Stephen M. Gladstone, Radon Test Expert

Stephen M. Gladstone is a home inspector licensed in Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts. Holding both a master’s and 6th year degree in education, Steve is nationally certified to perform radon testing. He is president and owner of Stonehollow Fine Home Inspection and is a managing instructor for Casey O'Malley & Associates’ Connecticut campus. He is certified as a Level 1 thermographer and holds a supervisory pest license.

He is a member and past president of the American Society of Home Inspectors and is a member of the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists. In addition to serving as an international and national lecturer and presenter, he hosts Around the House with Steve Gladstone,which airs on WSTC and WNLK and also streams online at www.wstcwnlk.com Saturday mornings from 8-9.

How did you initially get into radon testing?
It is very typical in the process of real estate inspections to offer the additional services of radon air testing and radon water testing. This falls under due diligence information gathering as a contingency before buying a home.

Why is it important to get radon testing?
Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Testing and knowing that your home is safe is a no-brainer. It's easy and relatively inexpensive to test. Not exposing your family to a totally preventable danger should be an easy choice for people. Fixing a home is relatively easy, cost effective and painless.

Where is radon generally found?
Anywhere there is a potential for uranium or radium to be in the soil. The more rock in your yard, the more likely the chance. In Connecticut and New York, we find 20% of the homes have elevated readings.

Radon testing can be done professionally or by homeowners themselves with test kits. What are the benefits and drawbacks to each method?
Professionals are more apt to know, understand and follow AARST and EPA protocols, do the test properly, process the results properly and use better testing tools. Continuous monitors and electret test devices give you immediate results and are more tamper resistant. Professionals will be able to guide you through the process, advise you of the dangers and repair techniques and answer your questions. Homeowners can follow up with charcoal kits that are economical and monitor levels over a longer period of time.

If a significant amount of radon is detected in a home, what are the measures that a homeowner should take in order to rid their home of the dangerous gas?
First make sure the initial test was accurate. Weather and house dynamics can have an effect that might skew the results. So retesting may be cheaper initially than fixing but adding a sub-slab depressurization mitigation system will, in most cases, not only solve the radon problem but help to reduce moisture in the home. If the radon is in the water, the well can have a filtration tank or an aeration system added to help remove the radon before it can harm your family.

What are the most important pieces of equipment and supplies that radon testing companies must have?
Accurate, annually calibrated test devices and well-trained test professionals. Following the AARST and EPA protocols is critical to a reliable test.

What education and training is necessary to do radon testing and who provides it?
Understanding radon, radioactive decay and home dynamics is critical. State licensing where required or national certification means that person had to complete coursework and successfully pass a test of their knowledge about all aspects of radon, testing devices, house science and quality control of the test.

Do you have any advice or suggestions for people who want to get radon testing?
Call 1-800-sos radon, or call your local state radon office. To look for licensed and nationally certified testers, go to www.epa.gov; for a list of home inspectors near you, check www.ashi.org , and for specific radon professionals doing testing and repairs, go to www.aarst.org. More information on radon testing is also available on my website, www.stonehollow.com.

Do you have any advice or suggestions for people who want to start a radon testing company or get a job in the field?
Stay advised, join the local and national organizations and go to available continuing education classes. Purchase the best affordable devices, do the tests properly and let clients know radon-induced lung cancer is fully preventable.

Are you looking for a radon test or radon test provider? Please visit Tests.com's Radon Test Directory. For more information on radon, please read The Guide to Radon Tests.

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