Here is what the EPA says should be done for a correctly administered radon test. You will see some parts are hard to control if you are not in control of the activity at the property. When I spoke to Roger Parras at the MA Department of Health, he stated that if you aren't living in the home, you can't control the conditions that will produce the best test results.
These EPA instructions can be found on the EPA website:
When You Place The Radon Test Kit(s) Yourself
For a short-term test (less than a four day period):
- close all windows and outside doors at least 12 hours before beginning the test
- keep all windows and doors closed for the duration of the test period (except for normal entry and exit)
- do not conduct a short-term test during severe storms or periods of high winds
- follow the testing instructions
- record the start time and date
- place the test kit
at least 20 inches above the floor
in a location where it will not be disturbed
where it will be away from drafts, high heat, high humidity, and exterior walls
- leave the test kit in place for as long as the test instructions direct
- at the end of the test, record the stop time and date
- seal the package
- return the test kit immediately to the lab specified on the package for analysis
Test results can take a few days or a few weeks. Find out how long it will take to get your results and, if necessary, request expedited service.
If You Hire a Qualified Radon Tester
In many cases, home buyers and sellers may decide to have the radon test done by a qualified radon tester who knows the proper conditions, test devices, and guidelines for obtaining a reliable radon test result. A certified Inspector can also:
- evaluate the home and recommend a testing approach designed to make sure you get reliable results
- explain how proper conditions can be maintained during the radon test
- emphasize to the occupants of a home that a reliable test result depends on their cooperation.
- analyze the data and report measurement results
- provide an independent test
(touching, moving, spilling, or covering the test kit, or disturbance of the test or closed-house conditions will invalidate the test results)
A correctly administered radon test will be started and completed by the same person. This avoids any compromise of the kit and contamination of the results.