Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in the general population. The Surgeon General and EPA recommend testing for radon and reducing radon in homes that have high levels. Fix your home if your radon level is confirmed to be 4 picocuries per litre, pCi/L, or higher. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases may be reduced. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Air pressure inside your home is usually lower than pressure in the soil around your home's foundation. Because of this difference in pressure, your home acts like a vacuum, drawing radon in through foundation cracks and other openings.
Radon also may be present in well water and can be released into the air in your home when water is used for showering and other household uses. In most cases, radon entering the home through water is a small risk compared with radon entering your home from the soil. In a small number of homes, the building materials - such as granite and certain concrete products - can give off radon, although building materials rarely cause radon problems by themselves.
If you have a radon test that is higher than the ‘action levels’ Health Canada recommends, or if you want to lower your family’s or employee’s exposure to radon gas we will proceed as follows:
Aura Restoration Services will analyze your home as to how it was built, type of foundation wall construction, basement floor finishes, presence of sump pit, high water table, topography, size, age of building, and what level of radon gas your test showed. This information or as much of it as is known, is usually taken over the phone. It is also important for us to know what type of test you conducted including device type, length, and protocol followed.
Aura Restoration Services will then book an appointment to complete a soil permeability or connectivity test. This will show us the permeability of the gravel bed and/or soil under the concrete and find out if there are any hidden footings which will affect connectivity. This will also provide us with key information so that we can recommend the correct system for your home. Should your home’s basement or crawl space have a dirt or rock surface rather than a concrete slab there are several additional steps to be taken including installing a radon membrane before a depressurization system can be installed. If this is the case, the $300.00 + HST is the site consultation fee. Although labour intensive, Aura Restoration Services has been very successful with these more complicated mitigations.
An uncomplicated side wall venting mitigation system averages $2,200.00. This includes a post mitigation test or monitor. The post mitigation test or monitor will prove the system is now protecting your family from radon gas. We will be happy to provide you with a firm price to mitigate your home after we have completed the connectivity test and/or site visit.
Active soil depressurization has several other benefits that make your house a nicer place to live. The basement is drier, and most people comment within a few weeks that it smells different. The musty basement smell is gone. Active soil depressurization also removes methane gases and pesticides that may have been entering your home in the same fashion as radon gas.
After a mitigation system is installed the radon levels are reduced very quickly, as can be seen from this graph.
Of course one cannot always assume that these kinds of reductions will occur. Reductions need to be verified with short-term testing, conducted in a similar manner as the pre-mitigation testing.
Post-mitigation testing should start no sooner than 24-hours nor later than 30 days after the installation. This should be a short-term test to quickly determine the efficiency of the system. Once the levels have been confirmed, a test should be conducted at least once every two-years thereafter or when ever building renovations have been undertaken or major changes to the immediate area have occurred.
For more information contact us at (416) 660-1484 for a free consultation.