Don't Mess with the Radon Test
Recently, I had a listing in which a buyer asked his home inspector to run a Radon test. The home had a two-car garage under the house. The inspector placed the Radon test device in the portion of the basement that was not garage. It was an active test device, which provides hourly readings of Radon in the air. I instructed my seller to keep the basement closed up as much as possible for the entire test period.
Two days later, the inspector returned to retrieve the Radon test kit. The inspector began to print out the results in my presence. Over the course of 48 hours, there were two points in which the Radon level was much higher than the remaining time of the test.
(Results graph similar to that of Radon test, not actual.)
The seller was home, and the inspector showed her the graph of the results. Red-faced, she confessed that she may have "forgotten" to close the garage door when leaving the house for those two periods of time.
Was she was trying to influence the test? I'll never know, but by leaving the garage door up, she had created a draft effect. This had drawn more Radon gas into the testing area!
Unfortunately, her faulty memory cost her a $1000 credit so the buyer could install a Radon mitigation system. Had the seller remembered to close the garage door, the Radon test would have been well within EPA accepted limits for Radon.
Lesson: Don't Mess with the Radon Test!
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Text and photos copyright Kathryn J. Acciari unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved.
Kathryn Acciari, RSPS, SRS, RESE, CFA
Century 21 MetroWest
45 Lyman Street Suite 14
Westborough MA 01581
Serving the Route 9/20 Corridors of Central Massachusetts
Sturbridge to Westborough
Cell: (508) 982-0686