Is There Radon in Your Home?

Radon has been linked to health problems and is impossible to notice without the right equipment. Here's how to test and get rid of radon levels in your home.

Is There Radon in Your Home?

Get to know radon

  • Radon is a colorless, tasteless and odourless gas released into the atmosphere from the natural decay of radium, a radioactive element found in nearly all soils.
  • Because it's a gas, it seeps upwards from the ground and migrates into homes through cracks, joints and other openings in your home.
  • If your home isn't properly ventilated, radon can accumulate to become a health hazard.
  • Since radon can't be seen, tasted or smelled, it can get into your home undetected.
  • Breathing high levels of radon over a long period is believed to increase the human risk of some types of cancer, including lung cancer.

Learn how to detect radon

  • To test a home for radon, purchase an EPA-approved or certified test kit, or hire a professional company.
  • If high radon levels are reported in your neighbourhood, it's imperative you get a test performed as soon as possible.
  • The most common radon test uses a small charcoal canister. Leave it open for a few days in your home, then send it to a lab for evaluation.
  • If the initial test reveals high levels of radon, have the company perform another test over a longer term to better assess your situation.

How to deal with radon

  • Start by sealing radon entry points, which are the same places that water tends to seep in.
  • Caulk around pipes and patch cracks in basement floors.
  • Install a tight-fitting cover for your sump pump and cover leaky basement walls with waterproof sealer.
  • You may have to increase your home's ventilation, perhaps by installing a whole-house fan.
  • If these simple measures do not reduce the radon level, call a professional. They may recommend installing a complex mechanical ventilation system.

Radon is possibly dangerous and undetectable by human senses, so it's important to have your home tested. If you do have high radon levels, be sure to follow these steps to try and reduce the radon levels, and test again. If the problem persists, call a professional.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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