With experience and data from tens of thousands of radon measurements around the world, Radonova has identified the most common mistakes that occur during residential radon measurements. Avoid these three common mistakes to prevent false positive or false negative readings and unnecessary re-measurements.
1. Too few radon detectors are used when measuring for radon.
Frequently, homeowners will choose to only place detectors in basements because it is suspected that there are high radon levels there (which is often the case). Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that is transported in the air, therefore it is best to also measure rooms where residents spend most of their time.
When determining the number of detectors needed, use the following guide:
- Place at least one radon detector in the largest central lived in area on the lowest occupied level of the home.
- Measure rooms where people spend four or more hours per day – such as bedrooms, family rooms, living rooms, and home offices.
- In multi-story homes be sure to test upper floors as well. Radon can be higher on upper floors. The only way to know is to test all floors.
For those who live in a home with an outside building or guest house, measurement is recommended there as well. Radon levels can vary greatly between different buildings, even if they are close together.
2. Radon detectors are not placed in the correct location(s) when measuring for radon.
Detectors from an accredited radon laboratory, such as Radonova, will provide clear instructions on where the detectors should be placed. Instructions will state the following:
- Place the detector on a shelf or table against an interior wall that is free from ventilation sources like vents or air returns.
- Keep the radon test away from all windows, doorways, and exterior walls. If the test is in an air draft area or near a window it introduces too much fresh air to accurately measure your indoor radon levels.
- Place a radon detector on a shelf or table at least 20 inches above the floor.
- Do not place the detector on a fireplace mantel, in a kitchen, in a bathroom, laundry room, or on a window sill.
- Make sure pets, children, and family members cannot move or play with the radon detector. It should be left unmoved during the measurement period.
Placement mistakes rarely create false positive readings. But, false positive readings could occur if the test is placed in too small of an area in an unoccupied basement or too close to a known radon source like an unsealed sump well.
3. Measuring for radon is only done one time – and never tested again if levels are low.
Just as radon levels can vary between homes on the same street or in the same neighborhood, radon levels can vary within a single home over time. The EPA recommends that all homeowners test for radon every two years. It is also recommended to test for radon:
- Every year after installing a radon mitigation system
- When buying a new home
- When moving to a lower floor of your home, such as a basement or partially buried underground floors
- During alternate seasons - such as taking a measurement in the summer months and also in the winter months
- After major home renovations
Because many homeowners may only test once for radon, it’s even more critical that radon detectors are accurate and the measurement is analyzed by an accredited laboratory.
Radonova’s home radon tests are easy to use, accurate, and analyzed in their highly accredited laboratory. Select the test based on the testing duration that best fits your time frame. The longer you can test, the more accurate your results will be.
- QuickScreen is a 2-to-4-day charcoal radon screener which is ideal for obtaining a quick snapshot of radon levels.
- The 10 to 90 day Rapidos alpha track detector provides detailed and accurate results in the short term.
- Radtrak³ is the most popular alpha track radon detector in the world. It is deployed for up to 365 days and is the most accurate option.
Radonova is the laboratory of choice for numerous government radon surveys, as well as other public, and private sector large-scale measurement contracts around the world. A truly global laboratory, Radonova is active in over 50 countries and has performed millions of radon measurements.