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Everything You Need to Know About Gas Membranes

Are you building a new home or commercial building, extending your home, or converting your basement?

There is one crucial element to the build that you may not be aware you need – a gas membrane.

This quick guide will fill you in on everything you need to know about gas membranes, why you may need one, and how they protect against harmful ground gases.

What are ground gases?

To understand why you need protection from you should know what ground gases are and what risks they pose.

Ground gases refer to gases found around soil particles in the UK and Ireland, which can occur naturally or unnaturally.

Unnatural ground gases are often the result of contaminated land from previous developments, including old mines or landfill sites where waste was buried.

Ground gases can include methane, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and radon, all of which are harmful. In high volumes, they can cause asphyxiation and other health risks like cancer.

What is a gas membrane?

Gas membranes are typically made from a special kind of plastic sheet that protects from
ground gases. They prevent the gases from passing through them and into your home where they get trapped and cause a buildup of hazardous gas. There are a few different types of gas membranes you can install based on the needs of the property, so be sure to consult a
geomembranes specialist to determine which is best for your build.

When does a property need a gas membrane?

The installation of a gas membrane should be considered for all new builds, or for any
extensions or basement conversions. This is a requirement for any builds on a high-risk gas
site, so if you’re planning on building on such a site, you likely will need to install a gas
membrane.

To accurately determine what kind of risk there is on the property, you will need to either
commission a report or access a previous report. A geomembranes specialist can help you
navigate this process and guide you on what steps you need to take once the report is
complete.

What stage in the build should a gas membrane be considered?

A gas membrane installation happens at the beginning of the build during the foundation build.

They should be considered early on in the planning stages to form part of the foundation design, so it’s crucial to speak to a geomembranes specialist early on in the design stage to determine if your property will require one. Having a gas membrane installed as an afterthought may be a costly addition to your project, so be sure to consider it at the very beginning.

How safe are gas membranes?

Gas membranes that follow regulations and are approved and installed correctly are highly effective. In order to be approved, they undergo intense testing to make sure they are efficient, durable and safe to use for the lifetime of the building.

If you’re wary about the certifications and testing, you can speak to your geomembranes specialist who can explain what kind of testing the gas membranes undergo before they get approved.

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Suzi

Editor in chief Suzi Dixon studied at Bournemouth university, went away for a while to work at The Daily Telegraph, then moved back to the sunny South coast for a quiet (er) life. Bournemouth News & Info is her website and she is assisted by the fabulous Fred From France in all things geeky and technical. Hire us to make your website, too, if you like.

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