A Homeowner's Guide to Radon - What you need to know

What is Radon:

Radon is a naturally occurring odorless and tasteless radioactive gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil rocks and water...it is present in all homes and left unmitigated high levels of radon can present significant health risks.  Testing is an important element of responsible home ownership.

How Does Radon enter your home:

Radon can enter via cracks in the foundation walls and/or floor slabs.  It can also enter through other openings including:

  • unfinished basement floors (dirt)
  • construction joints
  • gaps around service pipes
  • supports posts
  • windows casements
  • floor drains
  • sump pumps, and/or cavities inside walls                                                                             

Indoor radon levels are the result of a number of interconnected factors including the properties bedrock type, soil type soil moisture level seasonal freezing and thawing activity and the homes design, construction and use.

Nearly 1 in 15 homes in Canada and the united States is estimated to have to have an elevated radon level.  Even if you live in an area with fairly low environmental radon levels there could still be a threat of high levels in your home.

Can radon be a danger in new homes?:

New homes can also have high levels of radon.  While some new homes are built with radon resistant features, that does not guarantee a low indoor radon level.  Testing is recommended to ensure all systems functioning properly. 

When new homes are first occupied homeowners should conduct a long term radon test.  Some new homes may be eligible for a coverage under a home warranty program under the "Tarion new home warranty"

How do you test your home for radon:

CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) and the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (Carst) agree with Health Canada's recommendations that homeowners use a long term test - conducted over a minimum of three months during fall or winter months.  Indoor radon levels fluctuate day-to-day, depending on the season.  A three month test is more accurate and representative of a person's annual average exposure and should be used to determine if a home's radon concentration exceeds the Canadian guideline of 200 Becquerel per cubic meter (Bq/m3).

While short term tests exist, long term test provide a more representative annual average for radon exposure.

When buying a home a radon inspection should be considered as part of your home inspection.  Homeowners who are planning to sell should also consider it, to show potential buyers proof of a radon inspection.  This is a good idea in todays market as radon is gaining more awareness.


If you would like a referral to a radon specialized test professional give me a call today, or check the links below.



Health Canada

Pillar to Post Home inspections








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Andrew Redman

Andrew Redman

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 First Canadian Corp., Brokerage*
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