Radon is a gas that causes cancer if inhaled over time that enters your home through cracks, and you can only identify radon through special tests. However, radon testing is not as simple as placing a device in your basement and waiting for the results. Many factors can affect the accuracy of your radon test.
How the Radon Test Kit is Used
Place the test kit on the lowest level. Do not place the test kit in a bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, or hallway, as these areas have high humidity and airflow that can affect the test.
Keep all of the doors and windows closed for half a day before the test. Avoid areas near windows, doors, HVAC equipment, air vents, fireplaces, or direct sunlight. These areas can also affect the radon level in your home by creating drafts or temperature changes.
Leave the test kit undisturbed for the required amount of time, and then you send the kit back to the lab. Most test kits come with a prepaid envelope or label for mailing.
Account for Weather Conditions
The weather is one of the most critical factors affecting your radon test. Radon levels can fluctuate depending on weather conditions, such as high winds, barometric pressure, rain, and temperature changes. These conditions can create differences in air pressure between your home and the soil, affecting how much radon enters your home.
Beware of Factors That Affect the Test
To increase the accuracy of your radon test, you should avoid testing during extreme weather events or seasonal changes. High winds can increase the air pressure difference between your home and the soil, pushing more radon into your home. Low barometric pressure can decrease the air pressure difference between your home and the soil, reducing the radon entering your home.
Rain can saturate the soil and create a barrier that prevents radon from escaping into the air. Temperature changes can cause an expansion of your home's foundation, which can create or close cracks that allow radon to enter.
When to Perform the Test
Ideally, you should test your home during calm and stable weather conditions that are representative of your normal climate. You should also avoid testing during sudden temperature changes like heatwaves or snowstorms.
Radon testing is not a one-time event because the levels change due to various factors, such as weather, home renovations, soil conditions, and seasonal variations. Therefore, you should test your home regularly and follow the tips above to increase the accuracy of your radon test and protect your health and safety.
To learn more about home radon level tests, contact a professional near you.