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  1. #1
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    Default Radon test location


    Looking for some feedback on where to place the testingdevice. EPA guideline states that itshould be in the lowest LIVED-IN location of the home. But some little birdies have told me that thebasement, finished or not, is the place to put them. The Newbie thanks you for the input.


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    Default Re: Radon test location

    John, are you EPA trained for radon measurement? The "little birdies" are more reliable than EPA protocol?

    FYI for a new guy. Don't be fooled into thinking the "birdies" are smarter than the manufacturer/codes/established regulations...for anything. It could be your butt! Do your homework and resist the temptation to rely on world of mouth opinions in cases such as you have asked about.

    From the latest edition of the EPA booklet "Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon".

    "You should test in the lowest level of the home that could be used regularly. This means testing in the lowest level that you currently live in or a lower level not currently used, but which a buyer might use as a family room or play area, etc."

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by John A Duncan View Post
    Looking for some feedback on where to place the testingdevice. EPA guideline states that itshould be in the lowest LIVED-IN location of the home.
    Per EPA protocols the location depends on what kind of radon test are you doing. Is the radon test for your own home that you live in or is the radon test part of a real estate transaction?

    For your own home (or for a homeowner not involved in a real estate transaction) the radon test location is the lowest LIVED-IN level. For example, if you (or the homeowner) do not use the basement regularly the radon test would be placed on the main level.

    For a home involved in a real estate transaction the radon test location is the lowest LIVABLE level. For example, the house has an unfinished basement; the test location will be in the basement because the buyers (or other future occupants) could finish and occupy the basement.

    Quote Originally Posted by John A Duncan View Post

    But some little birdies have told me that thebasement, finished or not, is the place to put them.
    Don't listen to those little birdies. They don't know what they are talking about. EPA protocols are clear about testing in the basement if the basement is the lowest livable level of the house if the radon test is part of a real estate transaction.

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  4. #4

    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Breedlove View Post
    For your own home (or for a homeowner not involved in a real estate transaction) the radon test location is the lowest LIVED-IN level. For example, if you (or the homeowner) do not use the basement regularly the radon test would be placed on the main level.
    Why would you not want to know the worst case if you live in the house?


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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Knauff View Post


    "You should test in the lowest level of the home that could be used regularly. This means testing in the lowest level that you currently live in or a lower level not currently used, but which a buyer might use as a family room or play area, etc."

    No, I'm not trained in ERA measurement and I greatlyappreciate your insight. Plus, I likethe way that you explained it. Thanks




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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by John Ghent View Post
    Why would you not want to know the worst case if you live in the house?
    I am just telling you what EPA protocol is. It's your house and you can do what you want. If you want to know the radon level you are exposed to where you live in the house you can test on the lowest level that you live on. If you want to know the radon level that you would be exposed to if you occupied the basement you can test in the basement.

    I suppose EPA decided that homeowners should measure their actual exposure (rather than their potential exposure). EPA probably thought it was unnecessary for a homeowner to mitigate their house if the living space was below the EPA Action Level but the unoccupied basement was above the EPA Action Level.

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    I have heard this question for at lest ten years. For the purposes of mitigation the radon test needs to be done in the lowest level of the home; the crawl space or unfinished basement because kids can play there. Once you mitigate the home you want to do the post mitigation test in the upper most area of the house say the attic so the test results will be below 2.0 picocuries. After all you want the mitigation to be successful so you can cash your big check. You don't want the home owner or buyer to worry they might be one of the millions of folks who have died from radon exposure. Does any one on this post know of any one who died of radon exposure?


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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas McKay View Post
    I have heard this question for at lest ten years. For the purposes of mitigation the radon test needs to be done in the lowest level of the home; the crawl space or unfinished basement because kids can play there. Once you mitigate the home you want to do the post mitigation test in the upper most area of the house say the attic so the test results will be below 2.0 picocuries. After all you want the mitigation to be successful so you can cash your big check. You don't want the home owner or buyer to worry they might be one of the millions of folks who have died from radon exposure. Does any one on this post know of any one who died of radon exposure?
    Actually, yes. I have met several non-smoking lung cancer victims and their family members left behind, that according to their oncologists were most likely affected by the elevated radon in their homes. Can the tumor from radon be distinguished from the tumor from smoking? No. Some will twist this around to say that the radon can't be proven as the cause, but when you start with a lung cancer victim and work backward to determine what caused the tumor, the evidence can be overwhelming on an individual basis when their family history, occupational exposures, etc. are taken into account.

    Check out some of their stories at CanSAR: Cancer Survivors Against Radon. Meeting these courageous people have turned many naysayers into believers and sometimes even Champions!

    Happy Easter everyone.

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    shawn

    attic crawl space--where did you hear this or read this--please give me a reference. who would live in the attic and crawl space ??

    thanks

    cvf


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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Just being FACETIOUS Charlie! It has been proven Radon is naturally occurring and may be produced by granite rock; you better call out all those customer who have granite counter tops in their kitchens. I wonder if Al Gore has made any monies from Radon gas?


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    Default Re: Radon test location

    sorry shawn i meant tom

    tom you did end post with the sarcastic funny faces--should have ended with funny face--then i wouldn't have taken you seriously--and no i don't know of anyone who has died from radon--or lead poisioning or carbon monoxide or from asbestos poisioning--but that doesn't mean--they are not a health hazard

    we as home inspectors, follow the lead from the EPA guru"s. if we don't we are in trouble

    have a great easter

    cvf


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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Charlie, the EPA is a self serving government agency; they don't think their you know what stinks - if you think they are viable then I have a bridge in NY for sale. Our business is to identify visual defects and to also point out the benifits of the purchase; if you can't do that just find something else to do or do what most floks do collect welfare.


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    Default Re: Radon test location

    tom

    i merely commented on your stupid sarcastic crawl spaces and attic stupiity. and wanted to know if you were serious-- this is an informational forum and your thread was just stupid--answer the thread with just that, facts and knowledge--not asinine attic and crawl space -there are some new inspectors trying to learn on here. WELFARE as everyone else is- maybe you are talking from experience or your friends and neighbors, not me.

    i have served my country and have worked everyday of my life for 58 years. and have been an inspector and instructor for 7 years. i try an be functional on this forum and help when i can, but read and learn everyday--again what you contributed was trash

    so YOU follow the TOM GUIDELINES, I'LL FOLLOW THE EPA AND OTHER SANCTIONED ASSOCIATION.

    again happy eater

    cvf


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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Charlie, thanks for your kind reply to my post. Sounds like you are very serious about the radon thing and yourself. I can't tell you the thousands of radon tests and mitigations I did in the Carolinas during the 10 years I inspected there. Personally I think radon and its health hazard are just the figment of the EPA's imagination. Like many inspectors I used the radon scare as an excuse to soak the client for all it was worth; just like testing for mold and other environmental issues. Sounds like you are one of those inspectors that is going to save the world, good luck!


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    Default Re: Radon test location

    The next lawsuit will be deciding what ...

    (bold is mine)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    The EPA's Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon says that radon tests should be done in the lowest level of the house suitable for occupancy.
    "suitable for occupancy" means - does it require structural changes or just "finishing". In the case above the basement just required "finishing" (based on the little information provided).

    What were the ceiling heights? What about EERO? What about egress and access, stairs, etc.? What about ... there is a long list of things which need to be considered in determining whether it is "suitable for occupancy".



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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    Sorry - Jerry wrong again. "Suitable for occupancy" is defined in EPA regulations. This has already been decided.
    Sorry - Jim inexplicably makes undocumented statements again.

    Jim, by now you should know that you need to provide backup supporting documentation for the things you say ... especially with your history of saying incorrect and unsupportable things.

    Based on your past history and that you did not provide the supporting documentation - you expect us to believe you?

    You may actually be right, however, your history indicates that you are most likely incorrect - show us that you are not incorrect this time.

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    Jerry - If you would take the time to read before you react you just might learn something .
    Yet again you astound us all with your inability to read and understand what is written ... and what is asked for.

    The judge did not state what you said the EPA definition is ... and what you stated is not what EPA says either.
    " Lisi disagreed and said that Gagnon's test was improper. "The basement had neither finished walls nor a ceiling," she wrote in her decision. "The floor was a packed dirt floor with only a small concrete slab to support the hot-water heater. There was no heat and only rudimentary lighting."

    The judge using EPA guidelines decided it was not suitable for occupancy.
    Suitable for occupancy per EPA - " having finished walls , ceilings and flooring and having heating and appropriate electrical components and lighting."
    Jim, yet again I need to do what you are incapable of doing: (bold and italics are mine)
    - From EPA Protocols for Radon and Radon Decay Products Measurements in Homes
    - - 3.3 Measurement Location
    - - - EPA recommends that measurements made for a real estate transaction be performed in the lowest level of the home which is currently suitable for occupancy. This means the lowest level that is currently lived-in, or a lower level that is not currently used (such as a basement, which a buyer could use for living space without renovations). Measurements should be made in a room that is used regularly, such as a living room, playroom, den, or bedroom. This includes a basement that can be used as a recreation room, bedroom, or playroom. This provides the buyer with the option of using a lower level of the home as part of the living area, with the knowledge that it has been tested for radon.

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    Jerry - I guess that the Federal Court judge disagrees with you.

    I posted exactly what was in the decision. So you are saying that the judge is wrong.

    This is case law don't you get it .It has already been decided.
    Jim,

    You don't get it - the EPA states what I posted, the judge did not alter that, the judge, at most, added to the EPA definition ... FOR THAT ONE CASE ... it is up to other judges to decide whether to use the EPA wording or what that judge said.

    "Case law" does not mean that, henceforth, this is how it shall be in all cases - this is evidenced by many wide-ranging court decisions on the same matters in different districts.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 05-15-2014 at 12:37 PM. Reason: Speelin' - "by many wide-ranging" was "my many wide-ranging"
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    Default Re: Radon test location

    My opinion is that the judge was correct. The main factor being a dirt floor. Dirt floor = not suitable for occupancy whatsoever.

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    My opinion is that the judge was correct. The main factor being a dirt floor. Dirt floor = not suitable for occupancy whatsoever.
    EPA says "which is currently suitable for occupancy. This means the lowest level that is currently lived-in, or a lower level that is not currently used (such as a basement, which a buyer could use for living space without renovations)."

    "which a buyer could use for living space without renovations"

    Dirt floor or no dirt floor.

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    My thought is confabulation.
    You are finally acknowledging that?

    Your thoughts have always been such.

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    EPA says "which is currently suitable for occupancy. This means the lowest level that is currently lived-in, or a lower level that is not currently used (such as a basement, which a buyer could use for living space without renovations)."

    "which a buyer could use for living space without renovations"

    Dirt floor or no dirt floor.

    It may be ok in Florida, but here in MN a dirt floor is never considered living space. Too much cat feces. If you want to argue it, please provide a code or any other reference, whether it's building code, appraisal protocol, HUD documents...whatever you want, showing a dirt floor is acceptable for living space.

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    It may be ok in Florida, but here in MN a dirt floor is never considered living space. Too much cat feces. If you want to argue it, please provide a code or any other reference, whether it's building code, appraisal protocol, HUD documents...whatever you want, showing a dirt floor is acceptable for living space.
    Ken,

    I'm not saying that a dirt floor is, or is not, acceptable, I am saying that the EPA says: (bold is mine)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck
    " ... currently suitable for occupancy. This means the lowest level that is currently lived-in, or a lower level that is not currently used (such as a basement, which a buyer could use for living space without renovations)."


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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    Jerry - If you don't agree with case law . You just want to disagree .

    Your position is absurd.
    Case law affects that circuit or district only ... until another judge opts to refer to it - the EPA information STILL APPLIES to EVERYONE everywhere.

    To think otherwise is, yes, quite absurd (as you so eloquently put it).

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Ken,

    I'm not saying that a dirt floor is, or is not, acceptable, I am saying that the EPA says: (bold is mine)
    " ... currently suitable for occupancy. This means the lowest level that is currently lived-in, or a lower level that is not currently used (such as a basement, which a buyer could use for living space without renovations)."
    I'm sorry, but I don't see anywhere in your quote, bold or otherwise, where the EPA states a dirt floor basement is suitable for occupancy.

    As I previously asked, please provide any documentation stating a dirt floor is suitable for occupancy and / or could be used as living space without renovations.

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    I'm sorry, but I don't see anywhere in your quote, bold or otherwise, where the EPA states a dirt floor basement is suitable for occupancy.

    As I previously asked, please provide any documentation stating a dirt floor is suitable for occupancy and / or could be used as living space without renovations.
    Please READ my posts ... I have not stated that a dirt floor *IS* OR *IS NOT* permitted.

    Ken, you are sounding like Jim - READ what is written to help avoid that.

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  27. #27

    Default Re: Radon test location

    Jerry & Jim,

    Many of us read and participate in this forum to learn and share, when you (Jerry and Jim) run on and on about what each other stated or did not state in multiple topics over lines and lines of posts it is not constructive. There are many times when your insights are constructive but lately this has not been the case. You should exchange each other phone numbers and argue on the phone or if ten paces works try that but please remember that his forum is for the many!

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    this thread has been dead since 2011, and now Jim drags it back to life. are you kidding me. get a life Jim and stop be such a nuisance--and Jerry stop answering him ok. maybe he will go away as Watson did

    - - - Updated - - -

    wait a minute maybe he is Watson--oh no


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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Zehnder View Post
    ... please remember that his forum is for the many!
    Which is why I often just stop my part of the discussion and let Jim carry on ... albeit I don't do that as often as I want to so as to not leave incorrect information from Jim standing as though it is correct.

    There is another thread going which I recently stopped my part and Jim is still asking for my response - which he is not getting.

    I absolutely agree with you and will try to just stop my part of more of the discussions and let Jim carry on with his.

    Thank you for posting that Jeff, hopefully it will serve as a reminder to Jim too.

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Please READ my posts ... I have not stated that a dirt floor *IS* OR *IS NOT* permitted.
    EPA says "which is currently suitable for occupancy. This means the lowest level that is currently lived-in, or a lower level that is not currently used (such as a basement, which a buyer could use for living space without renovations)."

    "which a buyer could use for living space without renovations"

    Dirt floor or no dirt floor.
    So what exactly do you mean by "dirt floor or no dirt floor"? I take it to mean you don't believe it matters if the floor is dirt or not. I'm sorry, but it does. A dirt floor can never be considered a finished living space, habitable area or suitable for occupancy by any agency anywhere in the U.S. Therefore the floor being dirt is the #1 reason why a person would not perform a test in this area and the #1 reason why the test in question wouldn't meet the EPA requirements for testing location.

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    ..........just to add a comment for perspective: as I am reading these posts, I know of 3 homes within a 10 minute drive that have dirt or gravel basement/cellar floors that are used as living space on a daily basis. One is all gravel and has carpet in front of the work bench and washer and dryer set-up. Would you not measure for radon in this space?..........Greg


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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Jeff,

    ... mum's the word ...

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    Greg - This is in relation to a real estate transaction.According to EPA not suitable for testing.
    That sounds like utility space not living space .

    One of the guidelines established in the RPP was the space should of the type that would be occupied 12 to 18 hours a day.
    ..........I would guess that few, if any rooms of an average home are continuously occupied for 12 to 18 hours a day. This is utility space, used as any basement space, and the one I mentioned with carpet was a real estate transaction - I was there inspecting it! Once again, you reference guidelines, but never with any specificity - the forum is just supposed to accept your interpretation? ........Greg


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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    ..........just to add a comment for perspective: as I am reading these posts, I know of 3 homes within a 10 minute drive that have dirt or gravel basement/cellar floors that are used as living space on a daily basis. One is all gravel and has carpet in front of the work bench and washer and dryer set-up. Would you not measure for radon in this space?..........Greg
    Greg,

    Just because someone is using a dirt floored basement as a "living space" doesn't mean it's considered "living space" by HUD, the EPA, building codes, or the National Association of Realtors. I'll give you the same challenge I gave Jerry. If you don't believe me, post any document from any agency that approves a dirt floor basement as a "living space", or "suitable for occupancy". You won't find any.

    Jerry has already posted the guidelines you're asking Jim to post:
    which is currently suitable for occupancy. This means the lowest level that is currently lived-in, or a lower level that is not currently used (such as a basement, which a buyer could use for living space without renovations
    A dirt floor area is never suitable for occupancy and just because the current seller's kid sleeps in the shed out back doesn't make it a bedroom.

    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 05-17-2014 at 04:48 PM.
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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Greg,

    Just because someone is using a dirt floored basement as a "living space" doesn't mean it's considered "living space" by HUD, the EPA, building codes, or the National Association of Realtors. I'll give you the same challenge I gave Jerry. If you don't believe me, post any document from any agency that approves a dirt floor basement as a "living space", or "suitable for occupancy". You won't find any.

    Jerry has already posted the guidelines you're asking Jim to post:


    A dirt floor area is never suitable for occupancy and just because the current seller's kid sleeps in the shed out back doesn't make it a bedroom.
    ..........the space I am referring to is, in fact used for living space - and is therefore suitable for occupancy. I do not know of any document that states a dirt floor is suitable for occupancy - I also don't know of any document that says if it's got a dirt floor, it cannot be suitable for occupancy - why don't you show me.........Greg


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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post

    A dirt floor area is never suitable for occupancy....
    Never?
    In my parents house there is a 10'x20' atrium in the living room. The atrium has a dirt floor. No concrete, brick, tile, wood or anything, just dirt as far as you can dig, and then some.
    So yes, there can be a dirt floor in a habitable area of a house.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    ..........the space I am referring to is, in fact used for living space - and is therefore suitable for occupancy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Never?
    In my parents house there is a 10'x20' atrium in the living room. The atrium has a dirt floor. No concrete, brick, tile, wood or anything, just dirt as far as you can dig, and then some.
    So yes, there can be a dirt floor in a habitable area of a house.

    Not suitable for occupancy in any legal sense. And no, the dirt floor atrium would not be counted as finished living space by an appraiser or anyone else during a real estate transaction.

    I can't believe I actually have to tell you guys that dirt floors aren't suitable for occupancy. You know the world isn't flat, right?

    HABITABLE SPACE. Space in a structure for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Bathrooms, toilet rooms, closets, halls, storage or utility spaces, and similar areas are not considered habitable spaces. Chapter 2 - Definitions


    Last edited by Ken Rowe; 05-18-2014 at 10:35 PM.
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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    You know the world isn't flat, right?
    OMG! When did that happen?

    You mean I can't trust what I read on the internet?



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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    Greg - I do not agree with your logic.

    There are regulations that determine what is suitable for occupancy. If some chooses to occupy a burned out building with no heat ,plumbing or electricity that does not make it suitable for occupancy.
    .......Hi Jim, let's try this logic. Picture a home with this basement/cellar - that is to say, concrete floor covered in vinyl, drywall on walls and drop ceiling. Now, in this space, a women is tending to laundry and folding clean clothes, on a workbench sits a 4bbl carburetor that someone is rebuilding, a model train layout is in the corner and an old guy is sitting in a chair working on some kind of whittling project - I'll bet we all could agree that this is finished/occupied space. This is the exact tableau that I observed while inspecting the home I referenced, except the walls were rubble stone, the ceiling was bare joists and the floor was dirt/gravel.
    So, using your logic, and that of the poster above who talks about the bedroom in the backyard, you fellas would not bother to check for radon in this space 'cause it doesn't meet the criteria of the alphabet soup of agencies that you're referring to. Maybe you guys should think a little more realistically and consider how your client will be utilizing the home they are considering and not worry quite so much about the guidelines. Real-world experience is a wonderful thing
    And just to clarify, I don't offer radon testing services, and I rarely suggest testing. And, if you were to use sound logic, the dirt-floored occupied space in this instance would be more susceptible to radon issues than the "finished" space.......Greg


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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Ken
    My point is:
    The atrium (dirt floor) IS located entirely within the the living room, which is occupiable ( habitable ) space.
    Since a higher level of radon is more likely to be found in the atrium (dirt floor), the purchaser has every reason to expect this area to be tested. Dirt floor or no dirt floor.

    I can imagine the conversation;
    Purchaser- How did the radon test come out?
    HI- Everything was good
    Purchaser- I am concerned about the living room because I heard that the atrium may have higher radon.
    HI- Well, yes it can. But, the atrium does not have a finished floor so that area was not tested.
    Purchaser- Thats exactly the reason I thought it should have been tested.
    HI- Well, since technically you don't occupy that area, the EPA does not require testing, therefore I don't test it.

    So again, "yes, there can be a dirt floor in a habitable area of a house".



    Last edited by Rick Cantrell; 05-19-2014 at 07:23 AM.
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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    Rick - A 200 sq ft atrium with a dirt floor is very unusual and is a real outlier. The regulations do not take this into consideration. Yes, anything is possible.
    This is almost as unusual as the car lift I once saw in a living room.
    Thank you

    And likewise, performing a radon test in an unfinished basement (dirt floor) may be expected by a purchaser, even if not required by the EPA. It's just information that some purchasers want and maybe expect.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Rick and Gregory,

    Yes, if the client wants this area tested it should be tested, along with a proper test using the EPA criteria. Testing in a dirt floor (non-habitable) space by itself does not meet the EPA testing standards.

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    The purpose of my post is that the court determined that a test in an unfinished basement was improper during a real estate transaction.
    I understand.
    But I think the court actually determined that the results of radon testing in an unfinished basement are not a valid reason the cancel the offer.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    Rick and Gregory,

    Yes, if the client wants this area tested it should be tested, along with a proper test using the EPA criteria. Testing in a dirt floor (non-habitable) space by itself does not meet the EPA testing standards.
    I agree with that
    However, if the purchaser wants (expects) the unfinished basement to be tested, I see no reason for it not to be tested.
    The EPA is saying it is not required to be tested, not that it cannot be tested.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    I agree with that
    However, if the purchaser wants (expects) the unfinished basement to be tested, I see no reason for it not to be tested.
    The EPA is saying it is not required to be tested, not that it cannot be tested.
    The EPA does not require testing for radon. A person can test for radon anywhere they want. Just like someone can live in a shed, on the street, in a cave or in a dirt floor basement...if they so choose. However, there are guidelines set by the EPA for testing. These are the tests relied on for real estate transactions if the State your in doesn't have its own local guidelines. Testing in a dirt floored basement does not meet EPA guidelines. Therefore the court ruled the test was "improper". I'm just guessing here; the inspector probably wrote the test up as being conducted to the EPA standards...which it wasn't. Most States guidelines state if the buyer wants an unapproved location tested then an approved location should be tested also.

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    The EPA does not require testing for radon. A person can test for radon anywhere they want. Just like someone can live in a shed, on the street, in a cave or in a dirt floor basement...if they so choose. However, there are guidelines set by the EPA for testing. These are the tests relied on for real estate transactions if the State your in doesn't have its own local guidelines. Testing in a dirt floored basement does not meet EPA guidelines. Therefore the court ruled the test was "improper". I'm just guessing here; the inspector probably wrote the test up as being conducted to the EPA standards...which it wasn't. Most States guidelines state if the buyer wants an unapproved location tested then an approved location should be tested also.
    ...........could you show me a state guideline that says this?.......thanks, Greg.


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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    ...........could you show me a state guideline that says this?.......thanks, Greg.
    Here you go. Please look up any other information you need yourself or at least take an entry level radon measurement course. National Radon Proficiency Program - Entry-Level Radon Measurement and Mitigation Courses

    Question: The home inspector who performed a radon test for the people interested in buying my home placed the test kit in the basement. The EPA's "Home Buyers and Sellers Guide to Radon" states: "You should test in the lowest level of the home which is suitable for occupancy. This means testing in the lowest level that you currently live in or a lower level not currently used, but which a buyer could use for living space without renovations." My basement has a dirt floor and is not a lived in area. Why wasn't the first floor chosen as the test location?
    Answer: The EPA documents are excellent general information guides, but do not contain state specific requirements. The State of Maine Radon Air and Water Service Provider Registration Rules state; "...air radon screening tests shall take place in the lowest livable level of the structure, in addition to any other levels requested by the client." In some cases this is made obvious, by the presence of exercise equipment, or a work bench in the basement. Other times it is not as obvious and the trained radon testing professional must use his judgment. If a strong difference in opinion exists on any radon related issue between you and the radon service provider, it is best to call the Radon Section (1-800-232-0842 or 207-287-5698) to resolve the issue.
    Radon "Questions and Misconceptions" Section - Division of Environmental Health - Maine CDC: DHHS Maine

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    ...........thanks for making my point. What you provided speaks to ".......the lowest livable point.....". In the scenario I have described, this is the lowest livable point, and it's got a dirt floor. This is the real world, not foolish examples such as you and Jim espouse regarding back-yard sheds and burned-out buildings..........thanks again, Greg.


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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    ...........thanks for making my point. What you provided speaks to ".......the lowest livable point.....". In the scenario I have described, this is the lowest livable point, and it's got a dirt floor. This is the real world, not foolish examples such as you and Jim espouse regarding back-yard sheds and burned-out buildings..........thanks again, Greg.
    WTF are you talking about? You asked me to show you a State guideline that says this: Most States guidelines state if the buyer wants an unapproved location tested then an approved location should be tested also.

    I posted the Maine guideline that says: air radon screening tests shall take place in the lowest livable level of the structure, in addition to any other levels requested by the client.

    The scenario you posted is not the lowest livable level by any legal definition as the Maine guidelines and the EPA guideline are referring to. The level in your scenario would be considered "any other level requested by the client" which would not meet the EPA or Maine protocol if tested by itself.

    Where is this "Real World" you refer to? Somewhere which building codes and testing standards don't exist, where people live on dirt floors? I'm sorry but as inspectors / radon measurement techs we can't just make up our own rules as we go along. There are standards and procedures to follow. The minute you try to make up your own rules, you get sued and loose the lawsuit just like Jim has referred to.

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    WTF are you talking about? You asked me to show you a State guideline that says this: Most States guidelines state if the buyer wants an unapproved location tested then an approved location should be tested also.

    I posted the Maine guideline that says: air radon screening tests shall take place in the lowest livable level of the structure, in addition to any other levels requested by the client.

    The scenario you posted is not the lowest livable level by any legal definition as the Maine guidelines and the EPA guideline are referring to. The level in your scenario would be considered "any other level requested by the client" which would not meet the EPA or Maine protocol if tested by itself.

    Where is this "Real World" you refer to? Somewhere which building codes and testing standards don't exist, where people live on dirt floors? I'm sorry but as inspectors / radon measurement techs we can't just make up our own rules as we go along. There are standards and procedures to follow. The minute you try to make up your own rules, you get sued and loose the lawsuit just like Jim has referred to.
    .........Ken, you're getting to sound more and more like Jim. You are making the assumption (presumption?) of what constitutes a living area within a home. What you are quoting as rules clearly states living area, it doesn't talk about floor finishes, wall finishes or ceiling finishes - it talks about living space, and that gets defined by the occupants' utilization (real world). This whole discussion centers around whether living space can ever be an area with a dirt floor - and several of us have shown that it certainly can. You and Jim have blathered on and on about real estate deals, code requirements and radon testing practices - all in an effort to prove that a space used for living can never have a dirt floor. I would find you remiss in your client-duty if you would not test for radon in the lowest level of the home that I described, without having to be specifically asked by the client - after all, you're supposed to be the expert How would the client, who has full expectations of using the space as they view the current owner doing, even know where the "right" area for testing would be located. As I said before, that dirt-floored area would be far more susceptible to high radon concentrations - but you (and therefore, your client) wouldn't know that, because the book didn't tell you it was okay to test there We probably ought to agree to disagree, 'cause it's pretty obvious that you'll never simply admit that these types of spaces routinely exist.......Greg

    Last edited by Gregory Booth; 05-20-2014 at 12:46 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    .........Ken, you're getting to sound more and more like Jim. You are making the assumption (presumption?) of what constitutes a living area within a home.
    I've already given you legal definitions. The legal definitions are not designated by what the person living there does in that particular area. If you sleep in the bathtub, that doesn't make it a bedroom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    What you are quoting as rules clearly states living area, it doesn't talk about floor finishes, wall finishes or ceiling finishes - it talks about living space, and that gets defined by the occupants' utilization (real world).
    No, sorry, it doesn't.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    This whole discussion centers around whether living space can ever be an area with a dirt floor - and several of us have shown that it certainly can.
    Yes, you can choose to live in a space with a dirt floor. That doesn't make it a "living space" in anyone's eyes except your own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    You and Jim have blathered on and on about real estate deals, code requirements and radon testing practices - all in an effort to prove that a space used for living can never have a dirt floor.
    No, we're blathering on trying to inform you of the appropriate testing protocols. Whether a person chooses to live in an area with a dirt floor really doesn't matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    I would find you remiss in your client-duty if you would not test for radon in the lowest level of the home that I described, without having to be specifically asked by the client - after all, your supposed to be the expert How would the client, who has full expectations of using the space as they view the current owner doing, even know where the "right" area for testing would be located.
    You've really shown your ignorance when it comes to radon testing. Do you really think we don't talk to the clients and current occupants prior to conducting a test? There are both State and Federal protocols we follow, each detailing the consultations with the client and / or current occupant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    As I said before, that dirt-floored area would be far more susceptible to high radon concentrations - but you (and therefore, your client) wouldn't know that, because the book didn't tell you it was okay to test there
    You're correct, the dirt floored area would probably be more susceptible to higher levels. But, as I previously said, the radon tech has to follow standard protocols in their testing (the book you refer to). Ancillary testing can be done also. But, that ancillary test should not be conducted by itself, as Jim referred to by pointing out the lawsuit the radon tech lost by testing in an unapproved location.

    What's funny about this entire conversation, is it really doesn't matter what you think. State and EPA guidelines and the court finding posted by Jim all disagree with what you're saying. You've posted no documented evidence supporting your theories. You obviously have no education or testing experience with Radon. But you go ahead and continue arguing your point.

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    Ken - What people are missing is that in Maine the unfinished basement with the dirt floor is the only level in some houses. The state of Maine has adjusted their testing to accommodate this.
    "in Maine the unfinished basement with the dirt floor is the only level in some houses."

    ... the UNFINISHED BASEMENT with the DIRT FLOOR is the ONLY LEVEL in some houses."????

    How can it be a BASEMENT and be the ONLY LEVEL ...

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    "in Maine the unfinished basement with the dirt floor is the only level in some houses."

    ... the UNFINISHED BASEMENT with the DIRT FLOOR is the ONLY LEVEL in some houses."????

    How can it be a BASEMENT and be the ONLY LEVEL ...
    I'm thinking it was meant as a joke.

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    I'm thinking it was meant as a joke.
    ..........Ken - you just don't get it! If you read my first post, #41, you would see that I was simply offering a different slant on the idea that if a space has a dirt floor it could not be considered living space. I don't need to offer any "documentation for my theories". I was describing what exists in many homes - not theoretical, but real life. You, then began yammering about various codes, laws, protocols all supporting your (and Jim's) bizarre contention that a dirt-floored space could never, ever be living space. I asked you to show me where the many documents you cite demonstrate this to be true - and you still have not done so. For a guy who doesn't care what I think, you've wasted a lot of time and words trying to convince me (and everyone) that you are correct.
    To be accurate, about one thing you are correct: I am not an expert on radon testing, but I have never purported to be - that's your job (being the expert). When I have an inspection project that requires testing I hire a technician to do it. This discussion is a lot like dealing with Jim - tiresome - and I'm done.......Greg


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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Booth View Post
    To be accurate, about one thing you are correct: I am not an expert on radon testing, but I have never purported to be - that's your job (being the expert). When I have an inspection project that requires testing I hire a technician to do it.
    If you are not an expert on radon testing, don't do testing, and hire out technicians to do testing then why are you arguing about proper radon testing protocol with someone who is a certified measurement technician and has performed literally thousands of tests over the past 11 years?

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    Default Re: Radon test location

    Hello Gents -

    Well, for what it’s worth… A study was just released (1) wherein the UN Science Council has determined that the increase in radon concentrations has resulted in a decrease in bees, and that means the crops are not being properly pollinated, which lead to the economic opportunity that prompted Monsanto to introduce GMOs into plants that (unfortunately) produced greater CO2 concentrations in the ionosphere, which damaged the ozone layer resulting in a magnification of the “Green House Effect” causing Global temperatures to rise 0.5 °C. Due to the damage to the ozone layer which protects the Earth from cosmic radiation, the cosmic radiation increased loading on the Earth’s crust accelerated the nuclear decay of radium in the soils resulting in an increase of radon.

    Well… that’s what the study concluded anyway.

    Reference:
    (1) Smart, Taz, Knowit, Al, Dom, Schitt, et al “Monsanto GMOs: Random Radon decreases Bees” Jour. Env. BS, UN Publication number 2014-Prov. 26:4, (2014)

    Cheers!
    Caoimhín P. Connell
    Forensic Industrial Hygienist
    Forensic Applications Consulting Technologies, Inc. - Home

    (The opinions expressed here are exclusively my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect my professional opinion, opinion of my employer, agency, peers, or professional affiliates. The above post speaks for itself, and does not reflect professional advice and is not intended to supercede the professional advice of others.)

    AMDG


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