Ultimate Guide to Radon Inspection and Radon Test

Ultimate Guide to Radon Inspection and Radon Test

Most buyers have previously been informed of the need to do a home inspection prior to closing the deal when they go house hunting.

However, a lot of purchasers might not be aware that doing a radon test in home inspection is also a smart idea.

What happens if a person already owns their house but has never had a radon test done?

It's never too late to remember to take this important safety and health precaution.

You will have a better understanding of the benefits of radon house inspections for both your clientele and your company by reading this article.

What is Radon?

Colorless and odorless, radon is a naturally occurring gas in the soil. Radon gas is released when elements such as uranium and radium decay in the rock and soil underneath houses.

For those who are having trouble remembering their high school chemistry lessons, uranium, and radium are radioactive.

Because radon quickly evaporates into the environment and leaves only trace levels in the air you breathe, it is not a concern outside.

However, if your home is securely sealed, which many contemporary homes are because of excellent insulation and effective air sealing, you may be in danger.

Radon can become trapped inside and build up to unsafe levels. Because radon is odorless and invisible, the only way to know if you have a problem is to conduct a radon gas inspection.

How Does Radon Enter a Home?

The natural environmental process of uranium disintegration from soil, rock, water, and air produces the hazardous gas known as radon.

Common entry points for radon into a house include basements, crawl spaces exposed to the earth, gaps around electrical outlets, and fissures in the foundation.

The likelihood of a dangerous home level is a serious concern because radon is a naturally occurring gas in the environment. Only radon testing and appropriate mitigation can address this issue.

Since radon accumulates indoors, the test results for every house will be different.

In “What is the Radon Home Inspection?" It is advised to homeowners that building materials that release radon, such as brick, concrete, and granite, are utilized in the construction of new homes.

Radon and Your Health: How Does It Impact Your Health?

Radioactive elements can lodge in your lungs when you breathe in radon. These radioactive elements raise the risk of lung cancer over time. Years may pass before health issues surface.

According to estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is responsible for over 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the country annually.

After cigarette smoke, radon is the second most common cause of lung cancer mortality.

Individuals who smoke and are exposed to radon have a ten-fold increased risk of lung cancer from radon exposure as compared to non-smokers exposed to the same amounts of radiation.

Benefits of Radon Testing

This is why it's so important to get a radon home inspection to protect your family's health:

Early Identification of Successful Prevention

Radon levels can be significant in even new homes, and it is impossible to identify the gas without testing.

A radon home inspection determines whether radon is present in your house and at what concentration.

Before long-term exposure happens, early diagnosis enables you to take the required precautions to reduce the danger.

Keeping Your Lungs Safe

Lung cancer risk is correlated with prolonged exposure to high radon levels. You greatly lower your family's chance of contracting this potentially fatal illness by taking care of radon issues.

Calm Mind and Well-Informed Choices

Having knowledge of your radon levels gives you comfort. You may unwind and take pleasure in your house without worrying if the levels are safe.

A radon mitigation system may be implemented to efficiently lower the concentration of radon and produce a safer living environment if elevated levels are found.

Real estate transactions

Radon testing is often required in some areas prior to the closing of a real estate transaction. A radon test should be performed before buying or selling a house in order to avoid any problems or delays.

Cost-effective and Simple

Testing for radon is an easy and fairly costly process. Test kits are widely available, and qualified professionals can conduct inspections and offer mitigation methods if needed.

Investing for the Long Term in Your Health

The possible health hazards of prolonged radon exposure far outweigh the expense of a radon inspection. Purchasing a radon inspection is an investment in your family's health and welfare.

Different Types of Radon Testing

Different types of radon tests are classified into two main categories:

  • Active and passive radon testing
  • Short-term and long-term radon tests

processing the radon test in home inspection

image sourced from here

Below we have explained each of these separately:

Active and Passive Radon Testing

Let’s first find out what Active radon testing is:

Active Radon Testing

A meter that is always plugged in to check the radon levels in your house is known as an active radon testing gadget.

They aid in understanding the variations in radon levels and need to be professionally installed.

They enable the inspector to customize the tests to the homeowner's requirements by being utilized for both short- and long-term testing.

A full radon mitigation system installed to lower the levels of radon in the house frequently includes an active radon monitor.

The presence of radon in the house indicates that the system is operating as intended and that it is safe.

Although handy, radon testing kits from hardware stores don't provide the most accurate or comprehensive reading of radon levels in homes.

These kits are usually small, and where they are placed affects the kind of reading you receive. Accurate results will be achieved with the assistance of a specialist.

Passive Radon Testing

A charcoal canister test is the most often used passive test. Activated charcoal is used in these tests to absorb radon gas, which is then measured in a lab.

Passive tests, as their name implies, remain in the house during the collecting period, which is usually 48 hours, but some tests go longer than that.

To ensure that you receive an accurate score, it's crucial to keep windows closed throughout the exam.

If the windows were left open, a high radon level would be "hidden" from the test since the gas would escape and give you a misleading result.

Short-term and Long-term Radon Tests

Here is what you should about the short-term radon test:

Short-Term Radon Test

Short-term testing yields findings in as little as two to ninety days, providing a more rapid indication of possible radon problems. In general, short-term testing is less costly than long-term tests.

Short-term testing may miss seasonal fluctuations in radon levels, which might change throughout the year because they cover a shorter period of time.

These are two typical choices for short-term testing:

  • Canisters with Activated Charcoal: The absorbent ingredient in these canisters captures particles of radon gas. The canister is delivered to a lab for examination to find the radon concentration following the specified testing time.
  • Electronic instruments known as Electret Ion Chamber Detectors are used to detect the electrical current produced by exposure to radon. They can deliver findings in a matter of days and give digital readouts.

Long-term Radon Test

Extended-duration testing is carried out for more than ninety days, usually ranging from three months to a year.

This longer period of time gives you a more realistic idea of the average radon level in your house throughout the year.

Radon levels can vary throughout the year, and long-term monitoring records these variations, which can be impacted by the weather and ventilation.

For a more accurate picture, a long-term test is advised if you want to install a radon mitigation system or if you are worried about possible health hazards.

These are a few typical choices for long-term testing:

  • Alpha Track Detectors: During the testing time, radon gas emits alpha particles, which are tracked by a substance in these passive devices. To measure the amount of radon present, laboratories examine the traces left behind.
  • Continuous Radon Monitors: Throughout the testing period, these electronic gadgets continuously check the levels of radon. They can be used for in-depth research of radon variations and provide real-time data.

Which One to Choose?

The best testing strategy is determined by your needs and level of urgency.

  • Short-term testing works well for a fast first evaluation or when you need answers right away, like in a real estate deal.
  • For a more complete view of your home's year-round radon levels, long-term testing is recommended, especially if you have health concerns or are considering mitigation methods.

Understanding Radon Test Report

The amount of radon gas in your house may be found via radon test findings. One radioactive gas that can lead to lung cancer is radon.

If the radon levels in your house are more than 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises you to take steps to lower them.

The standard reporting unit for radon test results is pCi/L. The following criteria have been created by the EPA to interpret the results of radon tests:

  • Less than 4 pCi/L: Low risk
  • Between 4 and 15 pCi/L: Mild risk
  • 15 pCi/L or greater: Very dangerous

Steps to Reduce Radon Levels

There's no reason to freak out if a radon examination finds high levels of radon gas in your house.

Thankfully, there are practical steps that can be done to drastically lower the amount of radon in the air and make living conditions safer.

The procedures required in radon mitigation are broken down as follows:

1. Installation of a Radon Mitigation System

First, you should get a professional expert:

Professional expertise

Having a radon mitigation system installed by a certified radon mitigation contractor is the most efficient approach to treating radon problems.

These experts are capable of evaluating your particular circumstance, suggesting the best solution, and guaranteeing correct installation.

System Types

Radon mitigation systems may be classified into two main categories:

  • SSD, or sub-slab depressurization: Underneath your home's concrete slab is a network of pipes. Radon gas beneath the slab is drawn out by a fan attached to the system and properly vented outside, away from your home.
  • Sump pump-equipped basements can use Drainfield Depressurization (DDC), which makes use of the plumbing systems already in place. A conduit transports radon gas from under the slab into the sump pit, where the fan releases it outside. The sump pump pit is sealed.

2. Selecting an Approved Contractor

Here are what factors you should consider in finding an approved contractor:

  • Licensing and Certification: Verify that the contractor is authorized to do radon mitigation work in your state or province.
  • Experience: Choose a contractor who has knowledge of the kinds of foundation systems that are typical in your area and who has experience working in the local area.
  • References: To evaluate the contractor's standing and level of service, get references from previous customers.

3. The Procedure for Mitigation

  • Planning and Assessment: The contractor will do a comprehensive evaluation of the current ventilation system, radon levels, and the foundation of your house. They will create a personalized mitigation strategy based on the results of this examination.
  • System Installation: The pipe network and fan system are usually installed by drilling a small hole in the sump pit or foundation slab. The vented radon gas discharge point will be outside, away from any windows or intakes of fresh air.
  • Post-Installation Testing: The contractor will retest after the system is installed to ensure that the radon levels have been successfully brought down to safe concentrations specified by national guidelines (usually less than 4 picocuries per liter, or pCi/L, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US).

For more information about the radon reduction process, click here.


How common is radon in Toronto?

In Toronto, radon levels in homes, offices, and schools are thought to be seven percent higher than what is safe for human health. But it's not always clear whether buildings contain high amounts of radon.

Should I get a radon test with a home inspection?

It's crucial to have a radon gas test performed in addition to your home inspection if you're buying a new house.

How long does a home inspection radon test take?

The average radon test for a home inspection takes 48 hours to finish. This is the bare minimum of time that is advised to guarantee a precise assessment of the radon levels in the house.

Is a radon test required when buying a home?

Get a radon test done on the house if you are purchasing or selling it. Inquire about radon testing and the use of radon-resistant building materials if the house is new. If the radon level is four picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or above, fix the house.

How often should you test for radon?

The EPA advises testing for radon every two years because levels in homes can vary, but for the best protection, we advise testing for radon at least once a year using an at-home radon test kit or radon detector to keep your levels low.

How much is a radon mitigation system?

Although they can range in price from $700 to $4,000, radon mitigation systems typically cost around $1,000 for a residence.


Radon house inspection is an important job to do before purchasing or selling a house since a high amount of radon in a house causes dangerous health issues.

If you want to make sure that you and your family are safe from radon dangerous impacts, you should give your house a radon testing home inspection.

In this post, we have mentioned and explained anything you need to know about the process.

5.0 points out of 1 votes