Radon Testing: How It Works & What To Expect

Radon, a colorless, odorless toxic gas, is both very common and very harmful when you experience long-term exposure. Because it is so harmful but also difficult to detect, it’s essential to get professional radon testing and mitigation, if necessary. The idea of radon testing and possible radon exposure can be a scary thought. However, the process of testing for radon is really quite straightforward, when done by professionals. Here’s what you can expect when you get radon testing done:


Initial Consultation

Step one is the easiest part of radon testing: schedule the test. A professional Milledge employee will visit your building and evaluate your needs. Our staff is highly trained and knowledgeable. They will be looking for things such as: building layout and usage, potential radon entry points, environmental factors, ventilation, testing placements, and more. After the initial assessment, they will discuss their findings and recommend the proper course of action.

Iowa Radon Testing

Prepare For The Test

If you do decide to go ahead with radon testing, you’ll need to do some initial prep in order to get the most accurate reading possible. You’ll want to maintain closed-door conditions for a minimum of 12 hours before and during the test. This includes closed-windows, as well, with the exception of normal entry and exit. Do not change anything about your normal HVAC operation, either.

Conduct The Test

After you’ve successfully prepped for the test, a professional will place the testing devices in the lowest level of your home, such as the basement or ground floor. There are typically three kinds of test devices used: Continuous Radon Monitors, Alpha Track Detectors, and Charcoal Canisters. Testing duration is dependent on which testing method is used. Proper placement is critical to get accurate results. To avoid interference, the testing devices are not placed near drafts, high heat, or high humidity areas. Testing device placement should always follow the EPA guidelines.

Analyze The Results 

For continuous monitors, our professionals will retrieve the device and download the data, which includes hourly readings and an overall average. However, for passive devices (charcoal canisters and alpha track detectors), the devices are sent to a certified lab for analysis. Once all data is retrieved, our team will analyze it and provide you a detailed report, typically expressed in picocuries per liter (pCI/L).


If high radon levels are indeed detected, we will discuss potential mitigation options. Typical radon mitigation solutions include: sealing cracks in foundation, improving ventilation, and/or installing radon mitigation systems like a sub-slab depressurization system. After we implement one or several of these mitigation techniques, we will perform follow-up tests to ensure that our methods were successful.
By following the outlined steps- scheduling a professional assessment, preparing your home, conducting the test, analyzing the results, and implementing mitigation if necessary- you can protect yourself and others from the harmful effects of radon exposure. Regular testing and professional guidance are essential to maintaining a healthy living environment. Taking these proactive measures will provide peace of mind and a safe home or business for years to come.

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