Updated: May 31
If you are not aware of the dangers of radon gas, you can find plenty of facts and information on our website www.homeradonpros.com. If you don’t have the time to inform yourself with all the information, know this, radon gas is a class A carcinogen, which means that is known for a fact that is causes cancer in humans. It is also the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, after cigarette smoking, and is responsible for 22,000 deaths every year. Knowing just those few facts, doesn’t it make sense to test your home for radon?
Although testing for radon once is a great start to keeping your family healthy, it may not be enough to get a full accurate read on the actual radon levels in your home. Radon professionals recommend that you take a few extra precautions to ensure that your radon levels are below the EPA recommended action level of 4.0 pCi/L. Now I know what you may be thinking, this is just a way for radon companies to keep business coming. However, the “why” behind continually testing your home for radon is a matter of making sure that your family can sleep at night, knowing that radon will not impact them in a negative way. Let’s take a look at the reasons why, and how, you can and should test your home multiple times.
Changes in weather and soil conditions:
If you live in an area where temperatures fluctuate throughout the year, like Pittsburgh Pa, your radon levels will fluctuate with it. As the winter comes and temperatures drop, the amount radon released into the atmosphere from the breakdown of uranium, also changes. Typically, the colder weather creates a rise in radon levels. This means, if you have your home tested in the spring and you have a safe reading, that doesn’t mean that your radon levels will be safe come winter. Home Radon Pros conducted a radon test in Sewickley PA early in the spring of 2017 with a reading of 3.4 pCi/L. We went back to this same home in the winter of 2018 and found a reading of 5.9 pCi/L! A radon removal system was needed to have levels brought down to safe levels. Now this doesn’t happen with every home, but it could be something that could happen in yours.
Just like weather changes constantly, so does the soil and ground conditions underneath your home. Since radon comes from the breakdown of uranium in the soil, as the earth shifts and moves, it creates more gaps for radon to be released into the air and your home. Many things can cause this change that are unbeknownst to you, which is why follow up tests are important.
Continuous radon testing vs. real time tests:
There are several different machines/methods to test for radon. One form of testing, which is most commonly used by radon professionals, is a real time test. This test uses a radon monitor to test the radon levels in your home over a short period of time, typically two days, to get a snap shot of radon levels. This method is accurate for that period of time and will give you good idea if a radon removal system is necessary for your home or not.
The alternative to real time testing is a continuous radon test, or continuous radon monitoring. This type of testing looks at the radon levels in your home over a long period of time, anywhere from 90 days to a year, in order to give you an extremely accurate depiction of the radon levels in your home. This method will take into account variables that can affect your home’s radon levels throughout the year and is an assured way to find out if your home needs a radon mitigation system or not.
Both of these methods are accurate, and are a step in the right direction of keeping you and your family safe from radon. Continuous radon testing will give you more accuracy, but will be more costly.
First things first, if you want to know if your house is in danger of radon, you must get your home tested. If you want to have an exact idea on if a radon mitigation system is right for you, a continuous radon test may be what you are looking for, but it isn’t the only way to continually monitor your radon levels. Home Radon Pros, recommends testing your house twice a year, once during the spring/summer and again in the fall/winter. This method will give you an accurate depiction of the radon levels in your home, and will account for changes in the weather and soil conditions. To give you peace of mind, have your home tested twice if you haven’t had a radon test before, or in over a two years. Radon professionals, like Home Radon Pros, can conduct radon testing in your home and almost no inconvenience to you or your family.