Radon Testing

   


DO YOU LIVE IN A “HOT-ZONE”?

(Even zones of low recorded radon values may measure high)

RADON TESTING

Radon is an invisible, odorless, and tasteless radioactive gas that is generated during the decomposition of uranium in soil. There are trace amounts of uranium found in nearly everything, which are constantly breaking down to release radon gas. Although it is a naturally occurring byproduct from the decay chain of uranium →  thorium → radium, radon gas when trapped inside a home or building can result in concentrations exceeding that of 4.0 picocuries (pCi/L) posing serious health hazards (lung cancer) to the occupants of your home, business, or building (EPA 2018).  Depending on your structure type and geographic location, radon may or may not be a problem, but you will never know until you test! We do know that people are subject to their greatest exposure to radon in their home or dwelling. As the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer aside from smoking, radon gas exposure is a threat that should neither be delayed nor taken lightly (CDC, American Cancer Society 2019). *Put links on Radon Resources Page

Environmental Works’ radon measurement, mitigation, and inspection technicians are certified through AARST-NRPP (American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologist - National Radon Proficiency Program) to abide by required government testing protocols for an accurate assessment of your building’s radon levels, as well as determine the best plan for radon abatement, if necessary.

EWorks specializes in radon testing for residential, multi-family housing, commercial, and municipal developments, providing same-day services, on-site estimates, and immediate radon test results upon pick-up when using our Sun Radon hourly Continuous Radon Monitors. Our professional radon testers and mitigation system installation team use only top of the line radon testing technology and materials that are unobtrusive to residents/occupants. This means a reliable and streamlined test for radon in homes, businesses, or other buildings. The costs of radon remediation or a radon fan and mitigation system installation can be expensive, that is why Environmental Works wants to make sure you conduct the correct type and timing of tests at the most affordable radon testing costs. High radon in basements is a common problem for a reason. Being a dense gas that is about 7-8x heavier than air, radon gas most readily accumulates in basements, which is why radon tests should always be conducted in the lowest livable location of a structure.

RESIDENTIAL RADON TESTING


REAL ESTATE RADON TESTING.  Schedule your home or building’s radon inspection with EWorks’ expedient and efficient services, available for same day radon testing with results immediately upon test retrieval! We use state of the art Continuous Radon Monitors to accurately assess your radon levels, providing a digital report within 24 hours. Our radon testers are certified and properly trained to set tests in locations free of potential dispute with the health and safety of residents always in mind.  We understand the urgency of real estate timelines and want to get your clients past radon and on with life ASAP! Streamline the process of inspections with EWorks. And should radon mitigation be necessary, no need to make another call - we can provide a bid for services right on the spot!


Short-Term Radon Testing is common practice for most radon testing applications, whether it be for a home inspection during a real estate transaction or a homeowner simply wanting to test their downstairs playroom. These tests are set for a minimum of 48 hours, typically for a duration of 2 to 5 days, depending on the test kit type. Short-term radon testing should always be followed up by an additional short-term test when using activated charcoal kits, however a single continuous CRM test is sufficient to make a recommendation for radon mitigation.  We always recommend that our clients follow up with a long term radon test (after the initial short term test) for the most accurate radon data averaged over multiple seasons for up to one year.  Furthermore, short-term radon testing must be conducted under ‘Closed House Conditions’ and in an appropriate location in order to pass inspection. Environmental Works’ short term radon tests are placed by certified radon professionals in accordance with the Protocol for Conducting Measurements of Radon in Homes (ANSI/AARST MAH-2019), utilizing one or a combination of the following devices:

Continuous Radon Monitor (CRM)













Activated Charcoal (AC) Test Kit / Packet / Envelope











DIY - Do it yourself Radon Test Kits See how to set your own test kit with AirChek  We recommend contacting a professional for proper radon testing, but encourage curiosity!

Continuous Radon Monitors, in particular the Sun Nuclear models we use exclusively at Environmental Works, provide some of the most dependable technology and precise measurements for tracking hourly radon levels. CRMs are considered active devices, recording radon or its daughter products/progeny directly and requiring an electric or battery power supply. Since radon levels can fluctuate significantly throughout the time of day, the month of the year, and based on the performance of a building’s heating-ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) systems, hourly recordings of radon levels are helpful in pinpointing the source of and solution to the radon problem. Due to the fluctuation of radon from hour to hour and day to day, it is important to focus on the AVERAGE radon level over a minimum of 48 hours, as recommended by AARST and the EPA.  Furthermore, Continuous Radon Monitors provide an immediate radon test result upon retrieval, added security against tampering, emergency backup battery in case of power failure, and a patented and highly reliable solid-state detector. EWorks radon experts select the appropriate testing location within the home and can even set a delayed start time to accommodate moving arrangements or other plans to have the doors/windows open a bit longer. We will also post notices of ‘radon test in progress’ on the CRM device and entryway door to ensure doors and windows remain closed. Upon retrieval, radon results will be immediately available for disclosure to entitled parties.

Activated Charcoal test kits  provide a single overall average of the radon level specific to the exposure time and environmental conditions. AC test kits are set and retrieved with the same short-term timeframe (2-5 days) where they passively absorb radon gas or the alpha/beta particles before being sent to a laboratory for analysis. Radioactive particles emitted from the charcoal are counted by a “sodium iodide counter or converted to light in a liquid scintillation medium and counted in a scintillation detector.” As opposed to a CRM that might be set atop a tripod or shelf, AC kits are smaller in physical size and are temporarily affixed to an interior wall at a height within the average adult’s breathing zone. Details of climatic conditions, time of day, temperature, and location are required to be noted for proper processing by the lab unless set by a certified radon testing professional. The instructions for proper placement of these test kits must be strictly followed to achieve an accurate radon reading. Environmental Works simplifies this whole process with one step!

Visit our Radon Products page for additional information on Short-Term Radon Testing, Continuous Radon Monitors, and Activated Charcoal Radon Test Kits.


Long-Term Radon Testing  is for a minimum duration of 3 months or 91+ days. Long-term radon tests provide a more accurate year-round overall average reflective of a home or building’s radon levels over time with regular use. These tests DO NOT REQUIRE the maintaining of ‘Closed House Conditions’ and are ideal for follow-up measurements proceeding another radon test or radon reduction system installation. Environmental Works’ long term radon tests are deployed by AARST-NRPP certified professionals, utilizing one or a combination of the following devices:

Long Term Alpha Track Test Kits / Canisters contain a plastic film inside that gets etched from the release of radon’s alpha particles that strike it. Once in the laboratory, the plastic is treated with chemicals to make the tracks visible enough to be counted, which then corresponds to a calculated average measurement of radon. The test kits, like short-term kits, are small in size and can be placed in a convenient location out of the way of routine activities. Details of climatic conditions, temperature, and location are required to be noted for proper processing by the lab unless set and retrieved by a certified radon testing professional. The instructions for proper placement of these test kits must be strictly followed to achieve an accurate radon reading. Environmental Works simplifies this whole process with one step!

Visit our Radon Products page for additional information on long-term radon testing and alpha track radon test kits.

Where NOT to set a radon test: Avoid areas of high humidity or moisture content, such as bathrooms and kitchens, and in the lowest “livable” area, so never in a crawl space!
 

NEW CONSTRUCTION RADON TESTING


Although most new residential construction will have Passive Radon Systems installed (no radon fan installed on the vent pipe), they still require testing and inspection to confirm the radon levels fall below the Environmental Protection Agency’s Action Level of 4.0 pCi/L. Passive radon mitigation, radon reduction, or radon abatement systems are inactive and will not necessarily reduce radon gas in a home unless installed correctly.  Many new construction passive systems are installed poorly by contractors and simply don’t work at all until a radon fan is connected to the system by a certified radon professional to make the system active. Environmental Works will install your radon fan and re-test your home for radon the same day! We even fix poorly or improperly installed radon mitigation systems.  And if you are a builder, partnering with Eworks will ensure the passive system is installed correctly with a guarantee that it will keep radon levels below the WHO action level of 2.7 pCi/L!  If our passive system doesn’t cut it, we will install the radon fan for FREE!


 

MULTI-FAMILY RADON TESTING


Short-Term or Long-Term Radon Testing for a large apartment complex, townhomes, or housing development can be a daunting task, especially if units are occupied by property owners or tenants. You must provide occupants with sufficient notice prior to conducting a radon test and must follow guidelines set forth by the American Association of Radon Scientists & Technologist (ANSI/AARST MAMF-2017) or other local governmental authority. All ground-contact units should be tested, along with 10% of all upper level units to have a complete radon survey. Environmental Works takes the guesswork out of where and when to test in order to follow government sanctioned testing requirements. Our qualified radon testers are ready to take on any radon testing task to get the JOB DONE RIGHT!

Comprehensive Radon Surveys : Large-Scale & Multi-Story Radon Testing
Environmental Works has surveyed and tested for radon in tens of thousands of multi-family units, including apartments, townhomes, condominiums, high rises, from single structures to entire complexes. Radon testing of this scale is typically for a short-term timeframe using Activated Charcoal test kits, along with at least one Continuous Radon Monitor. A project manager will provide property owners with the necessary notices to inform residents before the scheduled test for radon gas and post notices while the tests are in place. Our AARST-NRPP certified staff use electronic data collection and recording systems to log test kits as they are deployed in their various locations, ensuring the accuracy and efficiency of EWorks radon reports. Results are typically received within one week, which can be displayed on sitemaps or preferred formats upon request. Environmental Works keeps much of Portland and the surrounding area’s multi-family establishments tested for and safe from radon, working in collaboration with realtors, property managers, homeowner’s associations, governmental housing sectors, and subsidized housing. We offer two primary types of Complete Radon Surveys:

-Extended Testing Protocol entails an initial phase of short-term radon testing, followed by another short-term test of units that tested above the appropriate action level.

-Time Sensitive Testing Protocol entails a single round of short-term radon testing using duplicate test kits in each location, allowing for an immediate move to radon mitigation, if necessary, without an additional round of testing.

Environmental Works’ radon survey costs are calculated based upon an estimated number of testing locations provided by property management or during a site visit. Our bid prices are inclusive of all radon test kits, field/office/lab blanks, project preparation, technical staffing, laboratory analysis, shipping & handling. It is recommended to retest for radon every 2 to 5 years depending on your local requirements and previous test results.

Read more about the proper protocols for conducting measurements of radon and radon decay products in multifamily buildings on our Radon Resources page.
 

COMMERCIAL & MUNICIPAL RADON TESTING


Environmental Works tests for radon gas in a variety of commercial and municipal buildings, including multifamily housing, new construction, office spaces, retail stores, schools and universities, community centers, gyms, restaurants, and more. We conduct short-term and long-term radon tests depending on the client’s needs, utilizing one or a combination of these radon test kits or devices. EWorks staff are certified in conducting the most accurate measurements of radon by intelligently choosing testing locations in accordance with the Protocol for Conducting Measurements of Radon and Radon Decay Products In Schools and Large Buildings (ANSI/AARST MALB-2014).
 

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