The EPA recommends that you know what the indoor radon level is in any home you consider buying. Ask the seller for any and all previous radon test results. If the home has a radon-reduction system, ask the seller for any information they have about the system.
If the home has already been tested for radon
If you are thinking of buying a home, you may decide to accept an earlier test result from the seller or ask the seller for a new test to be conducted by a National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) qualified radon tester. Before you accept the sellers test, you should determine the following:
The results of the previous testing;
Who conducted the previous test; the homeowner, a radon mitigation professional, or some other person;
Where in the home the previous test was taken, especially if you may plan to live in a lower level of the home. For example, the test may have been taken on the first floor. However, if you want to use the basement as living space, test there; and
What, if any, structural changes, alterations, or changes in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system have been made to the house since the test was done. Such changes might affect radon levels.
If you accept the sellers test, make sure that the test followed the EPA and test manufacturers recommended protocol for deploying the test.
If the home has not yet been tested for radon
Make sure the radon test is done as soon as possible. Consider including provisions in the contract specifying:
Where the test will be located (If your house has multiple foundation types or slab systems, Centennial Radon highly recommends testing not only in the lowest livable area of the house but also above each independent slab system and/or crawlspace within the house. Radon entry can take place in each of these areas independently thus mitigating lowest livable area may not lower the overall radon to safe levels);
Who should conduct the test;
What type of test to do;
When to do the test;
How the seller and the buyer will share the test results and test costs (if necessary); and
When radon mitigation measures will be taken, and who will pay for them.
Make sure that the test followed the EPA and test manufacturers recommended protocol for deploying the test.
Home-testing kits are as accurate as their professional, electronic counterparts, but they do not offer the additional features. These test kits are simple to use and can be purchased at hardware stores and home-improvement stores, or you may contact us if you live in Colorado Springs or the Pikes Peak Region and we will gladly supply a kit free of charge. If radon levels exceed the EPA’s action limit of 4 pCi/l you should mitigate your radon levels.