Radon is a radioactive gas that is invisible and odorless allowing it to seep into your home undetected. It comes from the breakdown of uranium in the ground and depending on where you live you might be at a higher risk. No matter where your house is located radon can build up in the confined space of your house and become a serious health risk. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer so we highly recommend having it inspected on a regular basis. The Radon level will fluctuate depending on how well your home in ventilated and how many cracks you have.
Radon can enter your house through any point where your house is in contact with the ground and there is a small crack. This includes floor drains, joints, gaps around pipes, window casements and any other cracks.
Health & Safety
As long as radon is at an acceptable level then there shouldn’t be any health issues. If the radon level gets too high and if you are exposed to it for enough time then there is a cause for concern. The concern multiplies if you or any of your family members are smokers since the combination of radon and smoking leads to 1 out of 3 smokers having lung cancer.
The only way to know if you have high levels is to test your home. It is simple and inexpensive. You have two options for testing:
- Have a professional inspector conduct an inspection. (recommended)
- Buy a testing kit and do it yourself. Testing kits cost between $30 and $60 and can be purchased from some hardware stores or online. Test kits include a radon detector that you simply place in your home. The detector after some time (3 months is recommended) has been sufficiently exposed to the fluctuating levels in your home. After the recommended 3 months you can send it to a lab for analysis. The best time to have a test is between September and April since your windows are mostly closed during our winter time.
Reducing the Radon Levels
The level in your home should be less than the Canadian guideline of 200 becquerels/metre³. If the level is higher then it needs to be reduced, the higher it is the sooner you should act.
Sub-Slab Depressurization is one method you can use to reduce the radon level in your home. A professional will install a pipe through your foundation floor. The pipe will have a small fan attached that will blow the radon to the outside before it enters your home. Sub-Slab Depressurization can reduce the level by about 90%.
Ventilation and Sealing
The levels are related to how well your house is ventilated and how many cracks there are in your house. By increasing the ventilation and/or sealing the cracks in the ground the radon levels will reduce accordingly. This method is not as effective as the Sub-Slab Depressurization method mentioned above.
Do I need an inspection for a Condo?
If your condo is not on the ground floor then it is highly likely that you are safe and don’t need an inspection.
Clearly having your home inspected is of utmost importance. The risks of having high levels can be very serious and need to be addressed immediately. In addition to Radon make sure you also get thermal imaging with your inspection. Get peace of mind and book an inspection today.
If you have any questions or need any clarifications get intouch with us today at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Your Edmonton Home Inspections Team