Special offer

RADON- Homeowner testing versus Professional testing

Home Inspector with Home Sweet Home Inspection Services

I received a call from a Realtor yesterday. She told me that she was writing up a contract for a client and she brought up the issue of Radon. Stating the need to test for it and how the EPA recommends that all home-buyers test for Radon.

He asked her why should he pay someone $200 for a continuous monitor radon test when he can easily go and buy charcoal canisters at Home Depot and do it himself for under $50?  She didn't know what to say. This is the information realtors need to answer this question.

This is easy. Charcoal canisters are biased to the last 12- 24 hrs of testing. No matter how long they are being used. Secondly they are sensitive to temperature and humidity. Thirdly, they are sensitive to air flow extremes. And finally, they can easily be tampered with and moved by an unscrupulous seller.

I use a Radalink continuous monitor and I am a licensed affiliate. This type of monitor takes an air sampling once an hour for 15 minutes until the testing is completed which is after 48 hrs or longer.  It also keeps track of the temperature, barometric pressure and relative humidity. This way any variances can be accounted for in the testing.  It is tamper proof and has a tilt feature if it is moved.

As with most things in life where people are trying to save a buck, You get what you pay for. And when it comes to our families, $ 150 doesn't seem like a lot of money to protect their health.    


Ann Hayden 636-399-7544
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Des Peres, MO


A professional is the way to go.  But some people think cheaper is always better.


Sep 11, 2008 01:56 PM
Kelly Willey
Long and Foster BEL AIR MARYLAND - Bel Air, MD
Short Sale Agent - Harford County Maryland Real Estate

I agree the monitor is the best way to get levels over time which we all know fluctuate wildly.

Sep 11, 2008 02:04 PM
Fred Jones

The bias in the last 12-24 hours is corrected in the lab for charcoal canisters. Your Radalink is also sensitive to temperature and himidity. Air flows are not to be allowed anyway. The test results ARE just as accurate........ask the EPA. So spend 10 bucks or 200........your choice. BUT...and this is a big one.........the charcoal ones are NOT tamper proof like yours. It all boils down to "trust"

Jul 15, 2009 08:24 AM