DIY Radon Test Kits vs. Hiring Professional Radon Testers
Testing your home for radon is the only surefire way to determine its indoor radon levels, as the gas is odorless and colorless. There are plenty of helpful DIY radon test kits available, but hiring professional radon testers has some benefits of its own. Which option should you choose?
Doing It Yourself
Using a DIY radon test kit is a pretty hands-off process. You simply leave the test kit in the lowest lived-in level of your home for 48 to 96 hours, then send it off to the lab for processing. If you live a busy lifestyle, a home test kit is a tempting option.
However, those test kits can be finicky. You need to place the kit strategically—at least 20 inches off the floor, not on the floor or next to an open window. A variety of factors, like your home’s ventilation and humidity levels, can affect the reliability of the test results.
Hiring a professional radon tester requires a phone call and an in-home appointment. As the homeowner, you’ll need to be there when the professional performs the test, which can take a few hours.
The tester uses specialized and highly sensitive tools to test your home. They’ll have reliable results for you as soon as the test finishes, so you won’t have to wait for an offsite lab to send you an analysis. If the tester does discover radon levels in excess of 4.0 pCi/L, they can offer tried-and-true advice for mitigation options.
Do the test results show a radon problem in your home? While the tester is still there, ask them which mitigation system will be the most effective. Active mitigation systems are easy for experts to install, from setting up the fan to using a radon pipe mounting bracket to secure the vent pipe.
The Bottom Line
Whether you choose a DIY radon testing kit or a professional tester depends largely on your lifestyle. If you don’t have time for an appointment with a radon expert, leaving a test kit in your basement for a few days is a valid option.
However, if you want fast results that are more reliable, book a testing appointment with a radon expert. They can provide more information about their preferred mitigation systems and make your next steps much easier.
Should you use a DIY radon test kit or hire a professional radon tester? Both options have their upsides and downsides. DIY tests are easy and don’t require much effort on your part, but professional testing is quicker and will provide better results.