It just so happens that November is Radon Awareness Month in Canada and the timing could not be more perfect. We are all spending more time in our homes than ever before and the colder months are the ideal time of year to test for radon in our homes, ensuring that our families are safe.
Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in the ground. It is naturally occurring. Shockingly, it is the NUMBER ONE cause of lung cancer amongst non-smokers in Canada. Truthfully because of our geology, the gas is present in every home in Canada BUT you can be sure that your home does not have dangerous levels by doing correct testing and remediation if dangerous levels are found.
How does radon enter your home exactly? It can come in through unfinished floors such as a dirt cellar, construction joints, gaps around service pipes,
support posts, window casements, floor drains, sump pumps and also from cavities inside walls. The chance that your house has dangerous levels of radon can be determined by a number of factors including the bedrock type your home sits atop of, soil type, soil moisture level, seasonal freezing and thawing activity and the home’s design and construction. See the image below for details on how radon moves from the earth into your home.
The correct way to test is to do long term testing. A single test will not give you an accurate account of the safety of radon levels in your home as they will tend to fluctuate. This testing is easy and inexpensive. There are two options:
- Purchase a do-it-yourself test kit
- These come with instructions on how to set up the test and how to submit the results for analysis.
- They can be purchased from online sources, via the telephone and from home improvement stores. The cost ranges from $25-$75.
- We, and the Canadian Real Estate Association, suggest purchasing one from Take Action on Radon at takeactiononradon.ca
- You can also contact Health Canada at 1-866-225-0709 for more information
- Hire a professional
- Health Canada recommends consulting with a contractor who is certified by the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program if you choose to take this option.
- Call 1-855-722-6777 or visit http://c-nrpp.ca for a list of such professionals.
Testing should occur over a three month long period during the fall or winter months.
Should your radon levels be deemed dangerous, there is always a remediation avenue. It is highly recommended that you contact a certified contractor in radon remediation to determine and install the correct remediation system. There are various mitigation systems and it is so important that the correct one for your situation is installed. Pricing for these systems can range on average from $2,500 to $5000.
We know that many people have been making improvements to their homes in these past months and have plans to do so in the near future. THIS is such an important improvement to make that we highly recommend putting it as top priority.
Information gathered from the Canadian Real Estate Association’s Homeowner’s Guide to Radon. Should you wish to receive a printed copy of the handbook please contact us at Carole@EvansTeamOttawa.com or Barbara@EvansTeamOttawa.com and we will order one for you.