Do I need to test for Radon in my home?

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This is a question that is often asked during a home inspection. The short answer is yes; however there are two types of testing available, which one should you use and rely on?

The following are two extracts from a Health Canada article on Radon: 

  • Radon is a gas produced naturally by the breakdown of uranium in soils and rocks that occurs naturally in the environment. You can’t see, smell or taste radon. 
  • When radon gas escapes from the ground outdoors it gets diluted and does not pose a health risk. However, in some confined spaces, like homes, radon can accumulate to relatively high levels and become a health hazard.

Since you are looking for accumulation of the gas in your home (basement) the testing should be done over extend period, 2 to 3 months, and should be done when there is little to no ventilation taking place, winter months.  This type of testing will give you a reliable result.

The quick test offered by some home inspection services does not provide a reliable result.  If the reading is high, then action should be taken; however if the reading is low this does not mean that there isn’t a problem.  It just means at that one point in time the reading was OK.  If this one time Radon test is done during warm weather the windows in the basement may have been opened on a regular base or if done during colder weather the basement may have been aired out by the seller in order to eliminate any odors that may affect the sale of the house.  Either of these situations will give a false sense of well being to the new home owner as the one-time test will likely show low radon readings.

As a home owner you can either hire a person qualified to do radon testing over an extended period or purchase a testing kit from a drug store or home improvement store and do the extended test yourself during the winter months or any other time the basement is not ventilated.

More information on Radon and issues related to your home can be found at Useful Links for the Homeowners at Final Say Home Inspection.


  • Paul, Great job on the inspection-you covered it ALL! Thanks so much for your services – Pleasure meeting you as well! As first-time home buyers, we learned a great deal about the structure of our prospective home, and this certainly made us more confident throughout the purchasing process.

    The Carson's

  • On the advice of my real estate agent, I recently contacted Final Say Home Inspections to arrange for a pre-listing inspection of my century-old home. I was made aware of some major problems that would either have to be addressed prior to listing, or taken into account during the negotiations with prospective buyers. What was most helpful, however, was the way Paul explained how many building code infractions could be easily and inexpensively addressed. His pragmatic approach stressed the ways I could reduce the number of prospective issues that might be of concern to buyers; many of the solutions he detailed were within my ability as an average ‘do-it-yourself’ homeowner. I am now much more confident that my agent and I will be equipped to prepare an informed marketing strategy for this property and I have no doubt that I will be in a more advantageous bargaining position as a result. Highly recommended!

    Shane C.

  • Paul, Thank you so much. The report looks great and is very professional and easy to read. We enjoyed meeting you and will refer you to anyone who needs a home inspection in the future.

    Marty & Kelly

  • I recently purchased a new home and I had Paul do my home inspection. He certainly done a complete inspection of my home and I was grateful to have him as my inspector.

    The work was done in about three hours and to my surprise there were a several things to repair. I would certainly recommend him as a person that could look after your home.

    Cecile Pearson

  • Paul did an extremely thorough and accurate assessment of my new home. He took the time to explain the ins and outs of the inspection and completed his assessment in a timely manner while answering all questions I had regarding my home.

    I highly recommend Paul to anybody who plans to have their new or used home inspected.

    Thanks Paul!

    C Cole

  • Hi Paul,

    I just wanted to thank you again for the pre-purchase inspection you did for me this pass Tuesday.  I was very impressed by how thorough you were, as well as your knowledge, expertise, professionalism and overall pleasant personality.  Your services will definitely be on top of my recommendation list to family and friends.

    All the best

    M. Munroe, Ajax

  • Sep 22, 2014, Toronto

    After our offer was accepted, I was recommended by a friend to contact Paul Christensen a home inspector from Final Say Home Inspection. Although Paul was slightly outside of my area, without hesitation he made himself readily available to work with me on my new home in Scarborough. I felt Paul was extremely knowledgeable, thorough and very easy to work with. He took time to go over potential hazards that may or may not occur if certain issues weren’t addressed accordingly. He walked me through the house and helped me understand things I would not have known otherwise. Paul captures inconsistencies and deficiencies with photos and takes his time to explain in detail the areas that need to be fixed or re-visited. Afterwards incorporates all notes and pictures in a report. When asking him questions he was very honest with his responses. I highly recommend Paul Christensen of Final Say Home Inspection to inspect your home. You will feel confident about your decision and will be completely satisfied with Paul’s services. He is everything that a great home inspector should be – friendly, approachable, and most importantly clearly passionate about what he does.

    Clifford S.

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