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What Are The Most Common Radon Testing Methods?

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Testing for Radon in Your Home or Business

When considering the impacts of radon in the home, it’s reassuring to know that there are ways to test for it. What are the most common Radon testing methods? They fall into two categories: passive and active.
radon gas element

Passive Radon Testing

Passive radon testing can be done by yourself with either an activated charcoal test kit or an alpha track device, both of which are available from most home goods stores, and can alternatively be ordered online.

While less expensive, the 2-day wait time involved with the most common Radon testing methods is increased drastically by the need to send the kits to a laboratory once used. There, technicians “count” the amount of Radon in the sample, sending the results back after a time. These kits also rely heavily on the exact following of instructions; a mistake can be costly, leading to wildly inaccurate results.

The US has established that the accuracy of these DIY radon testing kits, when used correctly must be at +/- 25%. As the action level of radon in the home is 4 picocuries, this means that the testing can be up to 1 picocurie off, which may impact the user’s decision to pursue options in radon mitigation. While it’s estimated that 95% of radon testing done in the US is done by these DIY kits, it’s recommended that a concerned individual seeks a professional with an active radon testing device before deciding for or against further action.

Active Radon Testing

But what are the most common radon testing methods that provide reliable results? Active radon testing devices called CRMs (or Continuous Radon Monitors) are short-term radon monitors. These are far more complex than the DIY kits and therefore require a licensed radon specialist to use. However, these devices deliver results as soon as the 48-hour collection period is over, which means that radon levels can be assessed much faster than any DIY kit can offer. They also provide results without the inherent inaccuracies possible in a DIY kit.

It’s strongly recommended that anyone concerned about radon levels in their home should contact a licensed radon testing professional, like Teton Radon Services, to quickly and accurately get the information they need. Getting the right results is vital in making the best decision if there is a potential radon problem in the home.

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