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The Benefits of Integrity Testing of Waterproofing Systems

Integrity testing of waterproofing systems forms an important part of the construction process and is beneficial for large and small commercial projects alike.

A construction site can be a busy place with numerous trades working across multiple areas with tight time schedules to keep to. Consequently, it is not uncommon for accidental damage to occur to waterproofing if not segregated once compete, but in many situations, this is not possible as space can be at a premium during much of the construction phase.

As such, it is important to ensure the waterproofing is performing as expected and is free from defects before completion of the project. Integrity Testing by an independent test house, such as Thornton Consulting, forms an important part of this process whereby electronic leak detection is undertaken to the waterproofing to locate any breaches.

Electronic leak detection is a highly accurate way of locating breaches in waterproofing membranes and is typically undertaken by one of two methods, the “wet” test or “pinhole / holiday” test. Both work on the same principle and rely on the electrical insulating properties of the waterproofing and conducted properties of the deck or substrate beneath to be affective, typically a metal or concrete deck for example.

In some roof build-ups, however, this may not be possible and where timber or non-conductive decks have been installed and some warm roof constructions, electronic leak detection would typically not respond well. However, the incorporation of a conductive primer or underlay beneath the waterproofing can change this and allow the electronic test to function in the same accurate way, broadening the range of roofs that can be Integrity Tested.

The benefits of Waterproofing Integrity Testing include:

  1. Confirmation that the waterproofing is free from defects at hand over of project between roofer and main contractor and prior to installation of finishes, insulation, paving, green roof etc.

  2. Allows efficient hand-over of the roof and peace of mind that the waterproofing system is performing as expected.

  3. Accurately pin-point breaches in the waterproofing where damage has occurred.

  4. Any breaches can be repaired by roofers and a re-test undertaken to confirm integrity.

  5. CWI (certificate of waterproofing integrity) issued at completion of project for all areas tested.

  6. Reports issued for each area tested including a marked-up plan of the test area and any breaches indicated.

  7. Electronic leak detection is more efficient and accurate than traditional flood testing, without the requirement for large quantities of water, therefore reducing the impact on the environment.

  8. Electronic leak detection can be used to test horizontal and vertical membranes alike.

  9. Suitable for most membrane types.

  10. Recommended by warranty and insurance providers of new-built homes such as NHBC (ref: NHBC Standards 2023, chapter 7.1 “Integrity Testing of Waterproofing Layer”) and also a requirement of many manufactures.

If you require further information about Integrity Testing of Newly Installed Waterproofing Systems or electronic leak detection, please contact our office on 01342 410508 or use the Contact Page to get in touch


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