Not many homeowners know about the dangers of radon as it rarely makes the news. But like carbon monoxide, radon is an odorless, colourless gas. However, it’s effects are more slow-moving than carbon monoxide because it’s radioactive – and it’s the second-leading cause of lung cancer in Canada.
Radon occurs naturally in soil, but becomes dangerous when trapped in enclosed spaces like homes. Cracks in foundation, floor drains and gaps around service pipes can all lead to radon entering a house, but it’s difficult to judge whether or not a home could be at risk because the amount of radon can vary significantly depending on the area – even from one home to the next.
If you’re concerned, it’s possible to buy DIY radon detecting kits from home stores, as well as to hire a professional to test a home for radon before you buy.