Monitor placement

Can someone please put in their own words where a radon monitor should be placed? Be specific. I have a realtor that I run into every now and again, and today is telling my client that I have performed these tests in the past incorrectly. Right in front of them. So, I am just looking for someone else to post this info and I can show her that I am not incompetent. I have sent her several links and all that good stuff, but she insists I am wrong. I think she’s just upset about the test result, but that’s another story. Just put it in your own words if you would, no links, because obviously they mean nothing to this realtor. Thank you fellas.

If she is claiming you have incorrectly placed the monitoring devices, did she tell you what she thought was wrong with your testing protocol?

Yes, and she is incorrect, and can come up with no proof otherwise. I just thought if I could get it from another inspector in their words, that may calm her down a bit. I would not include their name, but it might settle her down a bit.

Thanks for your help Mike.

for short term testing lowest lived in level of the house or the first floor,in a multi family more then 3 stories high below the third floor, 20 inches off the floor in a area wher the unit wont be disturbed of course no drafts, heat etc,

One correction based on the latest EPA Protocols for real estate testing (November 2006), instead of lowest lived in area, the current guidance is for the lowest area that can be used by a buyer, whether finished or not. Typically this would involve consultation with the buyer to determine how they intend to use the space.

Also, concrete condos throughout the SE that are built super air tight (energy efficient) are showing high radon levels on upper floors even without pathways for radon to travel from the foundation. I think we’ve seen double-digit reading as far up as the 24th floor. The radon seeping out of the natural materials in the concrete, even when not in super high concentrations, are allowed to build up above the 4.0 pCi/L action level due to the lack of ventilation/dilution. For years it was thought to be a problem for South Florida only. The same problem has now been discovered in GA, NC, and TN, so it is only a matter of time until it is found in other areas of the US. So never say never. There are always reasons to test, but make sure that you understand the protocols and document that fact that they were followed.

Shawn Price

From a “Radon Essentials” course that I teach to Realtors here in MO for their own CE credits (course approved by the MO Real Estate Commission).

Proper monitor placement is vital to accurate readings.
1)20 in above the floor. Radon levels at the floor may or may not be the same as in the “living” space of a human being.
2)At least 3 ft from exterior windows/doors. We don’t want exterior radon to come in, nor do we want interior radon to go outside thus contaminating or confusing the test results.
3)At least 1 ft from exterior walls. Walls and floors are typically where the radon is entering. We want our reading to reflect more of an “average” level of radon in the home. Not necessarily a “peak” level where it is entering.
4)6-8 ft above the floor. Some monitors can be suspended from the ceiling. If they are, they should be located in the “living” space of a human being.
5)Drafts, direct sunlight, heat, and high humidity can all distort the radon readings. Placement in bathrooms, utility rooms, kitchens, etc are all considered to be “bad ideas” when placing a monitor.
6)Lowest habitable portion of the home. Typically we place the monitors in the basement, or if no basement, on the main level of the home. Some homeowners may object to placing the monitor in their unfinished basement, because no one actually lives down there. For a real estate transaction, we’re not testing for the current owners usage of the basement. Since the new owners MAY wish to finish the basement and actually live there, that’s where we are going to test. Crawlspaces are not habitable, therefore we don’t place the monitors there.
7)The radon monitor cannot be moved, covered, or tampered with in any way. Homeowners have been known to move the monitors outside, cover them up, or try to skew the results to their advantage. Many continuous monitors have built in sensors that detect such efforts and report those results. Homeowners should be informed that any tampering with the monitors may result in the need to re-test the home at their expense.

Thank you for the replies guys. Exactly what I was looking for.

Is WI a licensing state? If so, ask her to cough up a license or refrain from holding herself out as such.

Yes for HI

No for Radon.