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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Posts
    89

    Default Radon levels off the chart.

    I did a radon measurement last week and was shocked to find the reading on my Sun Nuclear monitor at 90.3 after figuring the calibration in. I told the agent that there may be a malfunction so I wanted to do another test with a different monitor. When I picked it up the reading was 93.6. Until now the highest reading I have seen was 17.4. The house is on a basement. The right wall is leaning in and has a crack about 1/2 inch all the way across and there are expansion cracks in the floor in many places. Other than that can anyone suggest areas that radon may be getting in and the fix for them?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: Radon levels off the chart.

    If there is a bath tub or shower in the basement, there is a large hole in the slab where the trap and waste pipes go under the slab. That can be a huge source of gas entering the house.

    The house is likely just sitting over the right geology for radon. That's why you are getting much higher readings than you usually get. In my area, most radon levels (that are over 4.0) are in the 9.0 - 22.0 range. However, I have had many in the 50's and 60's, and last year did a house that was 160.

    I've tested a few crawlspace homes that were in the 20's.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Radon levels off the chart.

    We have houses in PA that test in the 1000's. It mostly depends on what type of rock is below the house.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Massacusetts
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: Radon levels off the chart.

    What did you use for a secondary measurement ?

    Curious , Also do you know what the testing methods are that are used in the test equipment (again curious)


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Holladay, UT
    Posts
    565

    Default Re: Radon levels off the chart.

    Is there an Uranium mine nearby??

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,250

    Default Re: Radon levels off the chart.

    Many years ago, while in South Florida (we didn't have much radon down there, but some) a friend of mine who got into the radon business tested a house for a relocation company, the owner was being transferred out West someplace (Arizona, maybe).

    When the test results came back (this was before the continuous radon monitors), the results were in the hundreds, maybe 400-500. The relocation company asked for a retest to verify that reading.

    My friend went back and did another test, and the results came back around 2 or something like that.

    In trying to figure out why the difference and what was different, my friend realized that the lady was still living there at the first test, but not at the second test, and that she had some exquisite display cabinets which had ... a very extensive rock collection in them ...

    Yep, she took the radon with her wherever she moved to. or, for her

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, FL
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: Radon levels off the chart.

    I understand there are caves in Tennessee that are loaded with Radon gas, perhaps the home is built over one of them? You might check with the geological folks. Not a joke!


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Bozeman, Montana
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Radon levels off the chart.

    Jerry,
    Let the agent know this may be a money making opportunity. There are mines around Boulder (MT.) used as.....radon spas. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2477705/


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Radon levels off the chart.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwight Doane View Post
    What did you use for a secondary measurement ?

    Curious , Also do you know what the testing methods are that are used in the test equipment (again curious)



    I used another Sun continuous read monitor. My understanding is they sample the air each hour and record the Radon present in each sampling.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Radon levels off the chart.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas McKay View Post
    I understand there are caves in Tennessee that are loaded with Radon gas, perhaps the home is built over one of them? You might check with the geological folks. Not a joke!
    Most caves in TN have very high air exchanges due to underground rivers, streams and the chimney effect form high and low openings in themů. The original poster is from NC, not TN...

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Radon levels off the chart.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Martin View Post
    I did a radon measurement last week and was shocked to find the reading on my Sun Nuclear monitor at 90.3 after figuring the calibration in. I told the agent that there may be a malfunction so I wanted to do another test with a different monitor. When I picked it up the reading was 93.6. Until now the highest reading I have seen was 17.4. The house is on a basement. The right wall is leaning in and has a crack about 1/2 inch all the way across and there are expansion cracks in the floor in many places. Other than that can anyone suggest areas that radon may be getting in and the fix for them?
    I am Radon Measurement Certified in Texas and we don't have many basements here if any at all. We are in a low risk area for high radon levels, but have seen high levels as high as 19 here only a handful of times literally in 8 years. Causes of high levels you are experiencing can be from large storms. What has the weather been then lately. You know what we here in Texas have been getting lately! Just a another 2 cents. We use Sun Nuclear as well and the calibration chamber we have for our company is very accurate and when we get high readings, we set another unit to get the second opinion.


  12. #12

    Default Re: Radon levels off the chart.

    When you get a hinky reading do you charge for a second test to confirm the first or only if the second test comes in close to the first.

    I was asked by a client if I recommended a Radon test on a slab and didn't have a supportable answer for her. I would think you a as likely to find radon gas in a slab constructed home as one over a basement or crawl space but.....


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bennett (Denver metro), Colorado
    Posts
    1,394

    Default Re: Radon levels off the chart.

    On rare occasions, radon comes from unexpected sources. Some twenty years ago in Aurora, CO, a relocation company ordered a radon test that came back in the twenties. Mitigation was done with no effect on the level. Finally they realized that the beautiful granite fireplace was "hot". The relo company replaced the fireplace and the level fell to below 4.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: Radon levels off the chart.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall Brown View Post
    When you get a hinky reading do you charge for a second test to confirm the first or only if the second test comes in close to the first.

    I was asked by a client if I recommended a Radon test on a slab and didn't have a supportable answer for her. I would think you a as likely to find radon gas in a slab constructed home as one over a basement or crawl space but.....
    First of all, you can have elevated levels in any house, basement, slab or crawlspace. A basement has the highest risk because there is more surface area of slab and foundation walls in contact with the earth.
    A slab is next highest risk because the slab is in direct contact with the earth.
    While a crawlspace is usually vented, if the radon levels in that particular area are high enough, it will show up inside the house. We have many homes with crawlspaces that have mitigation systems installed.
    If its high, it's high.

    My service area is a red zone, or highest likelihood of having elevated levels. After doing thousands of radon tests I have a pretty good idea where the hot spots are, and can advise clients about testing.

    Regarding second tests.......the only time I might do another test is if I find a TAMPER, or a huge storm came thru during the test period, and I noticed unusual readings during that time period. If its a tamper, I let someone else pay. If its a storm or other weirdness, I usually will not charge for the re-test.


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