What is Radon?

You may have heard or Radon recently, but what is it? And why is it important?

Radon is a chemical element which is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless gas. It comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rock. When radon us released from the ground into the outdoor air, it is diluted and not a concern. When it is in enclosed spaces, like your home, it can accumulate to high levels and become a health risk. Radon can enter the home any place it finds an opening such as cracks in the foundation, gaps around pipes, window casements, or floor drains.  Radon concentration levels will vary from one house to another and the only way to be sure of the radon level in your home is to test for it. Radon is the #1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, health affects are not immediate, but the longer your are exposed to high levels of radon, the greater your risk.

Radon isn't something that can be tested for during a home inspection as a three month test is necessary to get accurate results. Sellers can test before they sell and can include the low radon levels as a selling feature or buyers can test after they move into their new home.  Homes with low radon levels are healthy homes.  Testing is easy and can be done by purchasing a radon test kit or by a measurement professional that is certified under the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP). Go to Take Action on Radon – Test your home today!

What can be done if radon levels are high in your home? All homes have some level of radon, but some can reach high levels over time. The current guideline is 200 becquerels per cubic meter.  If your radon levels are higher than recommended then you will need to work with a radon mitigation specialist to make sure your home's radon level is lowered. Techniques that may be required are depressurization of the sub-slab, drainage or sump hole. Other reduction methods include sealing major entry routes for radon such as floor drains, open sumps and floor wall joints. Pricing and and methods vary therefore it is recommended you call around to get quotes and come up with a plan to get radon levels to a safe level.

If you want more information in regards to radon reach out and I will point you in the right direction.