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Radon test for a slab house?


Ben H
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I don't offer radon testing. I don't get enough call for it. Although yesterday I did get a request for a radon test on a new construction with a concrete slab foundation. It stumped me for a second. I asked the lady on why she wanted a radon test. "Another inspector told me it was a good idea. If there is an issue, the builder will take care of it." she replied.

Is this "other inspector" just trying to sell another add on that is not needed? I've never heard of a radon test on a slab home, or a crawl for that matter.

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Several years ago I did a radon test for a client buying a slab on grade townhouse, at the time I was using Eperm passive devices. The results came back over the EPA action point and the buyers Dad who was in relocation told his son to look for a different house. Of course, the seller blamed me, and hired a local contractor to conduct a second test using an electronic CRM, I ask if I could repeat the test at my own expense. The result was that both of the repeat tests came back with radon levels above the EPA action point! A week later I did an inspection and radon test on another slab on grade townhouse, not next door but in the same culdesac a couple doors down. The levels on that unit was in the neighborhood of 1.5 pCi/L! So, from my experience, you can't dismiss the presence of radon just because the home is built on a slab.

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You just never know what the readings will be. With a slab home the chances are not as great for higher levels of radon, but it is possible. It all depends on if that slab has cracks or holes in it. Since you can not see every square inch of that slab and if you are in an area with known high levels of radon then Yes, the home should be tested. My slab foundation home averages around 2.1 pCi/L

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I sure would not tell a buyer or homeowner that living in a slab house automatically makes it radon free. We do not keep accurate records regarding the foundation type(s), so can't comment on statistics.

We do keep exact records where we place the device on the lowest liveable level. I guess I have 15+- years of data that could be "digested".

If they ask about it, we provide it. Results can change from day to day and the 48hr screening is nearly worthless as far as I am concerned.

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I sure would not tell a buyer or homeowner that living in a slab house automatically makes it radon free. We do not keep accurate records regarding the foundation type(s), so can't comment on statistics.

We do keep exact records where we place the device on the lowest liveable level. I guess I have 15+- years of data that could be "digested".

If they ask about it, we provide it. Results can change from day to day and the 48hr screening is nearly worthless as far as I am concerned.

Hah, that's what I left the NEHA three-day class thinking. The real test calls for the measurement device to be in the house for a minimum of six months.

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I sure would not tell a buyer or homeowner that living in a slab house automatically makes it radon free. We do not keep accurate records regarding the foundation type(s), so can't comment on statistics.

We do keep exact records where we place the device on the lowest liveable level. I guess I have 15+- years of data that could be "digested".

If they ask about it, we provide it. Results can change from day to day and the 48hr screening is nearly worthless as far as I am concerned.

Hah, that's what I left the NEHA three-day class thinking. The real test calls for the measurement device to be in the house for a minimum of six months.

Closings are taking so long here that there is almost time for a real test.

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Interesting thought about my business "ethics".

In the late 1980's I refused to perform any type of Radon test or screening because I thought the equipment was not reliable nor accurate. Then Honeywell came out with a sooper dooper electronic device that cost about $3,000. At that time most folks were using charcoal canisters and/or charcoal envelopes. There were even some canisters abt the size of a roll of lifesavers that came 4ea to a pack and you spread them around the house. There were also some "alpha trak" devices consisting of film, jelly, etc that traced magic atoms across a surface and the technician calculated the speed and time and arrived at a conclusion. PS: I tested 12 funeral homes with them and they all have exceeding high levels! Seems embalming fluids and other chemicals affected my scientific testing.

Then technology caught up with demand and other devices were developed. Most seem approriate and accurate. Problem is that we never get to perform a real test; just a feel good screening to protect folks selling real estate. (or so they think) So, do I perform these screenings? Yep, at the rate of approx 10-12 per week.

I do tell our clients that I think the test is of little value. They always want it and we never try to talk them out of it. Full disclosure. We are not regulated in Michigan.

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Several years ago I did a radon test for a client buying a slab on grade townhouse, at the time I was using Eperm passive devices. The results came back over the EPA action point and the buyers Dad who was in relocation told his son to look for a different house. Of course, the seller blamed me, and hired a local contractor to conduct a second test using an electronic CRM, I ask if I could repeat the test at my own expense. The result was that both of the repeat tests came back with radon levels above the EPA action point! A week later I did an inspection and radon test on another slab on grade townhouse, not next door but in the same culdesac a couple doors down. The levels on that unit was in the neighborhood of 1.5 pCi/L! So, from my experience, you can't dismiss the presence of radon just because the home is built on a slab.

Hey! Were you been pardner? Long time no see.

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I've tested several slab houses that had high levels.

Ya gotta remember that it's Mother Nature.

She just doesn't care what sitting on top of the crack.

Old house, new house, basement, slab, crawl space, funeral home, office building, donut shop.

She don't care. If she's spewing radon there, you'll have high levels.

That's why the state of Kentucky will give homeowners a free long term test kit.

http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/info/phps/radongas.htm

Ben, you probably don't get much call for it because consumers are generally unaware of the issue and you don't bring it to their attention. And Louisville is in a high potential area, Ben. That's you up there at the top left red area.

kentucky.gif

Sucky anecdotal story.

Yesterday, a lady whose home I was testing mentioned that one of her daughter's friends, 8 years old, died recently from lung cancer. Parents didn't smoke. Hadn't much been around anyone who did. Parents closed the barn door after the horse was gone and found high radon levels in their home.

-

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Several years ago I did a radon test for a client buying a slab on grade townhouse, at the time I was using Eperm passive devices. The results came back over the EPA action point and the buyers Dad who was in relocation told his son to look for a different house. Of course, the seller blamed me, and hired a local contractor to conduct a second test using an electronic CRM, I ask if I could repeat the test at my own expense. The result was that both of the repeat tests came back with radon levels above the EPA action point! A week later I did an inspection and radon test on another slab on grade townhouse, not next door but in the same culdesac a couple doors down. The levels on that unit was in the neighborhood of 1.5 pCi/L! So, from my experience, you can't dismiss the presence of radon just because the home is built on a slab.

Hey! Were you been pardner? Long time no see.

Sorry, Terry, I don't think we've met--maybe another Robert E Lee!

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Several years ago I did a radon test for a client buying a slab on grade townhouse, at the time I was using Eperm passive devices. The results came back over the EPA action point and the buyers Dad who was in relocation told his son to look for a different house. Of course, the seller blamed me, and hired a local contractor to conduct a second test using an electronic CRM, I ask if I could repeat the test at my own expense. The result was that both of the repeat tests came back with radon levels above the EPA action point! A week later I did an inspection and radon test on another slab on grade townhouse, not next door but in the same culdesac a couple doors down. The levels on that unit was in the neighborhood of 1.5 pCi/L! So, from my experience, you can't dismiss the presence of radon just because the home is built on a slab.

Hey! Were you been pardner? Long time no see.

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Several years ago I did a radon test for a client buying a slab on grade townhouse, at the time I was using Eperm passive devices. The results came back over the EPA action point and the buyers Dad who was in relocation told his son to look for a different house. Of course, the seller blamed me, and hired a local contractor to conduct a second test using an electronic CRM, I ask if I could repeat the test at my own expense. The result was that both of the repeat tests came back with radon levels above the EPA action point! A week later I did an inspection and radon test on another slab on grade townhouse, not next door but in the same culdesac a couple doors down. The levels on that unit was in the neighborhood of 1.5 pCi/L! So, from my experience, you can't dismiss the presence of radon just because the home is built on a slab.

Hey! Were you been pardner? Long time no see.

Sorry, Terry, I don't think we've met--maybe another Robert E Lee!

I haven't seen you post on this board for a while is all. Nice to see you dropping in.

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