All throughout Canada and here at Link ClimateCare, November has been designated as Radon Action Month.
Established in the early 2000s, Radon Action Month is designed to make Canadians aware of the presence, and dangers of radon gas.
Now, the best way to detect radon is to have a certified professional conduct radon testing for your home.
But before you can understand the importance of radon testing for your home, you need to understand what radon is, where it comes from, and why it’s hazardous.
What is radon? Where does it come from?
Unlike carbon monoxide, which is a by-product of fuel combustion (like with the gas used to power your furnace), radon is naturally occurring.
According to Health Canada:
- Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when uranium that is found in soil and rock breaks down. Radon is invisible, odourless, and tasteless.
- When radon is released from the ground into the outdoor air it is diluted and not a concern.
- In enclosed spaces, like homes, radon can sometimes accumulate to high levels, which can be a risk to the health of you and your family.
If your home sits atop soil that contains uranium, radon gas will rise through it. Wherever your home contacts the soil is an entry point for radon, including:
- Cracks in the foundation.
- Cracks in floor slabs.
- Construction joints.
- Service pipes.
- Support posts.
- Window casements.
- Floor drains.
- Sump pumps.
Why is radon dangerous?
As mentioned earlier, radon is radioactive.
Inside confined spaces, radon is inhaled and enters the lungs. When it does, it breaks down and decays even further.
- Radon creates radioactive particles.
- Those particles burst and release small amounts of energy.
- That radioactive energy is absorbed by lung tissue.
- Cells within the lung tissue become damaged.
When damaged cells reproduce, the risk of developing cancer increases.
In fact, radon is the second leading cause of cancer (after smoking) and the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. (Source: Take Action on Radon).
What does radon testing involve?
The best, most accurate way to test for radon is with a fully certified radon testing professional.
Because radon levels fluctuate over time, it takes about three months to complete a test. Ideally, testing should occur in the lowest live-in level of your home.
From there, the collected air samples are sent to a lab where they are tested even further.
Once the lab has determined its findings, a report will be sent to you letting you know how much radon you have in your home.
How to lower radon levels in your home
- Install a radon mitigation system: This is a fan-and-pipe system designed to draw radon from inside the home and expel it outside.
- Improve ventilation: Open the windows in your basement to create a cross-breeze. As soon as the fresh air hits the radon gas, it’ll dissipate.
- Seal any cracks: Radon rises through the ground and enters your home via cracks and gaps in the foundation. Seal those, and your radon levels should drop.
Protect your home this month with radon testing
Radon gas is something many homeowners rarely think about (if it all).
But left unchecked, radon can cause disastrous consequences for you and your family (especially young children).
If you’re worried about radon levels in your home, don’t wait. Contact us today to book your radon test.