Radon is a harmful gas that is colorless, tasteless, and odorless, which makes a radon test kit a safety precaution. Radon is actually radioactive. This is nothing to worry about as it's found all around us. Humans have developed a thick skin when it comes to how much radiation we can absorb. Radon is created when soil and rocks decompose.
A problem arises when these gasses form under the foundation of a home. If there are holes or cracks in the concrete the gas can escape and fill the room. Once radon builds up it can reach dangerous levels and radon is the second greatest cause of lung cancer just after cigarettes. A radon test kit will be able to alert you to any existing radon levels in the home. The article that follows will help you to decide how to choose the right radon test kit for your needs.
1 - Short Term Radon Test Kit
Any radon test kit that lasts for less than 90 days is considered a short term test. This is regardless of the kind of kit that you purchased. A short term radon test kit is used for about two days and is sent away to analysis. There are other short term kits that will test an area for 30 to 60 days. If you feel your home may have very high levels of radon then a short term kit is the correct choice for you. This is also a good choice if you are in the process or purchasing a home and want to know the radon levels before closing on the property.
2 - Long Term Radon Test Kit
Since a short term test kit is any kit that lasts no more than 90 days a long term test kit lasts longer than 90 days. A long term radon test kit is much better than a short term one as they will be able to give an accurate portrayal of radon in your home instead of averaging levels. The best type of radon test kit should last for a full year. Use a long term radon test kit in conjunction with a radon detector just in case high levels develop prior to when the test kit is done.
3 - Never Tested Before
If you have never had a radon test done previously you should start out with a simple radon detector. The detector will alert you to the current level of radon. After you have determined the level of radon you will then follow up with a short term radon test kit. If the levels are acceptable it will be up to you if you want to move to a long term radon test kit. The short term kit will allow you to test each room quickly as radon levels can vary from room to room.
4 - Previously Tested
If your home has been tested previously use an alpha track radon test kit. These use special sheets that collect particles. You send it to a lab and they'll tell you radon levels.