The only way to know the radon level in your building is to test. Testing is easy and affordable. Order your test today:
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C-NRPP Certified in Radon Measurement & Radon Mitigation
Expertise in Residential, Commercial, New Construction, and System Design
Based in Calgary Alberta, Servicing Western Canada
Radon Reduction Services provides great customer service for all things radon related. If you have just heard about radon for the first time and want to learn more, or you are a radon professional yourself who requires additional expertise or service, we are here for you.
We have experience in all levels of radon testing/measurement and radon mitigation (reduction) from standard residential radon testing to complex commercial buildings and fish hatchery mitigations. We also provide system and membrane inspection services for new construction. Please contact us at any time for further information.
As certified radon measurement and mitigation professionals we are held to a strict code of ethics by the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP) and the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technicians (CARST).
We understand that dealing with radon testing and mitigation can seem overwhelming at first. We are here to help! At Radon Reduction Services we love to help people understand how radon is a health risk, and how mitigation reduces the radon in your home or building. Please contact us today so that we can help to ensure that you can breathe safer air.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should I test for radon?
A: Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers (approx 3200 deaths per year in Canada due to radon-related lung cancer). Radon gas cannot be detected by human senses (it's invisible and has no scent or taste). Radon can be in high concentrations in any structure that is in contact with the ground regardless of when or how it was built. The ONLY way to know what the radon levels in your home or building are is to test for it. Testing for radon is easy and inexpensive.
Q: If my radon gas test results come back from the lab higher than Health Canada's guidance of 200bq/m3, do I HAVE to have a radon remediation/mitigation/reduction system installed?
A: No, there is no law stating that you must have radon mitigation done based on test results. This is a personal choice that must be made by you for all occupants of your home/building. If you wish to discuss the results of your radon test and decide what the best next step is, please contact us for more information.
Q: Why does the Health Canada recommended test for radon take 91 days?
A: Radon levels fluctuate all of the time based on a number of ever-changing factors (weather, wind, internal-external temperate variation, indoor appliance use, etc). The long-term radon test allows for an average over a significant period of time which gives a more accurate idea of exposure. A common analogy for this is if you were to put a bucket outside for a few days and base your region's average annual rainfall on the rain in the bucket. This would be very inaccurate. You would have a much more accurate average if you left your bucket out for a longer time period. We offer a variety of options for radon testing depending on your specific needs. Please contact us with any questions you may have.
Q: How often do I need to have my radon fan replaced?
A: The most commonly used residential radon mitigation fans are generally warrantied for 5 years. It is not uncommon for them to last much longer. The warranties are based on having the fan mounted outside the house which is common practice in the USA. In Canada, with our harsher climate, we mount the fans inside the home so they tend to last a lot longer by not being exposed to the elements.
Q: If my neighbor tested for radon and got a low result, does that mean that my house is safe too?
A: No. Every building needs to be tested for radon levels. Many factors can influence the amount of radon in a building including:
-How close the structure is to the radon source
-What pathways there are through the geology below the building
-How each house is operated by its occupants (ventilation, heating, exhaust fan usage, and many other variants)
-Gaps, cracks, openings, and penetrations in the concrete basement floor slab
-How well the sump pump cover is sealed (if present)
There have been many cases of neighboring buildings having completely different radon test results. The only way to know the radon level in your home is to test. Testing is very easy and inexpensive.
Q: We never go in the basement so do we still need to do our radon test there?
A: Radon Reduction Services suggests testing the basement even if it is rarely occupied, for a few reasons:
-Radon levels tend to reduce slightly as you go up each floor, but not a whole lot. By testing the basement for radon you get a "worst case scenario" for your home and make your decision to mitigate the radon from there.
- Living situations and lifestyles change so a once unoccupied level of a home can quickly become a temporary residence for a relative or a home gym or office.
- If you already know what the radon levels are, you won't need to wait 91 days or more to know if it is safe should the occupancy status of the basement change.
Since radon testings is fairly inexpensive, testing all floors with Alpha Track radon detectors is fairly economical and will ensure that you know the air you and your family are breathing is safe.. Alternately, using a digital radon monitor will allow you to monitor radon levels wherever you wish, with results within 48 hours.
Q: My home is old/new so radon won't be a problem for me, right?
A: Wrong. Radon can be an issue in any structure that is contacting the ground. Quality of construction and age of the building do not play a role in the possibility of having high radon. The only way to know that your building is safe is to test for radon.
Q: My home is brand new and has a capped pipe in the mechanical room that says radon on it. Does that mean I have a radon mitigation system?
A: No. All new homes (and additions to existing homes) are required by the National Building Code to have a "rough-in" for a radon mitigation system. If test results show high radon levels after occupancy, it is much easier to add an active radon mitigation system when there is a rough-in in place already. Rough-ins are intended to improve the effectiveness and efficiency (as well as ease of installation) of radon remediation/mitigation/reduction systems. To learn more about radon rough-ins and radon mitigation provisions please go to our Rough-Ins/New Builds page to learn more, or contact us with any questions you may have.
Q: I am looking at buying an existing home but want to ensure that it doesn't have a radon problem. Can I have a radon test performed as part of the real-estate transaction?
A: Yes, radon testing for real-estate transactions is becoming more common in Canada as our awareness of this radioactive soil gas grows. Real-estate transaction radon tests have been performed in many parts of the United States for quite some time. Please check out our Radon Testing page for more info on real-estate radon testing and other forms of testing for radon too.
Q: Why is fall/winter the recommended time to do a radon measurement test?
A: The coldest months of the year tend to be when indoor radon levels are highest. This is due to our houses being much warmer than the outside air which causes "stack effect". Stack effect is a phenomenon where the rising warm air inside the building causes the pressure to drop in the lower levels which "sucks" cold air and soil gasses like radon into the structure through cracks and openings in the floor slab. The pressure inside the basement is actually negative in comparison to the area below the slab, which is positive pressure. A radon mitigation system (active soil (sub-slab) depressurization system (ASD)) will reverse this effect by applying suction to the soil beneath the slab and venting it to the outside. This prevents the radon from entering the building in the first place.
Q: Can I just ventilate my basement more to reduce the radon level?
A: Ventilation is a technique that will reduce radon concentration but it poses a number of challenges. While the addition of more fresh air will certainly dilute the radon level, it brings up some additional concerns:
- The radon is still present in the air, it is just diluted. The problem has not been solved as the radon is still allowed entry to the building.
- All the air being added to the building now needs to be conditioned (heated or cooled) which can add to utility bills substantially.
- Vents can easily be closed, opened, or modified which will have an effect on radon levels when ventilation is used as the primary radon reduction measure.
The preferred method for reducing radon in most homes is through an active soil (sub-slab) depressurization system (ASD) where the radon gas is removed from the soil beneath the structure and dissipated away from everyone's breathing air.
Q: My basement is finished/developed, can I still have a radon reduction system installed? Will this radon mitigation system end up in our living space?
A: Most often we are able to locate radon mitigation systems in an area of the home that will have little to no impact on the occupants living space. We will attempt to locate the ASD radon mitigation system in a mechanical (furnace, hot water tank, electrical) room, storage room, or other unused area whenever possible. We perform a number of diagnostic tests to ensure that the radon mitigation system we install in your home will be as effective as possible with the least impact on your living space and day to day life. Please check out our mitigation system picture gallery to see how a system could be installed in your home.
Q: How long does it take to have a radon mitigation system installed in my home?
A: Generally most residential radon mitigation systems can be installed in under one day. All of our radon mitigation systems are custom built to suit your property and its exact needs. As every property is different, the installation time may vary depending on the layout and requirements of your home. Please contact us to find out more about the right radon gas mitigation system for your home.
A: Yes! We are based in Calgary but happy to provide our radon testing and radon mitigation services to properties outside the city of Calgary as well. We regularly service Cochrane, Airdrie, Okotoks, High River, Nanton, Red Deer, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Crowsnest Pass, Blairmore, Elkford, Fernie, as well as many other parts of Alberta and BC. Please contact us to find out more about having our radon reduction services performed in your home or building.
Q: I want to know my radon gas levels NOW and don't want to wait over three months for the radon test recommended by Health Canada. Are there any other radon testing options?
A: Yes there are other methods of determining radon levels other than the standard 91 day alpha track radon test. Digital radon monitors can show radon levels within 24 to 48 hours. It is still recommended by Health Canada that the decision to mitigate your home from radon is based on a test of greater than 90 days in duration because that will give you an average of your radon levels over a significant time period. At Radon Reduction Services we feel that everyone has the right to breathe safer air. If your digital monitor is showing a radon level higher than what you are comfortable with for you and the other occupants of your home, it is worthwhile discussing your options with a C-NRPP certified radon professional. Please contact us to discuss your radon test results and options for mitigation.
Q: Why is it always recommended to use a C-NRPP radon professional and what does C-NRPP mean?
A: C-NRPP stands for Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program. Radon professionals who are certified through C-NRPP are the only radon professionals recognized and recommended by Health Canada. C-NRPP certification for radon measurement and radon mitigation requires extensive schooling and examination, ongoing continuing education requirements, errors and omissions insurance, liability insurance, and to adhere to a strict code of ethics. By hiring a C-NRPP radon professional you can be sure that you are getting accurate information and standardized methods for measuring radon levels.
Radon mitigation requires a broad knowledge of building science, structure, and the construction process. Radon Reduction Services can provide nearly 40 years of home-building expertise coupled with over twenty years of radon measurement and radon mitigation experience.
Q: How much does a radon gas mitigation/reduction system cost?
A: This is a tough question to answer as all of our radon gas mitigation systems are custom built on site for each application, and every home has its own unique qualities and requirements. Average systems are usually under $2500 installed, however if there is a usable rough-in already in place then this would reduce the cost a bit, and conversely if the house requires multiple suction points, intricate routing, lots of sealing work, or has a sump pump, this would cost a bit more.
We offer free, no obligation, in-home quotes and are always happy to discuss your unique situation. Please click here to contact us today.
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Curious as to what a radon mitigation system looks like? View our mitigation system gallery here.