Test for Radon
The only way to know if your home has radon is to test for it. You can’t see, smell, or taste radon.
To test for radon you buy a radon detector from your local Lung Association or your local hardware store. Just be sure to get a long-term radon test.
Follow the instructions that come with your radon test.
In general, you:
- Put the test device on the lowest level of your house that you use regularly (the level where you spend four hours a day or more). This could be your basement or your main floor.
- Make sure the test device is in a safe place, where it won’t get knocked over.
- Leave the test device in place for at least three months.
- Mail the test device to the company’s laboratory. The test will come with a mailing label and package. All you have to do is put the test device in the package and drop it in a post box.
- The company will analyze test device in their laboratory and mail you the results.
When should I test for radon?
It’s best to test for radon over the winter months, when there is less ventilation (less air movement) in your home.
Radon Test Results
What you do depends on how much radon there is. Radon is measured in becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3).
- If your home’s radon level is less than 200 Bq/m3, Health Canada radon guidelines say that no action is required. However, even low levels of radon can be harmful. It’s a good idea to try to lower your home’s radon level as much as possible, even if it’s already below 200 Bq/m3.
- If your home’s radon level is between 200 and 600 Bq/m3, you should repair your home in the next two years.
- If your home’s radon level is over 600 Bq/m3, you should repair your home within one year.
Reduce Radon Levels in Your Home
To lower the radon level, you need to hire a contractor to:
- Figure out where the radon is coming in
- Ccomplete repairs to block it from coming in
Radon can come into your home through: sump pumps, cracks in foundations, spaces around pipes, unfinished floors, and other places. To solve your radon problem, you need an expert to find out where exactly the radon is getting in. A trained contractor with experience in radon mitigation (radon repairs) can examine your home, find where the radon is seeping in, and make the necessary repairs.
Find a Trained Contractor with Experience in Radon Mitigation
You should hire an experienced, reputable contractor to mitigate your home. Contact Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program at 1 800 269-4174 or on the website for a list of certified service providers who can help reduce the level of radon in your home.
Are there any grants or programs that cover the cost of radon testing or mitigation (repairs)?
No, unfortunately. We are not aware of any grants to cover the cost of radon testing or mitigation.
What if I rent my home? Can I ask my landlord to test for radon?
We do not know of any specific laws that force private landlords to test for radon or make repairs. If you rent, you could ask your landlord to test for radon. If your landlord refuses, you could try testing for radon yourself. After you get the results, share them with the landlord. If the results say your rental home does have a high level of radon, ask your landlord to hire a radon mitigation contractor.
Get More Information on Radon
To learn how to fix a radon problem, visit Health Canada’s web pages on radon.