Take Action Against Radon Gas!
Winter is the ideal season to tackle various home improvement projects. So, while working inside, take a moment to check for radon and be prepared to take action with Sika products!
WHAT IS RADON?
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally when the uranium in soil and bedrock breaks down. It is invisible, odourless and tasteless. When released from the ground into the outdoor air, radon is diluted and is not a concern. However, in enclosed spaces, like your home, it can sometimes accumulate to high levels and become a health risk.
It is important to understand that radon concentrations fluctuate on a seasonal basis. In general, those concentrations are higher in winter than in summer, and higher at night than during the day. In winter, in Canada, we have no choice but to live confined in our homes, to keep all doors and windows closed. With homes being built or upgraded with better insulation systems, comes a downside: Indeed, in an almost ”air-tight” house, it becomes increasingly difficult for the accumulated gas to find a way out.
In the fight against radon, it is paradoxically the good quality of the interior environment of our houses that poses a problem... Indeed, they are increasingly hermetic (for our comfort) but by the same token, they significantly reduce the exchange of fresh air with the outside, which poses a problem when a gas such as radon also finds itself trapped in a well insulated house, without any way out...
This is where corrective actions must be taken to extract radon from the house and to seal off any entry point (cracks, perforations, holes, voids, etc.) in the lower levels of the house. In summer, things are different because homes are more ”naturally” ventilated, as we are more inclined to leave doors and windows open for long periods of time, including at night (to increase air circulation and cool down the house). In those conditions, the radon concentrations will be significantly lower since the gas will find multiple ways out of the house.
To begin with, it is imperative to select the right product for the intended application. Next, as it is the case for any repairs carried out on or in contact with concrete, a good surface preparation will be essential for the product to perform adequately. Finally, always follow instructions on how to prepare and install the product. If you’re not familiar with construction chemicals, don’t hesitate to consult Sika Product Data Sheets and Material Safety Data Sheets; those documents are easily accessible on our website. In case of doubt, or should you come across a more complex situation than anticipated, do not hesitate to communicate with Sika Canada’s Technical Representatives, from coast to coast, our team of professional experts is always ready to help.
Note: All the Sika products discussed in this article comply with the 2010 National Building Code provisions for radon mitigation.