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Waterproofing integrity testing of new roof constructions

Updated: Mar 21



Roof waterproofing membranes are essential components in safeguarding a building’s structural integrity by preventing water ingress. With a dedicated team of experienced consultants and field testers, independent test house, Thornton Consulting offer a highly professional and accurate roof waterproofing integrity testing service on newly installed waterproofing systems in properties throughout the UK and Ireland. 


Clients, particularly roofers and main contractors, have the reassurance that the roof area is breach-free before the final sign-off. During the construction phase, these membranes are vulnerable to various potential damages that can compromise their effectiveness.


Understanding these risks is crucial to ensuring there are no costly project call-backs and the long-term durability of the building is safeguarded.


  1. Mechanical Damage: Heavy equipment, construction materials and worker traffic on the roof, can inadvertently puncture or tear the waterproofing membrane. Sharp objects or tools left unattended can also cause accidental damage.

  2. Deficient Installation: Inadequate installation techniques, such as defective laps, insufficient adhesion or incorrect membrane overlaps, will potentially lead to weak points in the waterproofing system. These oversights can allow water to seep through and result in considerable damage to the property.

  3. Chemical Exposure: Construction materials and chemicals used on-site, such as solvents, adhesives or additives, may spill or drip onto the membrane. Some of these substances can degrade the membrane’s integrity over time.

  4. Foot Traffic: Repeated foot traffic during construction, especially in the same areas, can cause stress and wear on the membrane. Flat roof testing prior to the installation of paving or green roof finishes, ensures any breaches are located and repaired, avoiding delays to the construction schedule.

Electronic leak detection uses specialised equipment to identify breaches in the waterproofing membrane that may not be immediately visible and would therefore be at risk of being overlooked. This is a highly accurate and non-destructive testing technique, using two key methods; the dry method, referred to as the holiday or pinhole test and the low voltage or ‘wet’ test method. The application and efficiency of these two specific roof integrity tests are dependent on the electrically conductive properties of the roof deck material and the insulating waterproofing membrane.


Waterproofing integrity testing is an indispensable aspect of new roof construction. It secures the life-span and performance of the roof, offering peace of mind to roofers, main contractors and building stakeholders, ensuring that the structure can withstand the harshest weather conditions and preserve the value of the entire building.


For more information call us on 01342 410508 or use the Contact Form to get in touch.


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