The Buzz About Radon

If you are a homeowner or in the market for buying a home in 2020, it Is likely the word Radon has come across your screen throughout your research. As a home inspector, we are finding more and more homes in Alberta with levels of radon that negatively impact people’s health.

What is Radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring, odourless, tasteless gas that is radioactive. Unfortunately, more than 7% of homes in Canada have high levels of radon detected. In addition, it is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking and accounts for 16% of lung cancer deaths (3,200 annually in Canada).

Because of this, our home inspectors have placed a priority on awareness for new and old homes for radon. You can also purchase a test kit for relatively inexpensive and do an at-home test on your own. All homes have some level of radon in them, so it is very important to ensure it is not at a dangerous level.

How does radon get in your home?

Radon can enter your home via multiple avenues. Because it originates in the soil underground, it enters your home through a crack in the foundation, windows, and through small cracks where plumbing fittings exit the foundation walls. Also, because radon can enter water systems, it enters your home through taps, showers, and other plumbing systems in your home.

If you find radon, the good news is it can be mitigated! More and more companies are offering radon mitigation systems that help remove the harmful radiation from your home. These systems are often highly effective and can remove over 80% of radon. The most common system used is called sub-soil depressurization. This system works by sucking air (and radon gas) from beneath the foundation of a home and exhaust it outside.

Will radon lower the value of my home?

As home inspectors, we often get asked this question by home sellers. For most buyers, high levels of radon could lower the perceived value of a home. However, because the issue is easily fixed for relatively inexpensive, generally it does not lower the value of a home.

Learn more about radon by reading our complete radon guide. If you are looking to purchase or sell a home, our home inspectors will educate you on radon throughout the home inspection process. You can book online or call one of our home inspectors today!


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