The amount of radon in the air is measured in “picocuries per liter of air” or pCi/L. There are many kinds of low-cost “do it yourself” radon test kits you can get through the mail and in hardware stores and other retail outlets. Indoor radon usually reaches its maximum concentration during the coldest winter months. The lowest livable level of the structure should always be tested because that is where the highest radon levels in the structure are typically found. Short term testing (2-7 days) should NOT be performed during unusually severe storms because heavy precipitation, high sustained winds and powerful low pressure systems might all cause temporary high spikes in indoor radon levels. Every section of the home that is in contact with the ground should be tested, especially different foundation types that are on different elevations.
VDH is making a limited supply of short-term, do-it-yourself radon test kits available for only a $3 shipping fee. To order your $3 test kit click on this link.
All radon test devices must be approved by either the NRSB or NRPP (see below). If you prefer, and especially if you are buying or selling a home, you may hire a trained professional to perform radon testing for you. Depending on the test device used, a professional radon test will usually cost between $100-200. The Virginia Code requires that professional radon testers be currently certified by either the NRSB or the NRPP.
The National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP)
P.O. Box 2109
Fletcher, NC 28732
Toll Free: (800) 269-4174 or (828) 654-9201
Fax: (828) 654-9202
Search page for NRPP Radon Professionals: NRPP
The National Radon Safety Board (NRSB)
14 Hayes Street
Elmsford, NY 10523
Toll Free: (866) 329-3474
Fax: (914) 345-1169
Search page for NRSB Radon Professionals: NRSB
A variety of methods are used to reduce radon in your home. In some cases, sealing cracks in floors and walls may help to reduce radon. In other cases, simple systems using pipes and fans may be used. Such systems are called “sub-slab depressurization” and do not require major changes to your home. These systems remove radon gas from below the concrete floor and the foundation before it can enter the home. The right system depends on the design of your home and on other factors.
Ways to reduce radon in your home are discussed in EPA’s “Consumer’s Guide to Radon Reduction” at Radon Mitigation Methods
The cost of making repairs to reduce radon depends on how your home was built and the extent of the radon problem. A typical sub slab system may cost $800-1200 while crawl spaces or homes with multiple sections that need to be mitigated may cost $2000 or more. The Virginia Code requires that professional radon mitigators be currently certified by either the NRSB or NRPP (see above.)
Office of Radiological Health | 109 Governor Street, 7th Floor | Richmond, VA 23219
Telephone (804) 864-8150 | Fax: (804) 864-8155