When a family is moving into a new home, one of the many tasks that should be done immediately is to have a radon inspection done. Radon is an invisible, tasteless, and odorless gas that is emitted from the ground nearly everywhere on the planet. This gas is released as the element radium decomposes in the earth, and it has highly radioactive properties that may cause lung cancer in people if it is inhaled in great quantities.
When deciding to do a radon inspection, one has the choice of purchasing a retail test kit or calling a professional to complete the examination. A homeowner can save a bit of money, initially, by purchasing a short-term radon detection kit, and doing the tests himself or herself. Such tests are relatively inexpensive, and will be a good indicator as to whether there is any radon present in the home, and they will also give a rough estimate of the concentration, if the gas is present.
If the first tests prove positive for the gas, then the next step in a radon inspection would be to purchase the longer-duration radon test. This version is designed to remain in the home for several weeks or even months. Because the levels of radon within the house will naturally fluctuate, the long-term test will give the homeowner a better idea of whether the concentration is dangerous.
The other option to the homeowner is to conduct a professional radon inspection, either in lieu of the do-it-yourself tests, or in conjunction with them. With an array of special equipment, a professional service can better estimate the extent of the radon problem, if it exists. When there is a problem, often, the same agency can be hired to conduct the abatement procedures, the extent of which will depend on the amount of radon in the home. Once the abatement procedure is complete, and a follow-up radon inspection is done, the family will be much safer.