Radon Testing

Check out this podcast from WDEL for important facts about radon and how to protect yourself.

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What is Radon?

 

Radon is a colorless, odorless, and very dangerous gas. Radon gas is created from the radioactive decay of uranium and radium in our soil. Radon is a natural source of radiation, which can be very harmful to adults, children, and pets. Radon gas seeps into our homes through any crack it can find. Once it’s in our homes it builds up over time to dangerous, cancer causing, levels. According to the Environmental Protection Agency radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States behind smoking.

Testing is the only way to know if a home or business' levels of radon are high, but there is no known safe level of exposure. That sounds a little scary so here are some numbers from the EPA to help clarify. 

We are exposed to trace amounts of radon everyday. But once radon concentrations reach 2pCi/L the EPA suggests mitigation. Unfortunately, in our tri-state area of Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, we are aware of levels as high as 177 PCi/L (picocuries per liter). In some areas, the local radon office reports 1 in 4 homes with levels above 4 pCi/L. In general higher levels of radon have a strong negative impact on indoor air quality.

The gas seeps through any access point into a home. Common entry points are cracks in the foundation, poorly sealed pipes, drainage or any other loose point. Once in the home, the gas can collect in certain areas especially basements and other low lying, closed areas and build up over time to dangerous levels. As we, and our furry, scaly, and feathery friends are exposed to the gas over a period of years, it can have significant, and deadly effects.

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The Radon Inspection

  • Conducted by professionals certified by the NRPP (National Radon Proficiency Program)

  • An initial radon inspection can be included with a home inspection or independently.

  • How much time it takes:

    • Our inspectors need 1 hour without a home inspection for best placement of the devices.

    • No extra time required when paired with a home inspection  

    • The  electrets (how we test the radon levels in the home) need 48 hours to take a reliable reading

    • After that 48 hours we'll send a technician by to pick them up

    • In 95% of cases you get the results the same day we pick up the electrets. (If it's a particularly late pick up you may get the results the next morning.)

  • Unobtrusive, this is a passive test so it won't hurt you, your family, or your pets. You may even forget it's happening! 

  • Please keep windows closed for more accurate test results.

  • If your radon results are low it's the only radon inspection. 

  • The inspection is good for two years, after that the EPA recommends getting tested again. 

Note: This page is about residential radon testing, for information about commercial or large-scale radon testing click here.

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how radon enters your home - radon inspection

What the Test Results Mean

Radon test results

If your radon levels are 4pCi/L or greater, then we, the EPA, the Surgeon General, the CDC, and the state offices in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland all recommend a radon mitigation program. If you are interested in pursing radon mitigation with us please click here.

The EPA recommends "that Americans consider fixing their home for radon levels between 2pCi/L and 4pCi/L." If you would like to fix, reduce, or mitigate radon with us, then please check out our mitigation page, here.

Congratulations! Your radon levels are low. You don't need to pursue radon mitigation. Remember the EPA recommends testing every two years or with any additions or renovations you may add to your home.

Radon Notice from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

The Radon Certification Act Requires that anyone who provides any radon-related service or product to the general public must be certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.  You are entitled to evidence of certification from any person who provides such services or products.  You are also entitled to a price list of services or products offered.  All radon measurements data will be sent to the department as required in the act and will be kept confidential.  If you have any questions, comments or complaints concerning persons who provide radon-related services, please contact the department at the Bureau of Radiation Protection, Department of Environmental Protection, P.O. Box 8469, Harrisburg, PA  17105-8469, (717) 783-3594 or (800) 237-2366.​

For additional information, see:

Radon Brochure

Commonly Asked Questions

Q: How long does a radon inspection take?

A: If you're getting any kind of home inspection  the radon inspection won't add a significant amount of time. But if the radon inspections occurs without a home inspection please allow our qualified professionals up to an hour.

Q: How long does the radon test take?

A: The radon test takes 48 hours, after that an environmental technician will pick up the tests.

Q: Do the results need to go to a lab?

A: No, we can read the results in our office!

Q: When will I get the results of my radon test?

A: The same day the technician goes to pick them up! (95% of the time, if it's a particularly late pick up you may receive your results the next morning.)  

Q: If radon is radioactive, then are the devices used to test it also radioactive?

A: No, the electrets we use to test for radon are harmless. They are not radioactive.

Q: Will the devices hurt my children or my pets?

A: Nope! The electrets are harmless and its a passive test.

Q: Is there anything I need to do for the inspection?

A: Please keep the windows closed and the doors closed as much as possible for the duration of the 48hr test.