Radon is an often-overlooked hazard that all home owners should be aware of. A study by Health Canada tested 14,000 homes and found that 7% of them had radon levels that exceeded the 200 Bq/m3 guideline limit. About one in every fifteen homes in the US has dangerously high levels of radon. Radon has serious consequences for the health of homeowners and should be a top priority for construction professionals.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer with eight Canadians dying every day because of cancer caused by radon. Radon is difficult to detect because it is odorless and colorless.
Radon is created, when uranium, which occurs naturally in the soil, begins to break down. This process creates radon which can seep into homes through cracks in the foundation, crawlspaces and other gaps in the building envelope.
With tighter home envelopes, thanks to a focus on energy-efficiency, radon can accumulate in a home, resulting in dangerously high levels. Every home has some radon in it, and it’s up to you to test how much.
You can do your own testing for radon or get a professional home inspection which will measure your radon levels and test for other air pollutants in your home. Should the radon levels in your home exceed recommended guidelines, a Radon Mitigation Contractor will help you to find ways to seal your home and improve the quality of your indoor air.
Another option is to buy a DIY kit. Here you will set up the test, wait for the recommended period taking care to record your start and end dates and times accurately. The kit will then be sent to a lab for testing.
Should your home test positive for high levels of radon, you will have to remediate the situation. This may include a process called slab depressurization. Here a hole is drilled in the basement floor and a pipe installed. The radon will travel up the pipe and be vented outdoors by a fan so that it doesn’t seep into your home.
Radon can be a killer in homes where high concentrations are breathed in every day by occupants. Be sure that you test your home.