Renovations ~ Carpentry

p: 905-682-2216
c: 905-348-2216

43 Lakeshore Rd.
St.Catharines, ON
L2N 2T2

Radon: What is it and why we should be concerned.

We all have smoke detectors in our homes and some even have carbon monoxide detectors as well to monitor the air quality, but there is an ever increasing awareness about radon gas levels. This is why we should be just as diligent in monitoring these levels as well.

What is radon? It is a colourless, odourless, radioactive gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in the soil. This occurs naturally all around us and if it is outdoors, it naturally diffuses in the air and causes us no problems. The issue is when it escapes the soil and enters our homes. It usually enters our homes through small cracks in the concrete walls and floor, through sump pump pits and through crawlspaces (especially those with dirt floors).

In former times this was not such a big deal since houses, then, were not sealed from the elements as well and the gas would still dissipate enough not to cause a problem. These days, with the emphasis on being weather and air tight, this is becoming a larger issue. Now, every home has some exposure to radon, but it is when the readings are higher than recommended that it should be addressed. The recommended readings should not be more than 200 bq/m3 (becqurels/square metre). This of course should be done by testing the air.

A number of do it yourself testing kits are available but the instructions are quite specific and the exact sequence of testing is also important. To get a more accurate reading a registered and certified professional should be contacted.

If you do find elevated readings and decide to do something about it, the testing company should be able to guide you as to the best way to deal with the problem and a skilled contractor should be able to address the fixes to allow you to live worry free again.