What is Radon?

The breakdown of uranium in minerals and soil creates an invisible, odorless and tasteless toxic gas called Radon. When released outdoors the gas gets diluted in the air and is not dangerous but when released in enclosed spaces like building, it can build up and become a risk to your personal health as occupants of the building.

How does Radon get into your buildings?

Soil surrounding a building’s foundations is typically higher than the air pressure inside, this difference in pressure attracts other gases such as radon into your building. Radon can easily enter any space it finds between a building contacting the ground. This can include cracks in foundation floor and walls, construction joints, gaps around service pipes, support posts, window casements, floor drains, sumps or cavities inside walls.

Radon Levels in Canada

Radon can be found in almost all buildings in Canada, as Uranium is a commonly found element in the earth’s crust. Typically, the concentration of the Radon gas is greater in areas where there is a larger amount of uranium caused by concealed minerals and soil, however, concentrations vary greatly across Canada even if the buildings are close in proximity or similar sizes. Because of this, the only way to be clear of a building’s Radon level is to test it.

Reducing Radon Levels in you’re Building

You should hire a certified radon professional if your radon test result is above 200 Bq/m3 which is the Canadian Guideline. It is recommended by Health Canada that the professional you hire be from the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program(C-NRPP). They will identify the best and most cost-effective options for reducing the radon level in you’re building. A radon mitigation system is an effective preventative measure used in a majority of buildings. It helps reduce the radon level by over 80% for around the same cost as other typical building repairs. However, the most common method at reducing radon is sub-slab depressurization in which a pipe is installed through the basement sub-flooring to an outside wall or up through to the roof line A small fan is attached which draws the radon from below the building to the outside before it can enter your building. Increasing ventilation and sealing major entry routes can also help reduce radon levels, but their effectiveness will be limited depending on how high the radon level is and the unique characteristics of each building.


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