If selling a home in Montgomery County...
As of October 1st, 2016, if you are the seller of a residential home in Montgomery County, the following municipal code applies such that:
"a single-family home located in the County
must be tested for radon before completing a sale of the home.
The radon test must be performed less than one year before the settlement date.
The seller must either perform the test or permit the buyer to perform the test.
Both the seller and the buyer must receive a copy of the results of the radon test."
The test may be done by the seller, the buyer or a third party
(i.e. a home inspector or radon testing company).
This requirement is contained in Montgomery County Code
Chapter 40, Real Property Section 40-13C
from County Bill # 31-15.
Exceptions such as for tear-downs and transfers can be located in the text of the bill.
Exceptions to the testing requirement also apply to homes located in:
the Town of Barnesville,
the Town of Kensington,
the Town of Poolesville,
& the City of Rockville.
Montgomery County information link can be found here.
-- Allowable & Acceptable Radon Test Equipment --
The radon test must be done using a testing device approved for use by the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Each device has its own directions that must be followed to ensure accurate results.
Devices approved for use by Montgomery County's Department of Environmental Protection include:
■ AccuStar PicoCan-275 - Charcoal Absorption, Short-Term
■ AccuStar PicoCan-400 - Charcoal Absorption, Short-Term
■ Air Chek Radon Test Kit - Charcoal Absorption, Short-Term
■ First Alert RD1 Radon Gas Test Kit - Charcoal Absorption, Short Term
■ Kidde Radon Detection Kit - Charcoal Absorption, Short Term
■ PRO-LAB Long Term Radon Gas Test Kit RL116 - Alpha Track, Long-Term
■ PRO-LAB Radon Gas Test Kit RA100 - Charcoal Absorption, Short Term
■ RAdata Radon Test Kit - Charcoal Absorption, Short Term
-- Some Clarity in Home Radon Testing from MHBI--
Note that the County code and approved regulations do not define whether a short-term test (2-7 days), mid-term test (7-90 days), or a long-term test (usually 90-365 days) should be performed.
In most home sale transactions where a previous radon test result is not known, it is generally accepted that a short-term test be performed. Radon tests performed by state licensed or nationally certified technologists require two "side-by-side" tests be performed using equipment that is annually certified as providing valid test results, and the test results averaged (if within complex parameters set by the US EPA) .
A long-term test may be performed in cases where there is a considerable difference with a previous test result or testing is recommended due to dramatic changes in the weather or with a change in seasons (i.e. switching between cooling and heating seasons).
Should you decide to perform the test yourself using test equipment purchased either online or at a local hardware or building materials retailer, we suggest using an ion detector or an alpha track detector. Charcoal/carbon detectors are affected by humidity in the air and do not perform with the same accuracy as the radiation detectors, as they absorb moisture from the air. MHBI recommends renting equipment from the local Radon equipment and compliance company Radelec, if you choose to perform the test yourself. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides a guide for home buyers and sellers that can be accessed here.
MHBI can perform your radon test for as little as $125 (if scheduled with a home inspection), and will give you the peace of mind knowing that the test was professionally performed using EPA standards and certified equipment.