Radon Gas Protection Membranes: Essential for Safe Construction

Published On: Categories: Construction

Starting a new construction project is an exciting time, but it’s important to consider potential environmental hazards like radon gas. This blog post will explore what radon is, why it’s important to consider during construction, and how radon gas protection membranes can help safeguard your building and the health of its occupants.

What is Radon Gas?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that forms from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rock. It’s colorless, odorless, and tasteless, making it difficult to detect without proper testing. Radon gas can seep into buildings through cracks in the foundation, crawl spaces, or even through the water supply. While radon gas levels are typically low outdoors, they can become concentrated in enclosed spaces, posing a health risk.

Why Should You be Concerned About Radon?

  • Exposure to high levels of radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers according to UK Health Security Agency.

  • Radon mitigation techniques, like installing a radon gas protection membrane during construction, can significantly reduce radon gas levels within a building.

UK Radon Maps and Risk Assessment:

To help assess radon risk in any construction project, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has developed a valuable resource: the UK Radon Map.

  • A Tool for Informed Decisions: This interactive tool allows you to search by postcode or address to estimate the likelihood of exceeding the Action Level for radon in your building. The Action Level is the concentration of radon gas that indicates a need for mitigation measures. The map utilizes color coding, with darker areas signifying a higher probability of exceeding the Action Level. It’s important to note that the map is intended for standard ground-level structures and doesn’t apply to basements, cellars, or underground buildings, which inherently have a greater chance of elevated radon levels.

  • Taking Action: If the UK Radon Map raises concerns about potential radon risk in your project, further investigation might be necessary. The UKHSA offers resources for radon measurement. Radon measurement packs can be purchased to determine the yearly average radon level within a specific location. Based on the results, you can decide if mitigation strategies are necessary. These strategies may include installing a radon gas protection membrane during construction or employing subfloor depressurization systems in existing buildings.

Radon gas protection membranes are a crucial element in safeguarding buildings from harmful gas ingress. These high-performance membranes act as a barrier, preventing radon gas from seeping into the building from the surrounding soil. Here at Kenward, we recommend Juta’s Titantech GP®2 as a reliable radon gas protection membrane solution. This multi-layered, low-density polyethylene membrane is reinforced with a polypropylene grid for added strength and durability.

Key benefits of Titantech GP®2:

  • Multi-functional protection: In addition to radon gas, GP®2 offers protection against low levels of methane, carbon dioxide, and moisture vapor.
  • Durability and performance: The reinforced design ensures long-lasting performance and resistance to tears or punctures during construction.
  • Compliance and accreditation: GP®2 is independently tested and meets all relevant building codes and regulations.

 How Can Radon Gas Protection Membranes Help?

Where are Radon Gas Protection Membranes Used?

The use of radon gas protection membranes is advisable in any area with even low levels of suspected radon gas. The GP®2 membrane is suitable for situations as outlined in CIRIA C665 SITUATION 2. For heavily contaminated sites, additional mitigation measures like venting systems might be necessary.

Radon gas is a real concern in the construction industry. By understanding the risks and incorporating radon gas protection membranes into the construction process, you can significantly reduce the risk of radon exposure and create a safer, healthier living environment.

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