Radon testing protocol question

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Radon testing protocol question

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Jeffrey Lewis
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(as of 3/25/07)
Inactive Poster
Posts: 2
Posted: Nov 16, 2005 2:03 AM       Post Subject:

Please Note: This user is a non-member guest and is in no way affiliated with NACHI.
I just purchased a house and had radon mitigation done after receivng readings above 8 pci/L.
During my pre-closing walkthrough and 24 hours into the radon retesting (after installing the radon mitigation system) I noticed the walkout basement door had been opened by the people who were doing mold remediation in my basement and probably had been for the first 32 hours of the 77 hour radon test. Should I be concerned? The readings with the door opened (hours 1-32) never went above 0.9. The readings increased after the mold specialists were gone but still never went above 2.0 (hours 33-77).
I would like the radon testing company to re-test. Is this reasonable?
Also, the re-test results were not professionally documented in my opinion. They sent me a ticker tape with the readings only. My address was not even on the tape anywhere.

Thoughts? I'm not concerned for my safety and it looks like they did a professional mitigation job. I just want a well documented clean bill that followed standard protocol for when I go to sell the house.


Thanks,
Jeff
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tjohn
NACHI Member: No
(as of 3/25/07)
Inactive Poster
Posts: 17
Posted: Nov 16, 2005 10:37 AM       Post Subject:

Please Note: This user is a non-member guest and is in no way affiliated with NACHI.
Jeffrey;

This was a violation of protocols. A retest is required. If I had done the mitigation I would be sending the bill to the mold specialists as most of them are aware of radon protocols. If you sell and the readings are high, not only have you put you and your family at risk, you will also have to deal with more mitigation work. Below is a link to the EPA web site and mitigation standards. Did the mitigation contractor post signage that a screening was in progress? Hope this helps.

Tom

www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/mitstds.html
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Paul Abernathy

Electrical Guru & Inspections
NACHI Member: Yes
(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 427
User: pabernathy
Posted: Nov 21, 2005 11:03 PM       Post Subject:
Mr. Lewis,

This is most certainly a situation where you should demand another short test. Depending on the device being used the conditions you have spoken of can effect the results of the test and make them void.

Now if the original test was 8 PCi/L then you indeed needed mitigation and the testing on a mitigation system ( according to the EPA ) should be no earlier than 24 hours after the completion of the mitigation.

Now.....if the mold company was not make aware of the testing process or the real estate agent was in charge or making them aware of this or the Radon Company doing the testing did not post notices on the doors ( which is a good practice to follow ) then if I were you ( and I would do this for my clients because it is only the right thing to do ) I would demand a retest once you have settled in and are able to maintain the " closed" condition on your house for the test.

I think if you call the testing company they may work with you....it is important to know which test device they are using...but it is a less than 7 day test it must have " Closed House Conditions " for this test to have any chance at being within the acceptable range of study.

--
Paul W. Abernathy- NACHI Certified
Electrical Service Specialists
Licensed Master Electrician
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NEC Instructor
Moderator @ Doityourself.com
Visit our website- www.electrical-ess.com

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Darrel Griffith

Inside Out Home Inspections
NACHI Member: Yes
(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 74
User: dgriffith
Posted: Nov 30, 2005 1:43 PM       Post Subject:
Hi Jefferey. Did you ever get re tested? If not I will do it for you, depending on where you are in Ohio, for the cost of lab fees which are 25.00. I use a continuous radon monitor which is state of the art and after the test the results will be available within an hour. Give me a call, 330-990-6154. The testing protocol was not followed in your case.
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David Andersen

David A. Andersen & Associates
NACHI Member: Yes
(as of 3/25/07)
NACHI Member
Posts: 529
User: dandersen
Posted: Dec 21, 2005 9:27 AM       Post Subject:
In accordance with the EPA protocol, retesting after mitigation is supposed to be performed by a disinterested radon measurement company.

One of the reasons for using a continuous monitor is to look for spikes during the test, which indicate changes in conditions. If the spikes do not correlate with changing weather records the reason why should be investigated or the test results rejected.

If you throw out the bad readings you basically have a 32 hour radon test. This doesn't comply with even the 48-hour test for real estate transaction, testing requirement set by EPA.

In light of the extensive ventilation, 2 pCi/l is still seems like a rather high reading for a mitigated house.

.9 pCi/l is somewhat close to the expected outdoor air conditions.

I would recommend that you request another follow-up test by your mitigation company. If you are not provided with adequate follow-up reports, I would also consider another independent company to test for a longer period of time with a different testing device such as an e-perm. If you have control of the property you do not need a continuous monitor. An e-perm is an averaging device and is more accurate than a continuous monitor. I would recommend testing for greater than 90 days on this test.

You may not be concerned with your own health, but you paid for the radon mitigation and should receive its benefits. When it comes time to sell the property, if you still have a radon problem it will stop the closing escrow process and may potentially terminate the purchase and sale agreement.
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