Radon levels and radon test results in homes can vary greatly for many reasons. There are more than a few situations when re-testing for radon is recommended and warranted. Even if your radon test has comes back low- below 4 pCi/L or really low- below 2 pCi/L. Below are 10 good reasons why your home’s radon may actually be higher or could be higher at a future date and in some cases significantly higher.
I strongly urge you if any of the following 10 reasons to re-test for radon apply, take action and re-test. Whether your are in the process of buying a home now or you are living in a home that has previously been tested it is very likely that one or more of these reasons will apply to your situation.
10 Reasons to Re-Test for Radon
- If you make any structural changes, additions, or have a new or different type of heating system installed you should test for radon again. building more frequently you should test for radon again again.
- If your radon test was conducted during warm weather, we recommend re-testing at the coldest time of the year. Radon levels can vary significantly between seasons, so different values are to be expected, generally radon levels in homes are highest during cold weather when houses are closed up and heating systems are working their hardest.
- If your radon test was conducted in a drafty basement but the upper floors are very tight, wrapped in Tyvek, air sealed and well insulated it would not be unusual for the upper floors to have a higher radon reading than in the basement, especially a second floor. This is not uncommon to be the case in newly constructed homes with unfinished basements.
- If you tested the first floor but later start to use a lower level, such as finishing a basement room and have not tested the basement level, it could have much higher radon level than the first floor.
- Often when energy saving improvements are made to the home such as increased insulation, air sealing, new windows and doors the home becomes much tighter, less fresh air transfer and the radon level can rise significantly. I have seen this happen many times and is usually not discovered until the home is being sold and smart buyers have their own radon test conducted prior to purchasing.
- If your radon test was conducted as par of a real estate sale, it is not uncommon for the testing protocols to be violated either by accident or unfortunately on purpose. I have seen this happen many times. It is always good for new homeowners to do a radon test after they move in, when they are in control to ensure proper radon testing protocol.
- If your radon test was conducted during rapidly changing or stormy weather, or extended periods of heavy rain, the levels may change quite dramatically compared to normal either increasing or decreasing radon level, so much so that If sustained winds of 30 or more miles per hour occur during a radon test, the test results should be discarded or have a statement discredits them.
- Continuous changes in household radon levels are considered the norm, much more so in some houses than others. The longer the radon test the more accurate the results. For the most accurate test results you may want to do a long term radon test of 6 months to a year, this will provide a better overall real life average.
- If the radon testing protocols were not carefully followed. For example, a continuous monitor placed on the floor next to an open sump pit is likely to read much much higher radon levels than if it had been placed following EPA protocols.
- Also, multiple tests conducted simultaneously in different rooms, would be expected to have different test results and give you an overall assessment of the radon in different parts of the home.
Radon tends to be allusive and difficult to pin down. If you live in New York its likely one or more of these 10 reasons to re-test for radon reasons applies to your own situation. When re-testing for radon is needed just do it, be smart and be safe. Radon testing is pretty simple and not expensive so just decide now to re-test your home to confirm the radon is at an acceptable level. If you find out your home’s radon is higher than you thought then it is advised to take the needed action to correct it and keep your family safe.
I have seen this time and again where later radon testing revealed significantly higher radon levels that what was though to be in a home based on an earlier radon test. I would be interested to hear from you if any of these situations have applied to you. If you have further questions regarding radon testing or need advice on follow-up testing or test interpreting your test results call or email Tom Francis at 315-439-1103 or email@example.com