Test 101

Radon Test Kit

Radon is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas that can cause lung cancer in people exposed to higher than acceptable levels of radon for a long period of time. Radon comes from a natural radioactive breakdown of uranium in the soil and sediment of the ground. It can leak into your home through cracks in the foundation and become trapped there. The most convenient and least expensive way to check the level of radon in your home is to buy a radon test kit.

A radon test kit will be available at home improvement and hardware stores in most areas, but they can be ordered online and through the mail. To use a radon test kit, you will need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which may be specific. However, the basics of using a radon test kit include choosing the proper location, maintaining the right conditions, and properly sealing the kit and returning it to the specified laboratory for the results.

A radon test kit should be placed in an area of the home that is frequently used, but not the kitchen or a bathroom. Choose the lowest level of commonly used areas in the home. For instance, if you have a finished, or partially finished basement, you will place your radon test kit in that area. You will need to shut your windows during the testing period, which is typically 24 to 48 hours. To obtain a long term rating, repeat the test again in 6 months.

You may also choose to call a professional radon tester, especially if you are in the midst of a real estate transaction. The test is performed in a similar way, but the results will be available in days, not weeks. A professional test can run as much as $300 by comparison to a self-test that may be $40 or $50.

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