Radon Measurementfor a safe and healthy home
In order to be able to determine the actual Radon load in your dwelling or your house, you accomplish first a Radon measurement.
We explain briefly and understandably which is to be considered with the Radon measure:
- Why do I need to measure radon?
- Who performs a radon measurement?
- Where is a radon measurement recommended?
- Which sites are suitable for radon measurement?
- When is a radon measurement ideally performed?
- How long does a radon measurement take?
- Ventilate during radon measurement?
- What radon measuring devices are available? A comparison between active radon meters and passive radon exposimeters.
Finally, you will find first aid measures for elevated and highly elevated radon levels.
Who performs a radon measurement?
A radon measurement can be carried out by anyone. With today's state of the art technology, the measurement method no longer has any influence on the quality of the measured values. Depending on personal preferences, you can choose between a active Radon measuring device and a passive Radon Exposimeter. Once you have found the right radon meter, there is nothing standing in the way of a successful radon measurement.
Where is a radon measurement recommended?
With the designation of the radon precautionary areas, the German legislator draws attention to regions where a potentially high radon exposure is to be expected. Areas with large uranium deposits, mountain ranges and former mining regions are particularly affected. There is no legal obligation for private individuals to take measurements.
In general, only those who measure know what radon exposure they are exposed to. Therefore, we recommend everyone, regardless of the place of residence, to first perform a short-term measurement.
Which sites are suitable for radon measurement?
Basically, measure the rooms where you spend the longest and most time, such as the bedroom. Measure rooms such as home office when they are actually used on working days.
We recommend parents to pay special attention to the places where their children stay: children's rooms, playrooms, hobby basements and living areas. Genetic material damaged by radon poses a greater health risk at a younger age, as it is rapidly multiplied during the growth phase by an above-average number of cell divisions.
Cellars that are leaking towards the ground are the most common cause for the spread of radon in residential buildings and usually have the highest radon contamination. We advise regularly used rooms such as hobby basements, offices or workshops to be measured. If you only use the basement for storage and storage purposes, measured radon values are helpful for assessing any necessary remediation measures.
Non-basement rooms on the ground floor, like basement rooms, are also responsible for mostly elevated radon concentrations in indoor air. During a radon measurement they are to be considered like basement rooms.
High humidity - such as in crawl cellars - is a problem for electronic radon meters. In order to measure here nevertheless an orientation value, a radon-permeable silicon bag protects the active Radon measuring instrument. Passive radon meters are not sensitive to moisture.
Coming from the ground, radon rises from the bottom to the top of the building. Therefore, cover the lower floors with at least one measured room each, in order to be able to put later measurement results into relation and to derive remediation measures better.
When is a radon measurement ideally performed?
In order to have meaningful values at the end of the radon measurement, we recommend that the measurement period be set so that it falls in the heating period between October 15 and April 15. Experience shows that the radon values are highest in winter, since a higher radon concentration penetrates the building due to the chimney effect of heated rooms and at the same time less and shorter ventilation takes place.
Measurements during the transitional periods from September 1 to November 30and March 1 to May 1are best suited to determine approximately the annual mean value. This reflects the average radon exposure over a year. Necessary measures can be read off very easily from this.
We advise against exclusive measurements in the summer period between April 15 and October 15. They are usually not suitable for obtaining a meaningful value for radon contamination, on the basis of which it can be estimated to what extent remediation measures are necessary. They serve at most a rough classification, which must be completed in any case by a measurement in the heating period.
How long does a radon measurement take?
Long-term measurementsofat least 6 months(half of them during the heating period) provide a comprehensive overview of radon exposure in one's home. The optimal measurement period is one year.
Short-term measurements between a few days to 3 months are used for orientation and initial classification of the current radon exposure. For this purpose, you can also rent an active radon measuring device. Measure in individual roomsat least over three to four days. In this way you can measure the radon exposure
of different weather conditions and get a meaningful overview of the radon
meaningful overview of the radon levels in your house. Short-term measurements are best carried out exclusively in the winter months.
Ventilate during radon measurement?
Ventilate and use the rooms as usual during the radon measurement. In this way, you will receive the radon values to which you have actually been exposed in everyday life.
Do not ventilate at all during the radon measurement to map the maximum radon exposure in a room.
Active radon measuring devices – Advantages
⦁ Successive measurement of different rooms of an apartment with one device
⦁ Data export with USB cable, app or WiFi for external storage of the measured values
⦁ Further processing, such as graphical representation in Excel, possible
⦁ Suitable for long-term Radon monitoring
⦁ Time-resolved measured values can be read in the display already after 24 hours
Immediate influences and their effects on the Radon activity concentration in a room are mapped by active Radon measuring devices. Opposite is the exemplary graph of an office room. During working hours, the room is regularly ventilated, which results in an immediately noticeable drop in radon levels. Overnight, the radon activity concentration rises again. This rhythm is repeated from Monday to Friday. If, on the other hand, there is no ventilation at all over the weekend days, the radon levels rise very sharply.
Passive radon measuring devices – Advantages
⦁ Low purchase price per exposimeter
⦁ Easy handling of the Radon Exposimeter and thus low error potential
⦁ Evaluation in an accredited test laboratory including test report
⦁ No accessories or power supply required
⦁ A cumulative mean value for the entire measurement period
A cumulative value denotes the average Radon activity concentration over the entire measurement period. Peak and trough values cannot be derived from it. Neither can the effects of room use or ventilation behavior.
First aid measures in case of elevated and highly elevated radon levels
Already during the radon measurement or after receiving the evaluation report from the test laboratory, increased radon levels can be counteracted in first steps.
Regular manual ventilation of affected living spaces measurably lowers radon exposure.
If radon exposure is very high, especially in the basement, close connecting doors to the living area or seal them to reduce propagation paths. The additional tilting of a window ensures pressure equalization between the residential building and the environment and makes it more difficult for radon to penetrate the house.
Depending on the final measured values, these measures are to be understood as first immediate aid. It is advisable in the case of elevated and highly elevated radon levels to act according to the situation in order to avoid unnecessary costs due to large-scale remediation measures.