Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is present everywhere in our environment. It is created by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water.
When radon is released into the outdoor environment it mixes with air and remains at a low risk level.
It’s a different story when it enters an enclosed space such as your home. There it can reach levels of concentration that are of real concern
Radon is a known human “Class A” carcinogen. The gas and its decay products have been directly linked to lung cancer. Smokers or those exposed to second-hand smoke are at much greater risk.
“Radon is likely our leading environmental cause of cancer mortality in the United States. During the past 50 years, over a million people have died nationwide from radon-related lung cancer.” (Testimony from R. William Field, University of Iowa professor of occupational and environmental health and epidemiology to President’s Cancer Panel in 2010.)
The only way to find out if your home has a radon problem is to measure the level inside it.
For the majority of real estate transactions, a 91-day test is out of the question due to time constraints. To determine a possible recommendation for mitigation, we deploy the Sun Nuclear 1029 continuous monitor which provides a continuous reading every half hour of radon levels, barometric pressure, temperature and humidity. By studying the correlation between these forces, we can project a possible recommendation for mitigation with accuracy. This monitor is also useful for pre and post mitigation measurements as it can easily show the effect of a mitigation system on radon levels and moisture (mitigation systems such as Active Soil Depressurization generally have a favourable effect on moisture within the home). Closed house conditions must be met for a minimum of 48 hours. The unit is deployed and retrieved by a certified radon measurement provider and a report is submitted via email or Canada Post. Upon special request, we can provide a full report at the job site at the time of retrieval.
Active Soil Depressurization (ASD)
The most popular method of mitigation, ASD systems can be applied to slab-on-grade, full basement or crawl space construction. A properly designed and installed ASD system will not only mitigate radon levels, it will generally lower moisture levels as well. This helps with any existing mold/mildew issues and can even eliminate the need for the daily “emptying of the dehumidifier” so many of us go through in our maritime climate. Our objective for mitigation is to lower radon levels to below 100 bq/m3. We use only Schedule 40 PVC in our systems for strength and weather resistance. ASD systems include diagnostics prior to install and pre/post-install radon testing with a continuous radon monitor.
Heat Recovery Ventilation Systems (HRV)
Another method of reducing radon levels is by dilution. Exhausting stale interior air while bringing in fresh air dilutes radon. As the half-life of radon is 3.8 days, there is a good chance it can be exhausted before it decays down to the more dangerous poloniums. While this method is generally not as effective as Active Soil Depressurization, it can be suitable for those wishing to lower levels slightly.
As more families try to maximize their living spaces, more time is spent in our basements. With the drive for energy efficiency sealing up buildings and homes, your can create an environment with little or no air movement. Installation of an HRV system makes sense in any home as the benefit of constant fresh air creates a healthier environment.
HRV systems should be balanced and maintained on a regular schedule. An unbalanced system can result in interior depressurization, drawing radon and other soil gasses into the home.
We offer specification, design, installation and maintenance of HRV systems to help mitigate indoor pollutants.
Cited From Source Below: The Lung Association. “Radon Atlantic.” Making homes healthier. (2010)