The importance of choosing an advanced radon test over a charcoal canister test when purchasing a home:


Advanced, continuous-monitor radon tests offer significant benefits over the more typical charcoal canister tests which many home inspectors use due to their low cost. 

Tampering with charcoal canisters and other passive radon testing devices is easy to do and is a common occurrence, especially in the real estate market, where the seller of a property has motivation for a radon test to not show elevated levels. Charcoal canisters are highly susceptible to water vapor in the air which can skew the results. Common tampering methods include adjusting humidity levels in the home, covering the testing device, or even moving it to the outdoors or another low-radon environment. Unfortunately, there is no good way to deter or detect tampering with passive devices, and it is almost impossible to detect if a passive radon testing device has been tampered with. Once a passive device is placed in a home, nothing is stopping the homeowner from moving it outside for the duration of the test and placing it in its original location before the test is over. Since radon is the second leading cause of death from lung cancer, tampering with a radon test could be deadly.

Timberline Ridge Home Inspections uses Corentium Pro, which is an advanced, continuous-monitor radon testing device that is not affected by humidity. Charcoal canisters and some other passive radon testing devices must be sent to a lab to be analyzed meaning you may have to wait up to several days before getting the results. The Corentium Pro has results available immediately upon completion of the test, and the results will be emailed to you as soon as we retrieve the monitor from the property being tested.

Advanced continuous radon monitor. Corentium Pro.

The Corentium Pro also has sensors for temperature, humidity, air pressure, and motion. Readings from these sensors are continuously recorded and averaged each hour for the duration of the test and graphed to clearly show changes to the environment in the house. Even any slight movement of the monitor will cause an alert to be triggered, indicating the test may have been tampered with. The other sensors also make it possible to detect if windows were opened during the test which would cause the radon readings to be lower than they actually are.

Short-term radon tests utilizing any method of measuring radon or its decay products are susceptible to misleading results caused by the weather, such as wind or rain, or even by other factors. The hourly measurements from a continuous-monitor device makes it possible to determine if the results have been influenced by the weather and that the test may need to be performed again. This insight is not possible with passive testing methods which cannot record hourly results and only yield an overall average for the duration of the test.

Don't settle for charcoal-canister tests which are prone to tampering and can delay closing on a property since receiving the result can take multiple days. An advanced radon test from Timberline Ridge Home Inspections gives you the peace of mind in knowing that the test results are highly accurate, the results are available immediately after we retrieve the monitor, and that it is difficult to tamper with the testing process. 

Contact us today to have your home tested for radon!