The arrival of COVID-19 has changed many of our daily habits. Some people were faced with the obligation to work from home, often leaning on the corner of the kitchen table or working from the couch. Many people have taken advantage of teleworking to review the configuration of their rooms in order to add a comfortable workspace for the long hours of work that await them. These new offices are often located in the basement – which also happens to be the area where radon levels could be the highest!
Varying from region to region and property to property, radon in homes is more prevalent than you might think. Currently, 1 in 5 homes are believed to have an abnormally high level of this radioactive gas, causing serious health problems for occupants of the property. In Quebec, Health Canada tolerates a level of 200 becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3), however, several properties exceed three times the Canadian guideline.
In this article, you will learn more about the importance of performing a radon test and ways to treat issues that may be found. Trust the experts at Groupe Durasec to implement efficient radon mitigation measures in your home.
What is radon?
The radon in our homes comes from uranium present in the ground and rock which breaks down over time. This creates a radioactive gas that is highly harmful to your health while being completely invisible to the naked eye, painless and tasteless, making its detection all the more difficult. As we spend long days at home, we are therefore significantly exposed to this gas that has been proven to lead to risks of lung cancer deaths and other health problems.
Since radon testing is the sole responsibility of homeowners, many families are therefore struggling with this toxic gas without even knowing it. In the long term, the higher the exposure, the greater the health risks. In addition, in confined spaces such as a house, the concentration of gas builds up more quickly, which increases the risks associated with radon.
In 2021, more than 17% of properties do not meet the Bq/m3 standard imposed by Health Canada. This figure will most likely increase sharply in the years to come, when one takes into account the fact that a very low percentage of buildings are tested.
How to detect radon in homes?
Radon can enter the air in your home through floor cracks, pipe fittings, windows, dirt floors, construction joints, sumps or crawl spaces, floor drains as well as taps, which can allow entry of radon-rich groundwater.
Generally, radon testing should be performed by a qualified professional every 5 years. If newer houses seem to present a higher risk to radon exposure, this is explained by the fact that new constructions have less waterproofing than existing houses, thus allowing water infiltration and other problematic elements to pass through.
Remember that only a radon test kit can detect any anomalies. To measure its significant presence, it is necessary to use a dosimeter such as the one offered by AccuStar Canada. By installing it inside your property for a minimum of 3 months and following the supplier’s instructions, you will get the exact statistics as well as a report on the concentration of radon in your home.
Based on this report, Groupe Durasec specialists will be able to develop an effective mitigation plan, which will aim to preserve the health of your family by reducing your exposure to this harmful gas.
How do you eliminate radon?
Have you tested your residence and the results are higher than the Canadian guidelines? Do not panic! Groupe Durasec experts guarantee that, following their passage, the exposure rate will not exceed 100 Bq/m3. Our goal is always to get as close as possible to 0 Bq/m3.
If your home requires work to eradicate radon, be aware that there are deadlines to be met, and certain costs to be expected that can quickly become significant. The recommended deadlines for initiating work due to a radon level over 600 Bq/m3 should be carried out in the current year, while we recommend a deadline of less than 2 years for levels between 200 and 600 Bq/m3.
To mitigate radon in your home, we select high quality materials and install them to give you peace of mind. In addition, when we finish the job, we give you a device allowing you to verify that the system is fulfilling its primary function properly.
Since prolonged exposure to radon is closely associated with the development of serious illnesses, this should convince you, as the homeowner, to perform a radon test and measure the radon levels in your home in order to preserve the health of you and your family.
*National Radon Competence Program in Canada, Radon Certification in Canada NCRP