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How to build radon resistant homes

It is very difficult to predict before construction whether a new home will have high radon levels. Fortunately, preventive measures can be taken during the design and construction process.


Should Land be Tested Before Construction?

The soil can be tested. However, a strong radon source from the soil could be easily missed and many studies showed that the soil testing is not a good predictor of indoor radon concentration.

  • Minimize Potential Entry Routes for Radon

    1. Minimize cracking of the basement floor slab by properly preparing the sub-slab area and using concrete plasticizers.

    2. Use control joints in the concrete floor slab.

    3. Seal the basement floor/foundation wall crack.

    4. Seal around all penetrations of the foundation walls and basement floors by objects such as utility lines (e.g., natural gas, water, sewer, electrical).

    5. Install a radon barrier of at least 0.15 mm (6 mil) polyethylene under the basement floor slab or on top of exposed soil in crawl spaces.

    6. Install special traps in floor drains that allow water to drain but prevent radon from entering the home

  • Reduce Forces That Draw Radon into a Home

    1. Choose a direct-vent gas or oil furnace, boiler or water heater rather than a conventionally vented unit.

    2. Choose a wood or gas fireplace that is equipped with glass doors that fit tightly, if installing a fireplace.

    3. Install a balanced ventilation system, such as a heat recovery ventilator (HRV).

    4. Never install ducts for a forced-air heating or ventilation system in the basement floor slab.

    5. Pay extra attention to ensure that the air barrier (especially between the house and attic) is well-sealed.


Make Provisions for Active Soil Depressurization

The radon control methods listed above may not always be sufficient to achieve low annual average radon levels – 200 Bq/m3 or less. As a result, consider making provisions for an active soil depressurization system. It is more practical and less expensive to install the following components of an active soil depressurization system during, rather than after, construction of your new home.

Call Radon Control at 1-888-749-0770

We can help you to design and build radon resistant home for you and your family.


Area we serve includes: Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Vancouver, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, New Westminster, Richmond, Surrey.


A Guide for Canadian Homeowners

RADON: A Guide for Canadian Homeowners


World Health Organization

about radon gas:


-- Epidemiological studies confirm that radon in homes increases the risk of lung cancer in the general population. Other health effects of radon have not consistently been demonstrated.



-- The proportion of all lung cancers linked to radon is estimated to lie between 3% and 14%, depending on the average radon concentration in the country and on the method of calculation.



-- Radon is the second most important cause of lung cancer after smoking in many countries. Radon is much more likely to cause lung cancer in people who smoke, or who have smoked in the past, than in lifelong non-smokers. However, it is the primary cause of lung cancer among people who have never smoked.



-- There is no known threshold concentration below which radon exposure presents no risk. Even low concentrations of radon can result in a small increase in the risk of lung cancer.



-- The majority of radon-induced lung cancers are caused by low and moderate radon concentrations rather than by high radon concentrations, because in general less people are exposed to high indoor radon concentrations.



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