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Radon Testing

What is Radon?

Radon is a colorless, odourless, tasteless radioactive gas that is naturally occurring in the soil and is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking for smokers, according to Health Canada and the Quebec Lung Association. It comes from the decay (breakdown) of uranium in the soil. When radon is released from the soil and diluted with the outdoor air it is not a concern. However in a closed space such as a house the concentration can build to a high level and become a risk to your family's health.

How does Radon get into your home?Think of your house as one big chimney, hot air from the lower part the basement rises to the upper levels. This rise of hot air creates a negative pressure in your house causing outside air or gases to be drawn in. Since Radon is naturally present in the soil, it can be drawn in through openings in the basement such as cracks in the foundation walls and slab, gaps around the foundation wall, openings for pipes and electrical wires, floor drains, sump pits and the like.

Should you be concerned about Radon?Radon is only a concern if it builds up to a high level in your home. Since a house is fairly sealed, the concentration of Radon can increase over time. The current Canadian guideline for indoor house concentrations is 200 Becquerels per cubic meter. A Becquerel is a measure of radioactivity. Canadian guidelines suggest that actions should be taken to reduce the Radon concentration for any level above 200 Bq/m3.

Radon Measurement
How can I find out the level of Radon in my home?The only way to know the amount of Radon in your home is to perform a measurement. Health Canada suggest a minimum test time of 3 months preferably between the months of October and April when all windows are closed and the home is heated. The longer the testing period, the more accurate the measurement will be. Certain situations require short term tests such as a real estate transaction. In this case, a 2 to 7-day test can be performed to get an initial indication of Radon levels. The test should be followed by a long term test to confirm the results.

Radon Mitigation
How can Radon levels de reduced in my home? Radon concentration can be reduced to a very low level. In the significant majority of cases, it is achieved by sealing all entry points and creating a negative pressure underneath the basement slab using a specialized fan that will evacuate the Radon gases outside. The objective is to reduce Radon concentrations to safe levels using the smallest fan possible.

Radon Removal How can QuebecSpec help you?QuebecSpec is NEHA certified (National Environmental Health Association,), an association recognized by Health Canada for both the measurement and the mitigation of Radon. We offer a complete set of services including the measurement of indoor radon levels, the elaboration of mitigation methods and the deployment of mitigation systems.

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