As they was so little information available to surveyors we decided to try and undertake our own experiment. We ordered a three-month test kit from Properteco with two separate detectors from eBay costing around 35 pounds including delivery. Do not just rip open the packaging containing the meters as it will be needed later.
We wanted to find out if there were significantly differing levels of radon in two properties.
One with solid floors, compared to the other with suspended timber floors and adequate ventilation beneath.
The two properties were in Stoke Gifford one is a 1950s solid floor construction, The 50s property we do not think has a damp proof membrane present except for thin polythene beneath an engineered wood floor covering.
This house is around 100 metres away from a 1920s build with suspended timber floor with adequate air bricks installed around the perimeter. We installed both of the metres in the lounges of these properties at about 1.6 metre from floor level.
We were supposed to wait for three months.
Sadly four months elapsed before we sent the units back for laboratory testing. So a good hint is to set a reminder on your phone.
For the experiment this was comparative rather than quantitative.
The 1950’s solid floored property returned “Raw Radon readings” of around 54 Bq/m3. Whilst this is a very acceptable reading higher than the UK average but within tolerance.
The 1926 timber floored property gave “Raw Radon readings” of a lower 42 Bq/m3. So again, very acceptable higher than the national average but much lower than the 200Bq/m3 where remedial action would be required.
The solid floored property had higher level of Radon in the Building. This suggested that lower levels of radon will be present in properties with suspended timber floors than those with solid floors but no damp proof membranes. The floor levels are lower with the solid floored property with more contact with the ground and no ventilation beneath to remove radon at source.