canada, The Canadian Cancer Society, and the Lung Association, it is recommended to test your home for the presence of radon.

In Canada, radon testing is an essential part of the real estate sector. So, short-term radon tests or assessments are recommended before you buy a house in Canada to be aware of the potential risk of radon levels in the home. The Lung Association, Health Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society also suggest testing your home every 2 years, as any major ground disturbance within 5 km of your home (i.e. road construction, new home excavations) can affect your indoor radon levels. As C-NRPP certified professionals, Great West Radon can help you complete long term testing to fulfill such requirements.

The Time required for the Short-term test

A 96-hour radon test is the minimum time required for a short-term radon test for a home inspection and should only be performed by C-NRPP certified professionals using C-NRPP approved equipment. Therefore, the results of short-term radon testing only depict the levels of radon measured in that 96 hours. The measurement of 96-hours does not give long-term results because of continuously changing levels of radon over longer periods but will give you an idea of the home's current levels.

Great West Radon can conduct a short-term radon test to understand a snapshot of the radon levels in your home quickly. In this regard, snapshots of current levels are essential for the safety of you and your loved ones. According to our recommendation, short-term assessments are great for awareness, and long-term testing works better for accurate confirmation of radon levels.

Are you interested in Long-Term Radon Testing? If so, be sure to check out Part 2 of our "What is Radon Testing?" series next month.

Great-West Radon is a "One Stop Shop" for all your Radon related needs. We provide detail-oriented, honest, and reliable radon testing in Calgary by using state-of-the-art tools and technology. From radon mitigation to radon removal, we are the top-rated Radon services company in Calgary, and we are proud of the work we do and the relationships we've created with our clients. We only use the best materials and equipment, ensuring all guidelines set out by the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program and Health Canada are being met. If you require radon testing, mitigation, or a radon test kit in Calgary, Great Radon West has you covered.

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