The level of radon is measured in Becquerels. Health Canada recommends that any home with higher than 200 Bq/m3 take measures to remediate or fix their home.
Sometimes the fix is as simple as sealing cracks in the walls or covering open sump holes. If the levels are very high a certified radon mitigation contractor would have to be hired to install an Active Soil Depressurization System. This is a more complex fix but it basically acts like a large filter where a hole is drilled in your basement floor and a pipe is installed with a fan that draws the radon gas from under your house and pushes it outside. Once it is outside it will dissipate in the air to safe levels.
How do I find a contractor that is certified in radon mitigation?
To help provide you with the most effective radon reduction solution you should consult with a radon mitigation professional. There is a link on the Take Action on Radon website with a list of contractors in our area. You can also find a list of certified radon mitigation professionals on the Canadian - National Radon Proficiency Program website.
How much does it cost to fix my home?
The cost depends on the size and design of a home and the radon reduction methods that are needed. It can be as low as a few hundred dollars to up to $2,500.
Do I have to retest after the problems are fixed?
Yes, you should definitely test to make sure that the radon levels have been reduced to below 200 bq. In fact, it is a good idea to test your home every few years since we know that the levels can change naturally.
If I am building a new house, are there any building codes for radon protection?
The National Building Code includes requirements for a radon rough-in for a future exhaust system should it become necessary. But currently Ontario has not adopted this measure into our building code. Some local municipalities have started to add radon mitigation into the local building codes. The hope is that Ontario will adopt the national codes in the near future which means that municipalities will also have to adopt it into their codes.
Will High Levels of Radon Affect the Value of my House?
If high radon levels are detected, it can most often be successfully lowered at a cost which is usually small when compared to the value of the house. Like regular maintenance, fixing the problem may in fact protect the value of your home and more importantly it will protect the health of you and your family.