Testing for Radon is the only sure way to confirm the level of radon within a property and this can be carried out very simply using radon detectors. The Health Protection Agency recommend that measurements are taken over a three month period but screening can be done in 10 days.
Since July 2010, the HPA recommend homeowners take action to lower radon concentrations that are above 100 Bq/m3. Previously, homeowners were only advised to take action when the radon concentration exceeded 200 Bq/m3.
Further advice about researching your risk from radon can be found via the HPA, the British Geological Survey and the Building Control Department of your local district council.
How radon testing works
Radon detectors are small, black, round capsules that can sit in the palm of your hand. Inside the detector is a plastic rectangle known as a CR-39 to which alpha particles impinge and leave microscopic tracks invisible to the naked eye. Our laboratory will process the CR-39 rectangle to enlarge the tracks and will place under a microscope where the tracks are counted.
Radon has peaks and lows during the day and night and from month to month. For example during the summer windows and doors are more likely to be open thus creating an airflow which can reduce radon levels. In the winter time however a more air tight environment is created which will mean radon levels become more concentrated.
For this reason, results are given as weighted average measurements for domestic properties and annual maximum for workplaces with seasonal adjustments stipulated by the HPA applied dependent on the time of year the test was carried out.
The radon testing process
Following an initial discussion with a member of our team, the agreed number of radon testers, relative to the property size, will be dispatched in a sealed bag with each detector allocated a unique detector number.
The bag should only be opened when testing is ready to begin and until that time detectors should be stored in a freezer. Detectors will need to be placed in the most frequently used rooms, eg typically the living room and/or bedroom and basement, ideally at head height, not above a radiator or any other heating device. It is important to note down the testing start date, detector number and position and to save the bag for returning the detectors.
After the measurement period, the detectors need to be returned in the stamped addressed envelope provided to the laboratory where they will determine the radon concentration. These results will be passed to our radon specialist surveying team who will provide a report to confirm data and recommendations should any action be required.
Ordering a radon testing kit
Find out more about Radon remediation
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