There are many things about a home’s condition that even a first time home buyer naturally considers before the deed is signed.
Water damage, structural integrity, faulty wiring, cracks, stains and warped surfaces are all things to consider. Air quality is rarely at the forefront of a homebuyer’s mind, but it should be and radon is the reason for it.
Radon is a radioactive gaseous result of uranium breaking down into soil, water or rock and it can enter the home through cracks and holes in the foundation, sump pumps, floor drains and other entry points. According to Health Canada, radon is second only to smoking as the leading cause of lung cancer. Like carbon monoxide, radon is tasteless, odourless and invisible.
A study by Health Canada in 2009 found about 7% of Canadian homes have a high level of radon.
Owing to the health effects of heavy levels of radon, officials recommend that a home be tested before or just after moving in. Home owners can hire a qualified home inspector to conduct a test. If a test indicates high levels, home owners are advised to consult a professional radon mitigation service, to determine how to rectify the situation.
Typical costs to reduce the concentration of radon gas is between $500 – $3000, and a one – time test kit is about $30, which contains instructions on the test and how and where to send the kit to a laboratory for analysis. The kits are available at hardware stores or online.
Some certified radon professionals also sell electronic continuous radon monitors, which show weekly and monthly average concentrations on a digital display.
Here are a few links for Canadians trying to locate a do it yourself test kit.
The David Suzuki Foundation has some great information and recommendations in their foundation report.
It may be well worth your time to have your home tested just to be sure you are not exposing your family to future health problems.
Jim McLachlin, Broker