Moisture & Air Quality

Moisture and Mould Reduction

Standard concrete slabs can come in contact with the ground. As a result, moisture can wick through the concrete and contributes to the growth of mould and mildew under flooring overlays and damages expensive architectural flooring finishes, floor tiles or carpets. Keeping the top and bottom of the concrete floor slab dry reduces these problems and reduces excessive moisture in a building which has been associated with adverse health effects, particularly asthma and respiratory diseases. CUPOLEX® provides an under slab void and results in minimal concrete contact with the soil. The unique advantage over any other slab foundation system is the integrated void spaces under the concrete slab.

There are three major aspects. 

  • Since the void forming components are water-tight polypropylene, they provide an excellent moisture barrier and the under slab void can be vented in soil with high water content.
  • Water cannot leach up through the bottom of the concrete slab. This is significant for protecting the structure from water damage, concrete wicking and mould.
  • Ventilating the CUPOLEX® under slab void space will effectively help control to reduce air pollutants, humidity levels, and temperature ranges, all factors that have been linked to human health, learning, and productivity levels.

Vapour Intrusion Protection

Even when soil and groundwater standards are met at some sites, vapours of volatile chemicals can migrate along subsurface pathways and find their way into neighbouring buildings at levels that compromise indoor air quality. Long time exposure to such chemicals can potentially have damaging effects on human health. The extent and likelihood of adverse human health effects are dependent on a number of factors including, but not limited to, the concentration of the contaminant and the duration of exposure. When a contaminant concentration in indoor air is high, it may be possible to detect it by a telltale odour, and the need for remediation can be recognized early and applied. However, in instances where concentrations are low and not readily discernable, the determination of the need for remediation is more challenging.    Source: ITRC (Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council).

CUPOLEX® having an air void under the foundation lends itself perfectly for the venting of these harmful gases out of the building envelope and into the external atmosphere. Radon gas is only an issue near uranium mining areas in Australia however methane gas emissions are more common.

The CUPOLEX® system allows Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), Radon Gas and humidity or moisture to be passively vented away from the slab. Developments built on former dump sites with high levels of methane or areas with high levels of toxic activity are particularly suited to the use of CUPOLEX®.

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