Are You Testing for Radon Gas Correctly?
Common mistakes when using a home radon test kit.
Radon gas is a naturally occurring gas that is present in the soil and rock in many areas of Canada. This gas can seep into homes and cause health problems, such as lung cancer, if it is not properly tested and mitigated. While many homeowners in Canada prefer to conduct their own radon testing, there are many common mistakes that can be made when doing so.
We cover 6 mistakes people make when testing for radon gas.
#1 - Using an expired or unreliable testing kit
The first and most important step in radon testing is to use a reliable and accurate testing kit. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of using expired or unreliable testing kits that may give incorrect results. To ensure that your results are accurate, it is essential to use a testing kit that is certified by Health Canada or speak with a C-NRPP certified professional.
#2 - Conducting testing during the wrong time of year
Another common mistake that homeowners make when conducting their own radon testing is conducting the test during the wrong time of year. Radon levels can vary depending on the season, with higher levels typically found during the winter months. To get an accurate reading, it is recommended to conduct radon testing during the winter months when the windows and doors are closed, which can trap the radon gas inside the home.
#3 - Placing the testing kit in the wrong location
For an accurate reading, it is important to place the testing kit in the lowest livable area of the home, such as in a basement living room or bedroom. Testing kits should not be placed in areas that are close to windows or doors, or with artificial ventilation (laundry room, mechanical room, etc.) as this can affect the results and give an incorrect reading.
#4 - Not leaving the testing kit in place for long enough
Radon gas can take some time to accumulate and varies drastically from day to day, so it is important to leave the testing kit in place for the recommended length of time to get an accurate reading. Many homeowners make the mistake of not leaving the testing kit in place for long enough, which can result in an inaccurate reading. Typically, testing kits should be left in place for a minimum of 90 days to ensure an accurate reading.
#5 - Not conducting a follow-up test
If a short-term assessment test shows that radon levels are higher than the recommended limit, it is important to conduct a follow-up test to confirm the results. Many homeowners make the mistake of not conducting a follow-up test, which can lead to incorrect results and a false sense of security. Follow-up testing should be conducted using a long-term device, as they will incorporate the long-term average exposure of the homeowner.
#6 - Not mitigating high radon levels
If the follow-up test confirms high radon levels, it is important to take steps to mitigate the problem. Many homeowners make the mistake of not mitigating high radon levels, which can put their health and the health of their family at risk. Mitigation options cost between $1700-$3000 depending on the age of your home and a few other factors. This investment could save you and your family from getting lung cancer one day, well worth the investment in our opinion.
In conclusion, conducting your own radon testing can be a cost-effective way to determine if your home has high radon levels. However, it is important to be aware of the common mistakes that can be made when conducting the test. By using a reliable testing kit, conducting the test during the correct time of year, placing the testing kit in the correct place and leaving it for long enough you can get accurate results testing your own home for Radon!
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