HIGH PERFORMANCE RADON BARRIER MEMBRANES
The next generation innovative engineered radon barrier membrane.
Radon barriers are also known as a radon gas barrier or radon membranes. Radon damp proof membranes (Radon DPM) are also the same as a radon barrier. Radon membranes and Radon Barriers are a type of polythene sheet that when applied in or below the concrete base of a building prevents the ingress of radon gas or radon gas and also methane gas into the building.
A Radon barrier is red if the company manufacturing them follows industry standard, but they can be other colours when the radon barrier has dual or multiple purposes.
Radon Barriers are made of durable polyethylene of different thickness depending on the application. Some radon barriers have polyethylene mesh in them. A radon barrier needs to be extremely durable so it can withstand the movement of machines and construction personnel.
In high radon areas the installation of a radon membrane has been compulsory on new builds since 1st July 1998.
WHY DO WE NEED BARRIERS TO PROTECT AGAINST RADON?
Radon comes from the decay of uranium in rocks and soil. Commonly found over granite formations, it’s a colourless, odourless and radioactive gas. Extended exposure to radon can be harmful. When you breathe in radon gas, it goes into your lungs and exposes you to small amounts of radiation. This may damage the cells in the lining of the lungs and increase the risk of lung cancer. Current figures estimate that 1000 deaths a year in the UK can be attributed to lung cancer caused by radon. The risk is higher in those who have lived or worked for many years in a radon-contaminated building. Buildings that occupy land containing certain levels of radon are prone to contamination. The radon level in the air we breathe outside is very low but can be higher inside buildings.
In many cases, radon levels aren’t an issue, but Building Regulations require all new buildings and extensions/conversions to undergo protective measures to ensure they are adequately shielded from radon.
WHERE IN THE UK IS RADON CONCENTRATED?
The most prominent areas to find high levels of radon gas are in Wales and the South West of England. There are also concentrated areas in some parts of the North West England, North East England and the Midlands. However, radon can occur in any region of the UK.
The only way to know if a building has a high radon level is to have it tested. If you live or work in a radon affected area, we recommend that a test is arranged. If you plan to build a development in a radon affected area, we recommend that you test the site to determine whether any protective solutions are required as part of your construction scheme.
POWERBASE RADON BARRIER AND GAS BARRIER MEMBRANES
Powerbase® is a range of geosynthetic barrier membranes for protection against
naturally occurring hazardous gases and soils contaminated with hydrocarbons or
toxic industrial pollutants. They are also used for groundwater and environmental
We can supply Powerbase® radon barriers wherever there is a risk of naturally occurring radon gas. We can also supply other types of ground membranes and barriers wherever harmful gases such as methane and CO2 are produced by the decomposition of organic matter (such as made ground or natural deposits of coal, peat or silt) and for developments on brownfield sites which require effective gas barriers to prevent harmful gases, hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from permeating into buildings.
Typically, an impermeable barrier is designed in the foundations of the building over a ventilation layer. Hazardous gases migrate up through the soil and collect under the membrane in a sump from where they are vented and safely dispersed into the atmosphere. The principal function of the gas barrier membrane is to prevent harmful gases from entering the building through cracks, construction joints and service openings in the floor slab. The membrane should cover the whole plan area of the structure to all external faces in order to seal both the ground slab as well as any cavity walls and voids in hollow concrete block work.
ITP’s full range of task-specific engineered barriers and accompanying accessories provide consultants and design engineers effective barrier solutions and for the contractor a rapid, simple and cost-effective installation. Comprehensive CAD drawings, product data sheets, technical briefing documents, case studies and MSDS/COSHH safety information are available on our website (for registered users) or by contacting our Technical Department.