A surveyor will not conduct a test for Radon during a pre purchase survey. The reason for this is a Radon test requires 3 months to conduct and then several more weeks for the samples to be sent for lab testing and get results.
So it's not possible for a Radon test to be conducted during the course of a pre-purchase survey.
How do you test a home for Radon?
A Radon test is conducted by leaving 2 small puck shaped devices in your home for 90 days. During the course of the 90 days, the material in the devices will slowly absorb Radon gas which is in the home.
After 90 days, the devices are returned to a lab for testing and based on the amount of Radon the devices have absorbed, they will be able to tell the levels of Radon gas in the home.
The results will then be sent to you and will inform you if the levels of Radon are above or below the safe level for humans.
If they are high, you'l then be able to discuss works to install a Radon sump, or other method, of drawing the Radon gas away from the home with a suitable contractor.
Checking the Radon Risk in an area
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintain a Radon map for Ireland. You can search using the Eircode of a property and the map will tell you the level of risk for homes in the area to contain high levels of Radon. The 3 risk levels are:
1 in 20 homes (lowest)
1 in 10 homes
1 in 5 homes (highest risk).
It should be noted that even if a property is in a high risk area, any risk can be mitigated once an appropriate Radon barrier is present in the home. This is a barrier added during the construction of home which prevents Radon gas from entering the home via the foundations.
However, it is possible that this barrie can fail over time and so it is still advisable to have your home tested for Radon.
Who should test their home for Radon?
Everyone, regardless of risk area, should have their homes tested for Radon. In particular this should be done shortly after you move into a new home.
A Radon testing kit can cost as little as €50 form companies like Alpha Radon. There is a very high possibility that the test will simply confirm the levels of Radon in the home are at safe levels, but having that peace of mind is vital to for the long term health of your and your family.
Visit the EPA
To search the Radon Maps, you can click here --> https://gis.epa.ie/EPAMaps/Radon?&lid=EPA:RadonRiskMapofIreland Then for more information on Radon and it's risks, visit epa.ie