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Friday, January 31st
Radon is a dangerous naturally occurring gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States & Canada among nonsmokers. Unfortunately, this gas is odorless, colorless, and completely invisible to the naked eye, making it impossible to detect without professional help or a radon testing kit. This, of course, begs the question, can these test results be trusted?
The short answer is yes, as errors can happen with any type of test, but the likelihood of a wrong radon level reading changes greatly based on a variety of factors. Let’s break it down in greater detail. There are two main types of do-it-yourself radon tests:
Short term radon tests: This refers to a test that monitors your radon levels for 2-7 days and is the most common type of test.
Long term radon tests: This type of test monitors radon levels for at least 90 days and is less common.
Both short term and long term tests measure your radon levels, but the accuracy differs due to the length. A short term test is good at measuring your current radon levels, but these levels can fluctuate due to a number of factors, including:
This all means that it is possible for radon levels to increase or decrease after your testing period. A long term test helps to account for these fluctuations by testing your radon levels longer. In other words, short term radon tests are sufficient for most homes, but if you are really concerned about accuracy, then a long term radon test will be more reliable. The problem with long term tests is that you have to wait over 90 days for the results.
Another important note to make is that radon tests can be conducted using either radon test kits or radon testing from a professional radon contractor. While test kits are not particularly inaccurate, the results from a qualified radon contractor will always be the most accurate. A radon contractor can also help account for some of the factors that might otherwise skew the results. A licensed radon measurement professional will also ensure the radon testing device (Continuous Radon Monitor) is placed in the right location and the EPA testing protocols are followed.
There are two common errors that could occur during a radon test:
The unfortunate truth is that there is no perfect system and there is always some room for inaccuracy. With that said, there are several ways to ensure you get the most reliable results possible:
We also suggest installing a radon mitigation system if you have any radon level above 2.0 pCi/L. While the EPA may set the actionable level at 4.0 pCi/L, any level of radon is dangerous and a radon mitigation system will never be wasted. More importantly, if your home tested too low, then your family will still be safe. The last thing you want is to gamble with your health and that of your family.
As a leading network of radon professionals, we can help connect you with your local expert contractor who can perform a reliable radon test. Contact us today to find your local expert or to learn more about radon!