Certified Home Inspection Specialist

Is Radon Testing Important?


If you’re in the process of purchasing a home and are wondering if you should have the property tested for radon during the inspection, the answer is yes. But radon testing is not a one-and-done practice. Regardless of whether your property passes or fails during the initial inspection, follow-up testing is critical.

What is Radon?

Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas.

Can Radon Cause Cancer?

It is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Overall, it is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Why is Radon Testing Important?

Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. Usually, both short and long term testing devices are generally inexpensive. A short-term test remains in your home for 2 days to 90 days, whereas a long-term test remains in your home for more than 90 days.

All radon tests need to occur at a minimum of 48 hours. Protocol for short-term radon testing calls for “closed house conditions” to most accurately measure a home’s potential for radon exposure. Under close house conditions, the radon trapped inside the structure is not diluted by outside air.

In a short-term radon test, the closed house condition supports measurement of the maximum radon level. However, closed house conditions are not required for long-term radon testing because long-term tests are intended to measure radon levels occupants are exposed to under normal living conditions.

How Does Radon Get into a House?

There are many factors that affect radon levels in a house. Opening windows and exterior doors may cause radon levels to drop as indoor air gets diluted by outside air. but it is not unusual for radon levels in a house to actually increase due to open windows.

An open window on the top floor of a house can cause more radon to be drawn into the basement as a result of the stack effect.

What is the Fastest Way to Test for Radon?

The the best way to test radon, short-term, is under closed house conditions. It is therefore worth the extra $100 to $200 that inspectors might charge to have the home tested for radon.

They are familiar with every place that needs to be checked. They also know how to find potential trouble spots quickly. They’ll know the prime spots for gathering samples and will give a much better assessment of the radon levels in your home. So yes, you should consider radon testing and inspection when buying a home.

For the home buyer, having a good understanding of the condition of a property is crucial to making informed decisions during a real estate transaction. Call (443) 539-8710 today or click here to schedule online 24/7 right from our website.

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