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. Since radon is naturally occurring, it’s found in just about every home.
However, high concentrations of radon in a home may pose health risks. 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.
For all purchase agreements signed on or after February 1, 2021, there is up to $50,000 coverage for warranted damage caused environmentally harmful substances or hazards. This coverage includes mitigation of excessive levels of radon. The warranty covers remediation of radon gas in excess of 200 Becquerels per cubic metre and coverage lasts for up to seven years.
Ontario is the only jurisdiction in Canada where the builders’ warranty on new homes includes radon remediation coverage.
Testing Your Home for Radon
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. Additionally, you must conduct a long-term test of at least three months in order to qualify for warranty assistance.
Making a Warranty Claim for Excessive Radon
If the certified lab results you receive from a long-term test of at least three months indicate that the radon level in your home is above 200 Becquerels per cubic metre, contact your builder and allow them an opportunity to address the situation. You can also make a claim to Tarion based on the warranty period you are in:
- If you are in your first year of possession of your new home, submit a 30-Day or Year-End Form.
- If you are in your second year of possession of your new home, submit a Second-Year Form.
- If you are in years 3-7 of possession of your new home, submit a Major Structural Defect Form.
To learn more about the potential health effects of radon, visit the following link:
Health Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/radon.html