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My First Radon Test

Gee, well this is embarassing. I don't really know how it happened. I was going to get it done, but it just never happened. The longer I waited, the less I thought about it and then it was 5 years later and...

I never got a my house tested for Radon.

Gee, well this is embarassing. I don't really know how it happened. I was going to get it done, but it just never happened. The longer I waited, the less I thought about it and then it was 5 years later and...

I never got a my house tested for Radon.

I know. This is pretty embarrassing to admit, being that I work for U.S. Inspect! It's sort of like a doctor who doesn't get cancer screenings. And maybe that's it. Perhaps like many people who don't get their screenings, I had the best of intentions but then something happened. And unfortunately, like cancer for the most part, Radon is invisible. So out of sight out of mind. But now it's not only just my and my husband's health at risk. I'm raising my new baby daughter in this home and I have no idea if we could have a radon problem!

So enough is enough! In recognition of National Radon Action Month, I'm putting a stop to the nonesense, and I've scheduled a radon test! You heard me right! Today is the day. Mike Conte, a friend and U.S. Inspect Home Inspector (and NJ licensed Radon Technician, of course) is stopping by and will place the test. I've chosen to have a radon monitor device and Martin Smith, one of our other bloggers and U.S. Inspect's environmental guru expertly explained the procedure for my test, and this is what I learned.

There are actually two procedural protocols for radon testing. The one we and Real Estate Agents are most familiar with is the protocol used during a real estate transaction, the Home Buyers and Sellers Guide.

In my case, I already own the home. So I would now follow the Home Owner or "Citizens" Guide protocol. It’s a two step process, Martin explained it to me as follows:

Details About My Test
First I'll do a screening test. I need to know what I'm dealing with quickly, so the screening test is a short term test, similar to the real estate protocol. But after that’s done, I'll follow up with a second “confirmation” test. The second test I do will be either a short term test or a long term test. Which one I do, depends on the result of that first screening test.

See, if my first screening shows results below the recommended level of 4pCi/L, no further immediate action is required, however I should test again during a different heating/cooling season. And as Martin stated in a recent radon blog post, every couple years.

If my screening test is between 4 and 8 pCi/L, I will follow up with either another short term test, or a long term test. We always recommend long term since this gives you a much better idea of what the annual average level is, especially if it is a one year test. If the average of the two short term tests, or the long term test is 4 pCi/L or higher, fix the home.

If the screening test is 8 pCi/L or higher, I'll do a short term follow up test. If the average of the two short term tests is 4 pCi/L or higher, I'll need to fix the home.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'll be explaining it every step of the way here on my blog, and we'll see together what my first screening shows. For today, it's just about finally taking ACTION. I look forward to seeing Mike today and I'll be posting later!