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Where differential pressure testing is the optimum method for leak detection

Although electronic leak detection as emerged as a prominent method for locating breaches in the roof area, this approach isn’t suitable in all circumstances. As an example, roofing membranes which are electrically conductive are not compatible with the ELD testing method. This applies to EPDM and also with non-conductive decks such as timber.

Established in the 1980s as an Independent Test House, Thornton Consulting has developed differential pressure testing as a crucial step in ensuring the effectiveness of waterproofing membranes; a key component in safeguarding structures against water damage. This method involves creating a pressure difference across the membrane to simulate real-time conditions and assess its ability to resist water penetration.

To conduct a differential pressure test, a controlled environment is established within a Perspex chamber where a specially formulated surfactant is applied to the surface of the membrane.  Air is evacuated from the chamber to create a negative pressure equivalent to a head of 50 mm of water. Where the membrane is breached or laps have failed, bubbling of the surfactant is evident on the surface of the membrane.

The primary goal of differential pressure testing is to determine the integrity of the waterproofing membrane and provides valuable insights into the membrane’s performance, helping main contractors and roofing operatives to ensure the waterproofing system is watertight at completion of the project or hand over of the roof. Any identified issues can be addressed during construction or at the final quality control phase, saving time and resources with the avoidance of a costly call-back to rectify any breaches. This proven method of leak detection can be very effective in establishing the integrity of laps and is particularly useful on single ply membranes, such as EPDM, and tpo, felt and pvc in warm roof systems.

A controlled approach allows Thornton Consulting’s team of highly skilled Field Testers and Consultants to identify potential weaknesses or points of failure in the waterproofing system. This roof leak detection service is available to clients throughout the UK and Ireland, benefiting owners or facility managers of large commercial and industrial properties, hospitals, residential apartment blocks and car parks.

Differential pressure testing of waterproofing membranes is not just a checkbox in the construction or maintenance process; it’s a proactive measure to ensure the durability and longevity of the waterproofing. Investing in thorough and precise membrane testing contributes to the overall resilience of a roof, protecting it from water-related damage and ultimately extending its lifespan. In a world where climate variability is becoming more pronounced, the reliability of the roofing membrane is paramount, making the differential pressure test an indispensable tool in the construction industry and property sector where electronic leak detection methods are not possible.

Call us today on 01342 410508, or get in touch via our Contact Page, for all your electronic leak detection needs.


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