Hire a Certified Tester (Measurement Provider)
While it is not required by law in NC that radon testers or mitigators have any certifications, the NC Radon Program highly recommends hiring a trained professional. The NC Radon Program cannot endorse any particular certification company or individual, so we recommend researching the individuals qualifications and asking for references.
Below are links to the three organizations that provide radon testing certifications.
Videos of Testing
- Video - Why to test and How to test your home for radon (English version)
- Video - Why to test and How to test your home for radon (Spanish version)
- How to Test A Home
The North Carolina Radon Program recommends having your home tested by a certified professional. If you choose, however, to test your home utilizing a DIY test kit, following are general guidelines on how to conduct your test. Be sure, however, to follow the directions of specific kit you are using.
Step 1. Test your home using a short-term test. If your result is 4 pCi/L or higher, take a follow-up test (Step 2) to be sure.
Step 2.Follow up with either a long-term test or a second short-term test:
For a better understanding of your year-round average radon level, take a long-term test. If you need results quickly, take a second short-term test.
Note: The higher your initial short-term test result, the more certain you can be that you should take another short-term test rather than a long-term follow up test. If your first short-term test result is more than twice EPA’s 4 pCi/L action level, you should take a second short-term test immediately.
Step 3.If you followed up with a long-term test: Fix your home if your long-term test result is 4.0 pCi/L or more.
If you followed up with a second short-term test: The higher your short-term results, the more certain you can be that you should fix your home. Fix your home if the average of your first and second test is 4 pCi/L or higher. Many homes can be mitigated to 2 pCi/L or lower, consider fixing your home if the levels are 2-4 pCi/L.
Real Estate Transactions
Radon is not regulated in North Carolina. Radon is, however, found as an item on the Residential Disclosure Form. This form is used when a residential unit is being sold in North Carolina. Should the seller know the radon level of the residence, that data is considered a material fact and should be communicated to the buyer.
It is recommended that testing a home for real estate transaction be conducted by a certified measurement provider utilizing a continuous radon monitor (CRM). This is recommended in order to minimize disputes on the test result. CRMs provide an hour by hour reading which can assist the certified professional with assisting the home owner with understanding how the testing environment (e.g. temperature, humidity, barometric pressure) influenced the test result. And, manipulation of some CRMs, during the testing period, can be discovered by the hourly data record. A CRM can provide a level of credibility to the data that a DIY kit cannot. This assumes the CRM is properly maintained and calibrated as well as utilized by a certified professional.
Radon can be transported into a home through the plumbing of homes receiving water from a well. The concern with high levels of radon in water is that it can elevate the levels of radon in the home’s air. When testing water for radon, it is important to know that the data result, the number value, is viewed differently.
The NC Radon Program recommends that you first test your air for elevated radon levels. Should your radon test for the air indicated an elevated radon level, testing for radon in your well-water maybe helpful to determine if the home’s plumbing is the pathway in which the radon is entering your home.
Questions to Ask a Measurement Provider
Does the measurement provider utilize a continuous radon monitor or a test kit. Both are viable tools for measuring radon. A CRM, however, can provide hourly information (such as temperature, humidity levels, etc.) that a certified radon professional can utilize to help the homeowner understand the radon level.
If a CRM is being utilized, is the CRM being properly maintained and calibrated. A label on the CRM would indicate any expirations.
Will the certified professional provide you with an hour by hour measurement with an analysis of the test result or will they provide you with an average test number without analysis? It is least likely that you will receive an analysis with a single number average. Test results without analysis have presented, in the past, disagreements between the buyer and seller as to whether environment influenced the test result. A written analysis may be of help to both parties in the real estate transaction.
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