<<< back to article list

Radon Gas in Alberta 2019

Blog by Paul Thomas, REALTOR | September 27th, 2019

Radon (Rn) in Alberta – A bad news/good news story!

Radon gas is the number one cause of lung cancer in non smokers in Alberta!  The good news is that you can do something about it.  Do it for your kids!

Radon is a colorless odourless gas that is radioactive with a half-life of 3.8 days. This decay process is what makes it dangerous. There is a lot of information available if you Google it: check out this Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHoITOI1d8k   or go to www.evictradon.org.

Here are the “Coles Notes” of how Radon works:

  1. Uranium, which occurs naturally in the soils and bedrock of Alberta decays via the radioactive process to radon (we are in Zone 1 – High Risk) when it comes to radon in the ground.
  2. Radon gas seeks to escape from the soil by the way of least resistance.
  3. Houses, especially airtight ones, tend to be traps for radon, especially in the winter when houses are sealed up. When furnaces are running there is slight negative air pressure in the building and this draws air from the easiest places, some of it from the ground under the basement slab.
  4. This is why the heating season (October to April) is the best time to test a home for Radon.
  5. There are various methods of testing, and depending on the results you may want to go to the next step of Evicting Radon!
  6. Preventing radon entering a home is done by sealing cracks in the concrete slab and by sealing the joints between the foundation wall and the slab.  Cracks in foundation walls should also be sealed.  Then a piping system is installed with a small, continuously running, fan to draw air from under the slab and exhaust it outside!

All houses in Alberta built after November of 2015 will have a radon system roughed in.  This will make it easier for you.

If you want to get Radon testing done, give me a call, I can help.