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Vapor Intrusion Mitigation Milwaukee

Vapor Intrusion in Commercial Properties in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Simply put, vapor intrusion is a process by which chemicals in soil or groundwater, especially Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) migrate to indoor air above a contaminated site.

VOC’s tend to be more common with commercial building properties. This is because the most typical source of VOC’s comes from chemicals that may have been spilled, dumped or perhaps leaked from an underground storage tank. These spilled or dumped chemicals can saturate the soil and groundwater underneath a commercial property. Over time, these chemicals easily evaporate into the air.

In the case where there’s a building over a contaminated area, VOC’s that evaporate from polluted soil and groundwater find their way through gaps and cracks in the foundation of a building. When these pollution gasses move from air spaces in the soil to the indoor air, it is known as vapor intrusion.

Common forms of VOCs

VOCs can be found in things like petroleum. For example, gasoline, diesel fuels or solvents used for industrial cleaning and/or used in dry cleaning are sources of VOCs.

On a smaller scale, VOCs can also be found in everyday household products. Some of these products include; paint, paint strippers and thinners, glues, stored fuels, and aerosol sprays. New carpeting or furniture and even things like cigarette smoke all contain VOCs as well.

Commercial Vapor Intrusion Mitigation Milwaukee, WI

There are two primary ways to mitigate vapor intrusion.

The first way is called sub-slab depressurization which involves connecting a fan to a suction pit dug out below the slab or foundation. This creates a negative pressure and allows the system to vent the VOCs outdoors from a safe distance from the building.

A second method is called building over-pressurization which involves modifying the building’s heating, ventilation and/or air-conditioning system(s). This is done to increase the overall indoor air pressure, relative to the sub-slab area. This particular method tends to be used for office buildings and other large structures.

The Benefit of Mitigating Vapor Intrusions

Milwaukee, Wisconsin vapor intrusion mitigation systems reduce health risks in Milwaukee commercial buildings where chemical vapors from contaminated soil and/or groundwater may be inhaled by people spending time inside such commercial facilities.

In some cases, a vapor intrusion mitigation system may be installed as a proactive solution or a precautionary measure to prevent vapor intrusion in the future. Installing a vapor intrusion system while the commercial property is still under construction is usually significantly more economical from a cost standpoint and less disruptive than waiting until construction is complete.

As a beneficial byproduct of installing a vapor intrusion mitigation system, the commercial building will also have less moisture, mold and mildew. This is a result of the depressurization pulling damp or moist air from beneath the slab.