Somehow our neighborhood here in Draper was built in an area where radon gas seems to be an issue. There are several houses on our street that have radon gas mitigators (not sure if that's the official term, but you get the idea...). Sooooo, after worrying and wondering for some time, I finally got a number of a company that can come in and cut through the basement floor, install a flue and a fan, and get rid of the radon gas in homes. I called them, thinking they could just nip the problem in the bud (think Barney Fife: "Nip it in the bud!") Anyway, after talking to them, they said I really should get a test kit and test it before going to the expense of getting their company involved.
I went to Home Depot and picked up two test kits ($10.00 each).
I set them on my work bench and the days went by without me thinking about them too much. Finally, after seeing that on my "to-do" list for longer than I care to mention, I opened up the test kits and placed them in my basement.
To do the test correctly, you would place the two little canisters about a foot apart from each other. Since I had two test kits (four canisters in all), I did the tests in two different parts of my basement, just to be sure.
You take the lids off and let the canisters sit undisturbed for exactly three days. I did just that, and after three days, put them into the little provided postage-paid envelopes, and mailed them off. A week or two later, I received reports on both sets. One set showed an average of 0.8 pCi/L, and the other showed 2.1 pCi/L. Looks like a bunch of gibberish, except for the fact that it says if your levels are below 4.0 pCi/L, you should be okay. Yay! We passed the test! Yay!
I have read that if you live in an area where radon gas is known to be a problem, to test again in a year. I've noticed there is also a long-term radon test where you test for a whole year. They say radon gases spike up and down quite a bit, so that may not be a bad way to go.
For now, I can feel good that the levels are where they should be. And I know how easy the whole process is, so next time I do this, I won't put it off. It's as easy as picking up the test kits, opening the packages, placing the canisters out with their lids off, and waiting three days. Then, you just put the lids back on, fill out the little form, and mail it off. Its a pretty simple way of knowing if there is a deadly gas problem in your home. Small, small price to pay!