Radon Testing

Radon testing in homes is routinely conducted by Home Inspectors nationwide because it is a well-documented health concern and is recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Surgeon General.  Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas.  You can’t see, smell or taste radon, but it may be a problem in your home.  Testing is the only way to know if you or your family is at risk from radon.

When I first started my home inspection business seventeen (17) years ago, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) informed me that radon was so rare in our area that testing didn’t appear necessary.  For this reason, I didn’t offer radon testing services.  Recently, however, I inquired and the state DOH is now recommending testing homes for radon, in step with the EPA and the Surgeon General.  On the one hand, it’s quite unlikely that your home has elevated radon levels requiring repair.  On the other hand, the amount of data for our area is extremely slim (see below) and some homes have indeed tested above the EPA’s recommended action level, so it’s wise to have your home tested to be sure.  Tests can be economically and easily performed by homeowners, or by a certified Radon Measurement Professional like myself.

In our local area, it appears unlikely that you will have elevated levels of radon in your home.  However, the available radon test data does reveal that some of our local homes have tested with radon levels above 4 pCi/L, which is the level above which the EPA recommends fixing your home through radon mitigation.  For this reason, I think it’s important to know for sure if your home has elevated radon levels. Most homes can be fixed or mitigated for about the same cost as other common home repairs. 

The problem, from my perspective, is that very few homes in our local area have actually been tested for radon so the data is not representative.  In San Juan County from 1990 to 2020, according to the Washington Tracking Network (WTN), there have only been 52 total radon test results reported (that’s an average of just 1.7 radon tests annually).  Two (2) of these tests (3.8%) exceeded the EPA’s recommended action level above 4 pCi/L (radon mitigation strongly advised), four (4) tests (7.7%) were in the 2-4 pCi/L range (action not necessary, but levels could potentially be reduced with mitigation), and forty six (46) tests (88.5%) had radon levels less than 2.0 pCi/L (no action needed).  Testing your home for radon is the only way to know if you and your family are being exposed to elevated levels of radon. 

I have taken extensive courses on radon and radon testing, I’ve passed the National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) exam and have additionally obtained certifications from IAC2 and InterNACHI as a professional Radon Tester.  I have the skills, training and equipment necessary to properly, accurately and reliably test any home for radon levels.

I perform a continuous radon test using a laboratory calibrated, AARST-NRPP and NRSB certified pulsed ionization chamber device, which takes measurements every 10 minutes over a period of 48-96 hours to create an accurate measurement report detailing whether or not radon levels in the home warrant mitigation.

If you’d like to schedule a radon test, please contact Tim Hance at (360) 298-1163 or schedule online HERE.

Below are a few excellent links with more information from the government about radon.

Radon | Washington State Department of Health

2016_a_citizens_guide_to_radon.pdf (epa.gov)