How do I test radon gas for myself ?
"Do It Yourself" (DIY) Testing
What if I don’t want a professional measurement ? Can I measure radon gas myself ? Yes !
If you choose to measure radon gas yourself with a kit * available at hardware/big box stores or from the Internet, please read the section on the limitations of these kits (especially the short-term ones) before you purchase one. Many consumers have been severely disappointed after buying these. Also read the big-box [ex.Home Depot] store reviews on these products.
Caveat emptor - Buyer beware !
I have completed (March 2016) a short-term test for a client who had purchased a big-box-hardware store long-term radon test (90+ days) kit and received the result of over 600 Bq/m3 (3x Health Canada's limit!) from the lab in Florida. He was ready to have an estimate for installation of a mitigation system. However, he wisely decided to have me come in and re-test and verify the level before spending upwards of $2500 for a system when he already had an operational HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) in place. The result of my ST testing was less than 100 Bq/m3 (1/2 of Health Canada's Guideline) using a Continuous Radon Monitor. He will follow up with one of my Long Term DIY test kits (Accustar AT-100) next fall and winter. The moral of this true story is - if in doubt as to the validity of the measurement with some of the "store-bought" kits, please call me to get your house re-tested before you decide on a mitigation system. With high radon levels, Health Canada recommends mitigation within 1-2 years of a high value. I am NOT involved in mitigation so I will give you an unbiased test result; do NOT fear that I am going to convince you to put in a mitigation system.
If you do decide on a DIY test, I do offer for sale, a long-term (91-365 day) test kit (Accustar AT-100) at a competitive price ($49.95 + HST + shipping to you at cost ) for “Do-It-Yourself” testing. This product is the NUMBER ONE rated long term-detector in Consumer Reports 2014, 2015 and 2016 and is widely used in Canada and the US by both professionals and consumers. The price INCLUDES the LAB ANALYSIS and AIR MAIL SHIPPING to the US (Massachusettes) lab and a report of results (email or on-line). I also get a copy of the report so I can discuss the results with you (email or phone) if needed. This LT test can be easily set up by anyone and detailed instructions are included. A Customs declaration is already pre-printed on the return envelope. If interested in ordering one of these, please email me ([email protected]), give me a call at 519-709-0673, fill in the “Request More Information" form (My Services section) or order directly from my "Web Store" (on my website www.radondetectionlondon.ca ). As with nearly all Internet-sourced detectors, shipping to the customer is EXTRA. I use Canada Post Expedited parcel shipping because it is expedient but reasonably priced (My "Venture One" pricing is approximately $12.80 for shipping within Canada; a higher rate may occur for some small towns with a postal code starting with N0x xxx). The shipping costs involve not only a base postal rate,but the mandatory fuel surcharge and HST.
I would strongly advise that you avoid retail short-term testing kits and leave the short-term measurement up to me or other professionals. See why in the explanation - What are the test kit limitations ?
* See Consumer Reports 2014, 2015 and 2016 for information and ratings on homeowner-purchased radon test kits.