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There is often a lot of controversy over where a Radon test should take place. There has been so much controversy, in fact, that it has actually gone to court on more than one occasion. While there is consensus that the lowest livable level of a home should be tested, there is a divide when it comes to an unfinished basement.

Some argue that an unfinished basement is not livable, so that is not where a radon test should be located. Others argue that a radon test should take place in an unfinished basement because they are used as laundry rooms, exercise areas, children’s play areas, workshops & more.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) & the State of of Illinois suggest that the detector(s) for a radon test should be placed in the lowest area suitable for occupancy. They define these areas as family rooms, dens, playrooms, workshops, exercise rooms, etc. It is also recommended that a detector for a radon test be placed in the lowest area that may not be currently used, but may one day be occupied. They also recommend testing more than one space. For example, a radon test could be performed in an unfinished basement, as well as in at least one room over a crawlspace/slab-on-grade area.

The IEMA also lists areas where a radon test should not be conducted, including the kitchen, laundry room & bathroom. They state that a radon test detector should be placed in an area where it will not be disturbed; at least 3 feet from any outside doors/windows & 1 foot from exterior walls. Beyond these, there are several more requirements for a radon test location.

A licensed radon measurement professional is fully equipped to know where to test, as well as where not to. Since they are licensed through the state of Illinois, these radon professionals are knowledgeable in the requirements set by IEMA for radon tests.

Given the choice, would you want to test your unfinished basement?

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