What is Radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that can enter a home through cracks or gaps in the foundation or basement slab. If your home has exposed dirt in a portion of the basement or a dirt floor in a crawlspace there’s a chance that you have an even greater risk of elevated indoor radon levels. Long-term exposure to elevated indoor levels of radon gas increases the risk of developing lung cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 21,000 deaths occur each year from radon-related illness. This number far exceeds the annual deaths due to motor vehicle accidents, falls, drownings, and fires. For more information please check out the Radon Fact Sheet published by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Hire a Qualified Radon Professional
The first step in finding out if your new home is at risk is to hire a qualified professional to perform a radon test. The ideal time to conduct this test is during the home inspection, prior to signing a purchase and sale agreement. A short-term radon test conducted as part of a real estate transaction requires a minimum of 48 hours to complete. We are one of only a few Massachusetts home inspection businesses that is certified under the National Radon Proficiency Program to conduct both Standard and Analytical radon services. This means that we are not only certified for traditional radon measurement through AARST-NRPP, but our inspector has also passed a Performance Test conducted by an independent lab.
Radon Testing with a Continuous Monitor
At 8 Points Home Inspection, we offer two forms of radon testing. The preferred method utilizes an electronic machine known as a continuous radon monitor, or CRM. Once the test is concluded, we retrieve the device and plug it into a laptop computer to download the data. Using this testing method, we can provide you with results on the same day the machine is retrieved. When scheduling allows, we can set up the CRM two to three days prior to your home inspection. Advanced placement of the CRM gets the radon test results into your hands even more quickly to help with any decisions you need to make.
Passive Radon Testing
The second type of radon test we offer utilizes a passive testing method with charcoal liquid scintillation, or LS. We set up a pair of small canisters during the inspection, and after the 48-hour minimum test period they are retrieved and mailed to a Massachusetts-based lab for processing. The LS method is just as accurate as the CRM, but it takes a few days longer to get the results and is more prone to tampering. Sometimes being able to save a few days is important, especially during an active real estate market.
Call Today for a Radon Test
Once you’ve decided to find out if your new home is at risk for elevated indoor radon, it makes sense to choose the most qualified radon testing professional. Contact us today to schedule a radon test as a standalone service or as part of your home inspection. For more information click the following link to read our blog post “What is Radon Gas?”.
Continuous Radon Monitor
Passive Radon Testing