Vapor Mitigation

Vapor Intrusion Mitigation

Effective Systems To Remove Hazardous And Unwanted Soil Vapor From Your Structure

Vapor intrusion can occur in any home or commercial structure in the world. Regardless of the location of your building, the soil upon which it rests is constantly emitting some volume of gas and vapor. Most of these emissions are entirely harmless, while others can prove damaging to both structures and the people who live and work inside them.

Arizona Foundation Solutions will develop a system to match your building's exact needs. Whether your building struggles with water vapor or intrusion of volatile organic compounds (VOC's), our experts will tailor a solution to remedy your issues in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

Types Of Vapors And Their Effects

Man-Made Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's)

Many VOC's are produced and used in the manufacture of fuels, paints, pharmaceuticals, and refrigerants. VOC's are also present in industrial solvents, paint thinners, tetrachloroethene (TCE, which is dry cleaning fluid), fuel, oxygenates (MTBE), or chlorination in water treatment systems. These compounds are man-made, and their presence in soil is often a result of accidental pollution or poorly-managed industrial activities.

Naturally-Occurring Soil Vapors

While most VOC's are potentially harmful to humans, not all naturally-occurring soil vapors share this trait. Two major soil vapors in this class are of note: radon, and water vapor. Radon gas is emitted from decaying radioactive uranium molecules in soil and rocks, and can be fatal to humans depending on the prevalence of the gas in indoor living spaces and time spent exposed to said air. Water vapor, while not directly harmful to humans on its own, can cause foul air, mold, structural rot, resilient tile delamination, epoxy floor bubbling, and even large-scale structure heave if conditions are right.

Vapor Mitigation Techniques

    • Sub-Slab Depressurization (SSD):SSD is widely considered the most practical vapor intrusion mitigation strategy for existing and new structures. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines SSD technology as "a system designed to achieve lower sub-slab air pressure relative to indoor air pressure by use of a fan-powered vent drawing air from beneath the slab." Thus, even if there are holes, cracks, or other pathways between the building and the subsurface, vapors flow downward, not upward. Thus, a well-designed depressurization system prevents any toxic vapors from intruding above.
    • Sump Pit Depressurization System (SPD): The sump pump hole is used as the suction pit. PVC pipe is run to the location of the fan. The fan applies a vacuum to the sump pump pit and vapor can be collected and discharged outside. This is a particularly strong option for you if your structure rests atop a high water table.
    • Sub-Membrane Depressurization Systems: These systems are similar to sub-slab systems, but they are applied to buildings with crawlspaces, where there is either no slab or a partial slab. A vapor barrier (i.e., membrane) that is impermeable to gases is placed under the floor or directly on the soil, and one or more suction pits are placed beneath the membrane. Like sub-slab systems, they create a negative pressure under the building so vapors do not get sucked up into the building with lower pressure than the subsurface.
    • Pressure Field Extension Testing: A soil communication test, or PFE (pressure field extension) test, is a diagnostic test frequently used in radon and soil vapor extraction. This test requires a micromanometer and several pilot holes in the slab to determine how easily air can move under the foundation. This is also used after installation to determine the effectiveness of the system.

Contact the vapor mitigation experts today!

Arizona Foundation Solutions is your local source for all things commercial vapor mitigation. Our experts have spent decades innovating new vapor mitigation techniques, reducing the dangers and damages of VOC's, water vapor, and more. Contact us today!


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