Vapor Intrusion Mitigation
Vapor intrusion (VI) began to be researched and focused on around the same time as radon gas. Vapor intrusion occurs when chemicals such as VOCs, TVOCs and SVOCs produce potentially harmful vapor that rise from the soil and begin to enter whatever buildings are blocking their path. Similar to radon gas, vapor intrusion requires immediate attention to avoid any potential long term health effects for the occupants inside. Any building or residential home can be susceptible to VI but, most commonly buildings that were used as dry cleaners, gas stations and some forms of manufacturing are at the highest risk for vapor intrusion issues. Once a building has been determined to have a vapor intrusion issue, steps need to be made to mitigate vapors that are rising into the structure. Lifetime Environmental Solutions provides Vapor Mitigation services throughout the United States and we are eager to help you with your indoor air quality!
What does vapor mitigation involve?
Vapor intrusion systems use negative pressure to draw the rising vapors out before they can enter the building. There are two main types of vapor mitigation systems which include sub-slab depressurization systems (SSD) and sub-membrane depressurization systems (SMD). The type of system used for each particular vapor mitigation project is largely dictated by the test results, and the construction of the building itself. Aesthetically, these systems look very similar on the exterior as a radon mitigation system does. Vapor mitigation systems are comprised of PVC or metal piping, a specially designed in-line fan, and a manometer to measure the pressure. Pressure field extension (PFE) testing must be done at each property to ensure that we properly cover the entire footprint of the building to keep the harmful vapors from entering. To learn more about this, give us a call!
CALL TODAY! 866-236-1226
Sub-Slab Depressurization Systems (SSD)
Sub-slab depressurization is the most common method of vapor mitigation. Sub-slab depressurization systems are designed to achieve a negative pressure underneath the slab of the building in order to divert the rising soil gases away from entering the structure. This is done by coring a hole into the slab and removing the material underneath for a collection point. Then a pipe is sealed down to the collection point and run up and out of the structure. Once on the exterior, the in-line fan is installed to generate the negative pressure needed to then vent the harmful vapor up and over the roofline to dissipate. Larger structures or atypical structures, sometimes require more than one system to achieve maximum depressurization. As mentioned previously, the materials used for installation and the amount of systems needed, is determined after proper testing has been completed and the construction of the building has been evaluated by a professional. At Lifetime Environmental Solutions we perform all of our installations in accordance with EPA and State guidelines as well as the standards set by AARST and the NRPP in which we are officially certified by. Give us a call today for a free sub-slab depressurization system estimate!
Sub-Membrane Depressurization Systems (SMDS)
Sub-membrane depressurization systems are utilized for properties that have and open dirt or gravel crawlspace, or a structure that includes rooms that are open directly to the soil. SMDS systems are installed with an air tight vapor mat that is placed over the open soil. Once that vapor mat is tightly sealed as to not allow any rising vapor through, a pipe is sealed to the mat to allow all of the trapped gases underneath to be vented. The rest of the system is similar to the sub-slab depressurization system as the piping simply extends up and out of the building where a fan is installed to vent the vapor above the roofline.
Vapor Intrusion Risks
Once a building has undergone vapor intrusion sampling to determine if there is an issue, you may be wondering what type of health risks are associated with chemical vapors being present inside of the structure. Health effects from vapor intrusion vary depending on what types of chemicals are producing the vapor. Most chemical vapors that make it into a structure won’t cause immediate health effects, but over time you may get sick. Certain groups of people are much more susceptible to getting sick or suffering from complications of breathing in chemical vapors.
These groups include:
These groups include:
- Pregnant Women
- The Elderly
- People who are living with chronic disease or a compromised immune system