First Time Home Buyers: Confidence Experienced Home Owners: Planning Aging-In-Place Seniors: Safety
Inspecting homes in Northern Virginia, Montgomery County MD, and Washington DC


Radon Testing

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Recommends:

1. Test your home for radon.  It is easy and inexpensive.
2. Fix your home if your radon level is 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher.
 3. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases may be reduced.

Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas.

Radon comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where  can build up. Any home may have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well- sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.

Radon from soil gas is the main cause of radon problems. 

Sometimes radon enters the home through well water (see page 8). In a small number of homes, the building materials can give off radon, too. However, building
materials rarely cause radon problems by themselves.

You can't see radon. And you can't smell it or taste it. 

But it may be a problem in your home.  Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. Thatˇ¦s because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
Many homes in the Washington DC metro area have elevated Radon levels.

About half the homes in the Washington DC metro area have elevated Radon levels.  Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon can be found all over the U.S. It can get into any type of building:  homes, offices, and schoolsˇ and result in a high indoor radon level. But you and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time. 

You should test for radon. 

Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. EPA also recommends testing in schools.
You can fix a radon problem. 

Radon reduction systems work and they are not too costly. Some radon reduction systems can reduce radon levels in your home by up to 99%. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels. 

New homes can be built with radon-resistant features. 

Radon-resistant construction techniques can be effective in preventing radon entry. When installed properly and completely, these simple and inexpensive techniques can help reduce indoor radon levels in homes. In addition, installing them at the time of construction makes it easier and less expensive to reduce radon levels further if these passive techniques donˇ¦t reduce radon levels to below 4 pCi/L. Every new home should be tested after occupancy, even if it was built radon- resistant. If radon levels are still in excess of 4 pCi/L, the passive system should be activated by having a qualified mitigator install a vent fan. For more explanation of radon resistant construction techniques, refer to EPA publication, Building Radon Out: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Build Radon-Resistant Homes (see page 15). 

Test Method and Duration

We measure the radon level in the air in accordance with the AARST-NRPP standards, by the use of an approved continuous radon monitor (CRM), such as the Corentium Pro. The device will need to remain undisturbed in the home for a minimum of 48 hours, but may take longer.  We perform the radon testing in accordance with current industry standards and will provide instructions to you and the property owner or representative that describe the conditions that must be maintained in the home during the test period.