What's the problem?
Without going into a great amount of detail, radon gas is not good for you and has been linked with lung cancer. A recent survey published by Health Canada said that 7% of Canadians are living in homes with high radon levels. Its an issue which has gained more attention in recent years, but its not yet getting the attention it deserves. Radon levels are measurable and they can be mitigated fairly easily for a reasonable cost. So why aren’t more people taking steps to do so?
It’s difficult for people to grasp the potential magnitude of a problem when it is invisible. If a roof leaks or an appliance stops working, you are very aware of it and will take steps to fix the issue. However, when the problem is not obvious, it is extremely easy to overlook or ignore. A radon test can be completed in one of two ways. For your own home, you can spend a mere $46 on a 91 day radon detection kit from the Nova Scotia Lung association. You pick up the package, place the radon detector in your home and then mail it back for test results upon completion. Done - peace of mind for less than $50. If you are purchasing a property and would like to get a home tested, its not realistic to leave a detector in a home for 91 days. In this scenario you can hire an inspector to conduct a radon screening assessment for you in four days, costing less than $250. When your health is the matter at hand, I would suggest that such tests are worth every penny.
Radon is everywhere and the homes it affects are impossible to predict. Certain areas are more prone than others as per the Nova Scotia Radon Map, but levels can vary significantly from house to house. As homes become more efficient and allow less warm air to escape, there’s a greater potential for this gas to build up. As of eight years ago, it was a code requirement for new homes to be “roughed in” for radon mitigation (a vent pipe below the foundation). A system can then be installed which is essentially an extension of the pipe and a ventilation fan to remove the gas from the property. Radon can be detected and it can be easily mitigated for a reasonable cost. Take the steps to ensure it is.
Questions about what else to look for when buying or selling a home? Reach out to us today.
Chris Perkins, Real Estate Consultant
(902) 210 1223