FAQs on Radon Testing

FAQs on Radon Testing

Posted on September 26th, 2023.

Radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas, is a potential health concern for homeowners. It's odorless, colorless, and can seep into your home without you even knowing it. That's why radon testing is essential to ensure the safety of your family and your home's indoor air quality.

Today, we'll answer some frequently asked questions about radon testing. Let's dive in!

FAQs on Radon Testing

1. How Does Radon Testing Work?

Understanding how radon testing works is the first step in safeguarding your home. Radon testing typically involves two primary methods: short-term testing and long-term testing.

Short-Term Radon Testing

Short-term testing is a quick way to get a snapshot of your home's radon levels. It usually lasts from two to seven days. Here's how it works:

  • Test Kits: You can purchase a short-term radon test kit at your local hardware store or contact a professional radon testing service. These kits usually include a radon detector and detailed instructions.
  • Placement: Place the radon detector in the lowest lived-in area of your home, like the basement or ground floor. Make sure it's away from drafts and exterior walls.
  • Duration: Leave the detector in place for the specified testing period, following the instructions provided with the kit.
  • Analysis: After the testing period, you'll send the detector to a lab for analysis. They will provide you with the results, usually measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L).

Long-Term Radon Testing

Long-term radon testing provides a more accurate assessment of your home's radon levels. It typically lasts for more than three months and is conducted using specialized equipment. Here's how it works:

  • Professional Services: Contact a licensed radon testing professional. They will install a continuous radon monitor in your home.
  • Continuous Monitoring: The monitor will continuously measure radon levels in your home over an extended period, providing a more comprehensive view of your indoor air quality.
  • Results: After the monitoring period, the professional will provide you with detailed results, including average radon levels and fluctuations.

2. How Often Should You Test for Radon?

Radon levels can vary over time, so it's essential to test periodically, even if previous tests came back low. Here's a general guideline for how often you should test for radon:

  • New Home Purchase: If you're buying a new home, it's crucial to include radon testing as part of your inspection process. This ensures you're aware of any radon issues before you move in.
  • Every Two Years: For homes with previously low radon levels, it's advisable to retest every two years. This helps to catch any potential increases in radon concentration.
  • After Renovations: If you've made significant structural changes to your home, such as adding a basement or sealing cracks in your foundation, it's a good idea to test for radon again. These changes can affect radon entry points.
  • Change in Living Habits: If you've made changes in your living habits, like spending more time in the basement or lower levels of your home, consider retesting. Lifestyle changes can impact your exposure to radon.

3. Is Radon Testing Really Necessary?

Absolutely, yes! Radon is a known carcinogen, and long-term exposure to elevated radon levels can increase the risk of lung cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends taking action if your radon levels are at or above 4.0 pCi/L. Even if your levels are lower than this, it's still essential to address the issue to minimize health risks.

Moreover, radon mitigation measures, when necessary, are relatively straightforward and cost-effective compared to the potential health consequences of prolonged radon exposure. Radon testing is a proactive step in protecting your family's well-being.

4. Does Radon Have an Odor?

No, radon is odorless, tasteless, and invisible. This is why it's often referred to as a "silent killer." You won't be able to detect radon by using your senses alone, which is why radon testing is crucial.

Radon gas is a byproduct of the natural decay of uranium in soil and rocks, and it can enter your home through cracks in the foundation, gaps in the walls, and openings around pipes. Since you can't smell, taste, or see it, the only way to know if you have a radon problem is through testing.

5. What Should You Do if Radon Levels are Elevated?

If radon testing reveals elevated levels in your home, it's essential to take action promptly. Here are the steps you should follow:

  • Contact a Professional: Reach out to a licensed radon mitigation specialist like Dependable Home Inspections LLC. They will assess your home and recommend the appropriate mitigation measures.
  • Radon Mitigation: Radon mitigation typically involves installing a radon reduction system, which may include a vent pipe and fan. This system redirects radon gas from your home's foundation and safely vents it outside.
  • Re-Testing: After mitigation, it's crucial to retest your home to ensure that the system is effectively reducing radon levels. This ensures your home remains safe and free from radon exposure.
  • Regular Maintenance: Radon mitigation systems require periodic maintenance to ensure they continue to function correctly. Follow the recommended maintenance schedule provided by the mitigation specialist.
  • Educate Your Family: Make sure your family is aware of the radon mitigation system and understands how it works. This knowledge is essential for everyone's safety.


Radon testing is a vital aspect of maintaining a safe and healthy home environment. Whether you're buying a new home or have been living in your current one for years, regular radon testing is a responsible step in protecting your family from potential health risks.

If you're in the Chester, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Delaware, or Bucks Counties area and need professional radon testing services, Dependable Home Inspections LLC is here to help. Our experienced team can provide both short-term and long-term radon testing, ensuring you have a clear understanding of your home's indoor air quality. Don't hesitate to reach out to us at 570-573-8159 or email us at [email protected] for more information or to schedule your radon testing. Remember, your family's health is worth it. Test for radon today and breathe easier tomorrow.

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