As we approach the long winter season, most Canadians will be spending more time indoors. It’s therefore important to ensure that the indoor air we breathe is healthy and safe.
Homeowners in particular will want to test for radon, an invisible, odourless and tasteless gas that can concentrate in the air of a building and cause significant health problems. According to Health Canada, radon is the leading environmental cause of lung cancer, and is responsible for the death of over 3,000 Canadians annually.
At Englobe, we have a team of experienced, knowledgeable radon mitigation experts who can help detect the presence of this invisible but potentially harmful gas.
What is radon?
Radon is a radioactive gas that forms when naturally occurring uranium breaks down in soil and rock. It can enter through any opening where the house contacts the ground. This includes cracks in foundation floors and walls, gaps around service pipes, floor drains, sumps, and cavities inside walls.
Since radon is present in all buildings, experts recommend a test to measure its concentration - ideally during the heating season – for a period of at least three months. If levels exceed Health Canada guidelines, radon mitigation experts like Englobe’s Senior Project Manager Marie-Line Côté can step in to remediate the situation.
When expertise and caring come together
Driven by a desire to protect human health, in 2016 Marie-Line obtained her Canadian – National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP) certification as an accredited professional in radon measurement and mitigation. At the time, Englobe had already been working for many years with the federal government on radon issues in Nova Scotia. When certain Québec schools were found to have high radon levels, Englobe also stepped in, working on more than 50 buildings across the province.
A number of Québec municipal housing offices (MHO) also called on Englobe's services for some 30 buildings. In the cases, when contractors did not have the radon certification, our team also delivered a variety of services including radon measurements, communication tests to prepare precise technical specifications for requests for proposals, and monitoring of mitigation work.
Given this expertise, the team decided to begin offering these services in the residential sector as well. A mitigation system installation team was assembled and other team members obtained their C-NRPP certification.
“People think Englobe is ‘too big’ to work with residential owners. But we wanted to offer them this service so they could also benefit from our expertise and experience,” says Mathieu Péladeau, Director of Operations for Englobe’s Health, Safety and Security team in Quebec.
To lower the radon concentration within a home, the team uses a sub-slab depressurization system. A network of pipes equipped with an adapted fan is installed under the foundation floor, allowing the radon to be vented to the outside.
“The residential systems installed by our team are not only effective but also energy efficient. Englobe’s strength is our ability to access internal experts in ventilation, environment and building hygiene. This range of expertise ensures we always find a custom solution to correct the situation and decrease the radon levels in a very significant, efficient way. We can truly offer the best of Englobe to every customer,” Marie-Line notes.
These projects are especially rewarding because they reassure residents and owners, and provide them with peace of mind, according to Mathieu. “We feel that we’re really improving people’s quality of life. They see a marked improvement in air quality almost immediately.”
For more information on residential radon mitigation, please contact us.