Radon Testing

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. You can't see it, taste it or smell it. It is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers today. Radon gas is the leading environmental cause of lung cancer deaths in Canada, and yet few people know about it or have tested their homes. Radon causes 3200 deaths per year, according to Health Canada. As we tighten up our homes for energy efficiency it reduces the ability of the house to breath and traps this gas.

Radon is naturally occurring and is present in virtually all of the air we breathe.  The problem arises when too much of it accumulates in a building or home and this is what increases our chances to develop lung cancer.  Radon can potentially enter our homes at any point where it has contact with the ground.  Radon is drawn into the home because of pressure differentials which exist between the home and the surrounding soil.  It is simple to test for radon and Health Canada recommends that every home be tested as that is the only way to know if you have elevated levels of radon in your home. 

So, how much is too much?  Health Canada’s guideline indicates that radon levels should be lowered in any home or building where the radon concentration is determined to be above 200 becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/mᶾ).  A Bq/mᶾ is an indicator of the amount of radioactivity associated with radon.

There are two types of radon testing, short term/ 48 hour test and long term/ 90 day test.  The short term test is traditional done for a real estate transaction in which the results need to be known prior to the close of sale.  The longer term testing is recommended by Health Canada to determine if radon remediation is required.

As part of your Tarion warranty, Tarion includes coverage of all new homes and existing warranted homes from high levels of radon gas. Tarion Warranty Corporation accepts the results of a short term (48hr) test but may require an additional long term (90day) test by a C-NRPP certified professional (as is recommended by Health Canada) before agreeing to investigate the claim and arrange for the radon mitigation of the home if warranted.  If within the seven year term of the warranty a new home tests at 200 Bq/m³ or above, the home owner should make a claim to Tarion for consideration of the mitigation of radon in their home.  The warranty includes all existing new housing that is still under the protection of the Tarion Warranty Corporation.


Radon Potential Map of Canada

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