Few homebuyers seem to be concerned about the presence of potentially harmful Radon Gas in the new home they are considering. A standard “Home Inspection” does not typically include a test for Radon. Although there are quick screening tests that can be done in a few days, proper testing requires several months of exposing the kit to the ambient environment of the home.
Health Canada also recommends that the construction of new homes should use techniques to minimize radon entry and to facilitate post-construction radon removal, if necessary.
As awareness of this concern increases, more Sellers will choose to have their homes tested prior to marketing. More savvy Buyers will insist that a test be part of their “due diligence” before completing a purchase. Your lawyer can advise you on how to draft an appropriate condition to be included in the Offer to Purchase to address these concerns. For more information, refer to the Government of Canada’s web page on the subject.
As a new home buyer, we also recommend that you speak with new home builders and learn about the building code requirements in your area and how the builder you are considering deals with radon control. It is important to understand that there is no way to know in advance if a home will have higher than acceptable radon levels.
As a new home buyer, you should seriously consider testing for radon once you move in to your new home. There are some do-it-yourself test kits available, or you can hire a professional to do it. This is not a test that is completed overnight. The best way to get accurate and reliable results is to test for several months or more.
More information is also available on the Canadian Home Builders’ Association website.
If you want to educate yourself even more, there is a free Radon App available (for both Apple and Android) from Radon Environmental. It will teach you and your family the basics about Radon – health risks, prevention, testing methods, radon potential by region as well as links to further information.
Radon Gas is the leading environmental cause of lung cancer.