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There are many reasons and conditions that cause gas to be generated naturally underground. The production of underground gases would not normally be an issue as the escaping gases are naturally dissipated into the atmosphere.
Problems can present themselves when building are erected on land that is contaminated and producing gas deposits. This escaping gas can gather inside unprotected buildings and reach concentration levels that are dangerous to the people within.
The most common gases to cause issues like this are:
- Methane: forms an explosive mixture in air at levels of 5-16% by volume.
- Carbon Dioxide (CO2): a toxic, asphyxiating gas; maximum permissible levels 0.5% by volume for long term exposure and 1.5% by volume for short term exposure.
- Radon: a radioactive gas associated with increased levels of cancer. Radon gas is tasteless and odourless and is highly hazardous for human beings hence the importance of an effective radon barrier.
Less common hazardous gases could include carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulphide and hydrogen.
The three most common occurrences of gas contamination are:
- Brownfield sites
- Natural occurrence.
To combat these issues a gas resistant membrane can be installed in order to seal all the foundations and footprint areas of a building. If the amounts of gas produced are particularly high, then a venting system is required to stop gas pressure build-ups beneath a building and vent them safely to the atmosphere.
Installing gas membranes, a gas barrier or a radon barrier is essential from a safety point of view to remove the risk from hazardous gases.
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Faldo Road, Barton, Beds,
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01582 881 942