Radon is an invisible, odourless, naturally occurring gas found in soil. It seeps into homes through cracks in floors, walls and foundations – access points mainly found in basements.
High concentrations of radon in a home may pose health risks.
The good news is that the new home warranty in Ontario, provided by your builder and administered by Tarion, provides coverage if excessive radon levels are found in your home.
Since radon is naturally occurring, it’s actually found in just about every home. However, concentration levels can vary even between neighbourhoods and even neighbours. Concentration levels can even change over time.
There is no way to test for radon before building a home or predict where it may occur, because generally, open air levels of radon are too low to present a health risk. When radon is released into an enclosed space, like a basement, it can build up, becoming a potential health risk.
Health Canada says that people exposed to radon levels in excess of 200 Becquerels per cubic metre (Becquerels are a unit of measurement for radioactivity) over long periods of time have a higher risk of developing cancer.
If you are concerned, there are two ways to test for radon: Buy a do-it-yourself radon testing kit or hire a radon measurement or mitigation professional. Both options must be certified through the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program to be eligible for coverage under the new home warranty.
Ontario is the only jurisdiction in Canada where the builders’ warranty on new homes includes radon remediation coverage. The warranty covers remediation of radon gas in excess of 200 Becquerels per cubic metre and coverage lasts for up to seven years.
Tarion continues to work very closely with the new home building industry and municipalities throughout the province to monitor radon remediation in new homes and ensure that new home buyers are aware of the potential for radon build up and their warranty rights.
Get to know your new home warranty rights before you take on work in your house, including renovations or efforts to mitigate excessive levels of radon. Watch Tarion’s video about radon and warranty coverage here.