Seven reasons to have radon testing done by a “certified” test professional for your real estate transaction
1) Buying a home is one of your biggest “life purchases". You want to make sure everything about it is properly addressed. Conducting a radon test for a real estate transaction involves more than simply having someone stick two radon kits in a home, come back in several days to pick them up and then send them off to a radon laboratory for processing. The EPA developed testing protocols that should be followed "every time" a test is performed to ensure that the test results obtained are accurate.
2) The results received on a radon test can have "significant financial implications" for your client (on both the buyer OR seller's side). Be sure to act in their best interest and make sure that testing has been done correctly to avoid unnecessary liability, expense or delays prior to the closing.
3) A "certified" professional is the only individual qualified to “interpret” radon test results obtained for a house and make “professional recommendations” about whether radon abatement in a home is warranted (or perhaps if the test should be re-done due to “tampering” concerns).
4) Since radon testing helps assess the potential health concern for the homeowner and their family, the use of certified professionals is prudent to ensure they have reliable information.
5) The use of continous monitors should only be done by individuals who have pased "device performance tests". Using a continuous monitors requires a further level of expertise than simply using "charcoal test kits". To do so requires that radon test profesionals can demonstrate they "how" to use them properly. To use "charcoal test kits" you are qualified to provide "Standard Services". To utilize a continuous radon monitor means you are qualified as offering "Standard AND Analytical" services. (Which means you can analyze the data produced by the monitor and properly "analyze" and "interpret" the results). They should also be able to provide "proof of device calibration" that validates that the unit has been "re-calibrated" (anually).
5) If legal issues ever arise over the “results” of a test, you want someone on your side who can “certify” that all proper EPA testing procedures were followed and that the device used was properly calibrated.
6) Certified radon test professionals utilize continuous electronic radon test monitors for real estate transactions which minimize the potential for “tampering” that exists for “charcoal kits” used by many home inspectors. The “basic memory” in a continuous radon monitor can detect things like: 1) Whether or not power has been interrupted. 2) A “tilt” function that indicates if it has been moved 3) Abnormal fluctuations in radon by collecting hourly samples
7) Radon test devices should only be "deployed" by an individual that is certified in radon testing (not another "work associate"). If they wish to charge for their services, doesn’t it make sense that they should be able to demonstrate their "knowledge of proper EPA testing protocols" by passing a test measurement exam?
Tips for selecting your radon testing source:
1) Are they “certified” to perform radon testing? (If they have met EPA proficiency requirements for testing, they will be able to easily provide a “certification card” or “ID #” from NEHA or the NRSB)
2) Do they offer “electronic continuous monitoring? (The only prudent way to go for a real estate transaction to minimize the potential for test tampering!). Else how can they “guarantee” the charcoal test kits they placed “stayed” inside the house for the duration of the test? Furthermore, the "higher count" radon monitors offer a higher degree of test reliability because they take more "samples" per hour!
3) Will the person actually “deploying” the radon test be “certified” in radon test measurement? (If certification means anything, not just "anyone" can do it!). (Not just anyone can "show a house"!)
4) Do they usually only provide radon testing when done as a part of a home inspection? (Most home inspectors don't like making "separate trips" to drop radon kits off when they can deploy them after their home inspection is complete!).
Note: Just as there is no “requirement” that consumers use a “Realtor ®” or even a “full-time agent” for a real estate transaction. There is also no “law” yet in South Carolina, (like 12 other states have), that individuals performing radon testing be licensed by the State! In both cases, Caveat Emptor….”Let the Buyer Beware!”