Think twice before you touch that radon test in progress. The slightest movement can and will be detected. A test that has been tampered with will either cause the transaction to fall apart, or at minimum warrant a retest at the owner’s expense.
Radon test kits have come a long way. Years ago, home inspectors would utilize two resealable charcoal canisters and place them side by side to perform a test. Each canister’s readings effectively checked the other; so for example, if one canister’s test came in high and the other came in low, it would be cause for a re-test, as they should read at approximately the same level.
Another form of testing is the E-perm test, where two closed canisters are placed near each other, but could not be opened. These tests are considered more reliable than the charcoal canisters.
The most reliable test these days is an electronic continuous monitor, (which not all inspectors utilize by the way). Make sure yours does. The device looks like a box- nothing else. However, it does exactly what the name implies, and is essentially tamper-proof.
Even when no one is around to see, interference is clear, and it inevitably spells trouble for the transaction. Look at the graphic of the reading for a house that was just recently tested.
The beginning of the test clearly shows levels hovering around the 8.0 pCi/l mark (picocuries per liter). The Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended safe level guideline is below 4.0 pCi/l. At one point, it went to less than zero, and the device even registered the time that the change took place! That was clear evidence that something or someone had tampered with it. What’s more, is that the device even registered the time that the change took place!
As you can clearly see, even when no one is around to manage the test, interference is clear, and it inevitably spells trouble for the transaction. Interference could mean moving the box, opening up windows and doors, or utilizing a fan in the area of testing, which is normally conducted in the lowest livable area of the home.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive colorless and odorless gas that affects indoor air quality, and is known to cause cancer at elevated levels for an extended period of time. In fact, it is the second leading cause of lung cancer. The EPA recommended safe level guideline is below 4.0.
When you are selling your home, you can expect that a buyer will conduct a radon test to find out if this harmful gas is present.