4 Best Places to Use a Radon Detector

Radon tested cork.

A radon detector is a radon-testing device. Radon is a naturally-occurring gas found in our environment. However, unlike other gases, radon presents a health hazard. This is primarily because it is a radioactive gas. This gas is released into the environment when uranium-rich soil or rock is penetrated. Radon is an established carcinogenic agent, i.e. continued exposure to this gas can cause cancer among human beings. Lung cancer is among the most common cancer caused by radon gas which is odorless and invisible. Radon can be detected with radon testing kits or radon detectors.

Some handy recommendations for using radon detector follow.

1. Low-lying Places

It is very hard to precisely point a location that is vulnerable to retaining excessive levels of radon. In fact, radon levels can vary considerably within the premises of a building. Radon can enter a house from the underlying soil. It is now accepted that radon is most likely to be in the highest concentration in the lowest or low-lying areas of the house. Thus, you can place radon detectors along your basement floor.

If you are planning to use the radon detector in any room of the house, search for the lowest point in that room. Radon is likely to enter a building through any low-lying cracks or openings made for venting pipes or sewage connections. If these possible entry points are present, place the radon detector along such openings.

2. Moderately-raised Places

A radon detector is more effective when placed along the floor but in some rooms there is a fear of the readings being disturbed by low-lying structures. This includes moist walls that might absorb some of the gas and corroded drain outlets. It makes sense to place the radon detector in a combined way, i.e. along the floor and about 3 to 5 feet above the floor for comprehensive readings. The raised placement is within your breathing zone and should resolve any underlying fear about radon being undetected.

3. Placing Radon Detector with Care

Take some basic precautions to ensure that the radon detector provides accurate readings. Don’t place the radon detector facing a door that is exposed to a heavy shaft of wind. The air current can disturb the readings. Remove any other object that exudes heat or vapor or toxic fumes from the room.

It is usually advised not to use the radon detector in a room that has been newly painted or contains objects with fresh, chemical coatings. These chemicals are likely to leach gases into the room that might react with the radon and induce false readings. For similar reasons, don’t place the detector too close to the bathroom or laundry room.

4. Using Radon Detector without Discrimination

It is a good idea to place radon detectors among all rooms and places within the household premises. Don’t determine the placement of radon detector based upon occupancy levels or level of usage of a household space. Radon can easily travel to other parts of the house. Radon concentration is independent of general hygiene level of a room or the degree of ventilation it receives. In fact, radon might be present in higher concentrations in well-lit and well-ventilated rooms of a house.

Don’t trust the radon level readings of your neighbor. Even if your neighbor’s radon detector readings don’t indicate danger, your house may still be at a risk. This is because the minutest of changes in the soil density, water saturation, and surface porosity can alleviate or dampen radon seepage within two adjacent premises.