Radon Gas Barrier & Testing
What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas, and is caused by the natural decay of uranium, found in the soil and rocks on which many of our home currently rest. Although radon is frequently released into the air, it potency is drastically diluted in an open environment, so exposure is effectively limited. However, when it is able to seep in to a poorly ventilated area, such as a crawl space or basement, both of which are closest to the source of the radon, the gas can quickly accumulate, soaring to dangerous levels if not rectified quickly. As it is odorless, and colourless, without proper radon testing there is no effective way to determine whether, or not this gas has infiltrated your home. Without a specialist, determining the area in which this gas has been entering your home, is very difficult. Small levels of radon can also be found in our water supply, but as the risk is mainly with inhalation, and not consumption, this is not a significant issue.
Radon is one of the leading causes of lung cancer in Canada, second only to smoking. More than three thousand people die each year, due to cancer caused by radon gas, this is a significant amount considering how preventable this exposure is. Unlike smoking, exposure to this radioactive gas does not guarantee the development of lung cancer. With radon gas, symptoms may not develop for many years after initial exposure, and the risk of contracting this serious illness is largely dependant on the level of exposure, over an extended period of time. Because of its radioactive nature, radon will decay, and this is where the issues can begin. Upon inhalation of radon gas, it will continue to decay within your lungs producing what are known as “alpha particles”. The small bursts of energy produced by these particles are then absorbed by the lung tissue, resulting in lung damage on a cellular level. When these damaged lung cells reproduce, cancer is often produced. If you are both a smoker, and have been frequently exposed to high levels of radon, your chances of developing lung cancer increase exponentially. Radon exposure is not an issue to be taken lightly, and should you suspect any radon exposure, you should take the appropriate steps to rectify the situation immediately. Hiring a certified professional can reduce the radon levels within your home by almost 90%, and ensuring that all spaces within your home are sufficiently ventilated can reduce those levels by up to half.
This radioactive gas can enter your home in a number of ways. As it is produced from beneath the ground, any place in which your home comes in to contact with the soil can be at risk. These areas include:
- Basement Windows
- Cracks in your foundation
- Sub basements with exposed soil
- Sumps, and floor drains
- Gaps in mortar, and more
Prior to having your basement finished, it is recommended that you take the preventative steps to protect your family from the possibility of exposure from Radon gas. Having your home tested for dangerous levels of radon, should be a priority.
Although, all buildings will generally contain some level of radon gas, the amount will depend largely on the ventilation system within, how often the windows, or doors are left open, and the current weather conditions, among other factors. Home radon testing kits are widely available in many home improvement stores, and come in a couple of different varieties. There are long and short-term testing kits available, though due to the variance in radon levels throughout the year, most experts recommend using the long-term testing kit, if you have radon exposure concerns. When your test is complete, the samples are then mailed to whichever company the package states, and your results will then be emailed to you. Radon detectors, much like carbon monoxide detectors, can be placed within your home, as well, and will sound an alarm if radon exposure rises beyond a safe level.
If higher than average radon levels are detected within your home, it is recommended that you contact a certified radon mitigation contractor, immediately. These specialists will then visit your home and help to determine what radon reduction measures should be taken. The Canadian Health Association recommends that levels of radon above 600Bq/ m3 be rectified within 1 year of detection, and anything below that amount, but above 200Bq/m3 be remedied within 2 years.
AM Waterproofing Radon Barrier Coating
The most efficient way to effectively reduce your risk of continued, or future exposure, is to have your basement floor, and walls sprayed with a high-quality radon sealant. AM Waterproofing Radon Barrier, is an environmentally conscious solution to the threat of radon exposure. This premium sealant is safe for use indoors, can be applied quickly and easily, and is available in a variety of colours. Our radon barrier coating is guaranteed to provide sufficient radon protection for up to 25 years. This unique product can be used on a variety of materials including, metal, ceramic, wood, and concrete. This product is generally sprayed on, but can be applied using a brush or roller, as well. Not only will our radon barrier coating protect you from dangerous radon inhalation, it will also help to create a watertight seal within your basement, and help to prevent the development of mold growth. This radon barrier system sets immediately after its application, and provides instant protection from radon gas, and water damage. This product is highly elastic, and will remain effective even through the regular expansion/contraction of your foundation.
At AM Waterproofing Solutions, the health and safety of our customers is our first priority. For over 60 years we have been providing our customers with quality solutions to their home improvement problems, and we continue to help keep our loyal customers safe from harm with our certified radon testing abilities, and our quality radon barrier applications. Prior to finishing your basement, or planning a large home improvement in the same area, it is recommended that you first hire a qualified company to provide your home with a comprehensive radon test.