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Field Test Methods: AAMA 501.1, Standard Test Method for Water Penetration of Windows, Curtain Walls and Doors Using Dynamic Pressure

Dynamic Water Penetration Testing Utilizing Our XRSS 5000 Squall Simulator: Water penetration testing consists of utilizing a portable wind generator and installing a spray rack system at the exterior of the specimen. The wind generating machine is equipped with a 72-inch diameter, three-blade propeller mounted to a gasoline-fueled 110-horsepower flat 6 engine. The engine and prop assembly are mounted onto a steel platform that incorporates the trailer and lifting fixture into one assembly. The machine weighs approximately 1780 pounds. For elevated on-site use, an extended reach forklift is required to position the machine at elevations above the ground level. The forklift is commonly available and has a reach height of up to 60 feet above grade. The XRSS 5000 has a maximum air pressure differential of approximately 6.24 PSF. The spray rack delivers > 5 gallons of water per square foot per hour. The pumps that we use maintain the required delivery flow and pressure regardless of elevation.

AAMA 501.2, Quality Assurance and Diagnostic Water Leakage Field Check of Installed Storefronts, Curtain Walls, and Sloped Glazing Systems

Field Water Spray Testing: Nozzle water testing consists of applying water using a hand held spray assembly using a Monarch Type B2 #6.030 nozzle, pressure gauge, control valve, and a water supply with a minimum of 6 gallons per minute at up to 35 pounds per square feet. The water flow to the nozzle is adjusted to produce 30 psi at the nozzle. Water is directed at the joint or interface under evaluation, with the water delivery perpendicular to the face of the specimen. The nozzle is moved slowly back and forth above the joint, at a distance of 1' 0", for a period of five minutes for each 5' 0" of joint. Our observer on the inside utilized thermal imaging, boroscope or visual observation to check for water leakage.

ASTM E1105, Standard Test Method for Field Determination of Water Penetration of Installed Exterior Windows, Skylights, Doors, and Curtain Walls, by Uniform or Cyclic Static Air Pressure Difference

Field Water Spray Testing: Water penetration testing consists of utilizing a test chamber located on the interior or exterior side of the specimen and installing a spray rack system at the exterior of the specimen. Air will be evacuated/supplied from/to the chamber to create the required pressure differential, while simultaneously applying water onto the exterior surface of the wall at a rate of 5 gallons of water per hour per square foot. Our low volume, high pressure water pumps allow us to perform testing of up to 100 square feet at elevations of 300 feet while still maintaining pressure and flow. For test areas larger than 100 SF, multiple pumps are utilized. We utilized thermal imaging in addition to visual survey to document water leakage into glazing assemblies and adjoining materials and components.

ASTM E783, Standard Test Method for Field Measurement of Air Leakage Through Installed Exterior Windows and Doors

Air Leakage Rate Testing: Utilizing a chamber on the interior or exterior of the specimen, the rate of air leakage through the fenestration assemblies is determined at the project specified pressure differential induced across the assemblies. The apparent air leakage rates documented through evaluation are compared against the acceptable rates identified for the project.

ASTM E2128, Standard Guide for Evaluating Water Leakage of Building Walls

Evaluating Water Leakage: This method serves as a guide for determining and evaluating the causes of water leakage of exterior walls. Our systematic approach to water leakage evaluation is based in whole or partly on ASTM E 2128. Our investigation typically includes reviewing relevant project documents, evaluation of the available design concept documents, determination of maintenance and service history, inspecting relevant façade components and interfaces, investigative testing, review of results and incorporating all findings into a report summary. Our report summaries will provide our findings and recommendations for the reviewed assemblies.

AAMA 511, Voluntary Guideline for Forensic Water Penetration Testing of Fenestration Products

Forensic Water Penetration Testing: We use the AAMA 511 guideline to assist us in selecting the appropriate adaptations to the existing testing standards for guidance in our field investigations of water leakage in building walls. We will typically use this document in addition to ASTM E 2128 and other guidelines for additional information related to water leakage investigations.

ASTM C 1193, Standard Guide for Use of Joint Sealants, Appendix X1 – Method A, Field Applied Sealant Joint Hand Pull Tab

Sealant Pull Testing: A portion of the cured sealant will be cut down both sides of the joint approximately three inches. The sealant is then pulled at 90 degrees. The sealant should tear cohesively within itself or elongate to the manufacturer’s specified extension value.

ASTM D 4541, Standard Test Method for Pull-Off Strength of Coatings Using Portable Adhesion Testers

Pull-Off Strength of Coatings: Pull testing will be performed by securing a loading fixture normal to the surface of the coating with an adhesive. The calibrated test apparatus is attached to the loading fixture and aligned to apply tension force perpendicular to the surface. The force applied to the loading fixture will be gradually increased and monitored until either a plug of the material is detached or a specified value is reached. The load values are compared to the manufacturer’s values or values within the project specifications and/or manufacturers’ criteria.

ASTM C1153, Standard Practice for Location of Wet Insulation in Roofing Systems Using Infrared Imaging

Infrared Roof Survey: The infrared roof survey is best conducted shortly after sunset on a clear night when the surface temperature of the roof drops quickly. It is also desirable to perform testing when winds are less than 5 miles per hour. Areas containing water within the roof system/insulation are cooled slower due to water having a higher specific heat capacity than rubber roof membranes and most building components. Thermal anomalies are found using a FLIR Systems T420 thermal imaging camera, with a percentage of the thermal anomalies confirmed with a TRAMEX roofing moisture meter. Typically, these areas are marked on the roof surface for repair or further evaluation.

ASTM C1060-90, Standard Practice for Thermographic Inspection of Insulation Installations in Envelope Cavities of Frame Buildings

Thermographic Insulation Inspection: Using a FLIR Systems T420 thermal imaging camera, insulation within envelope cavities can be inspected for thermal anomalies.

ASTM E1186, Standard Practices for Air Leakage Site Detection in Building Envelopes
and Air Barrier Systems (4.2.7)

Detection Liquid Air Testing: A detection liquid is applied to the component being tested. Using a pressurized dome described in ASTM E 1186 to identify voids in the air barrier, we will apply negative pressure to the surface being evaluated. Voids and channel flow routes in the system cause bubbles in the applied surfactant that are visible during the test. This is a non- destructive test procedure.

ASTM E1186, Standard Practices for Air Leakage Site Detection in Building Envelopes and Air Barrier Systems (4.2.1)

Air Infiltration Site Detection Using Infrared Scanning: An interior-exterior temperature difference of approximately 20oF is needed for the IR scan. Indoor or outdoor air is generally moved through the building enclosure through pressurizing and depressurizing the building. Due to the indoor-outdoor temperature difference, local surface areas of the components exhibiting high air infiltration/exfiltration rates will be determined from the infrared pattern. By utilizing positive and negative air pressure during thermal scans, differentiation between air leakage and thermal bridging can be established by thermal anomalies or temperature patterns that do not change.

ASTM E1186, Standard Practices for Air Leakage Site Detection in Building Envelopes
and Air Barrier Systems (4.2.2 and 4.2.6)

Smoke Tracers Used in Whole Building Pressurization or Depressurization: An air pressure differential is applied to the entire building envelope using fans to pressurize the building. Typically, we will pressurize the building and fill the area with neutral buoyancy smoke. The air flow from air leakage location will cause the smoke to move to the exterior.

ASTM E779, Standard Test Method for Determining Air Leakage Rate by Fan Pressurization and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Air Leakage Test Protocol for Building Envelopes

Whole Building Air Leakage Testing: Based on the area of the envelope, we will establish the amount of blowers needed to create the desired air pressure differential and air flow required. Using fan pressurization and depressurization, we will determine the air flow rate through the building envelope. From the relationship between the air flow rate, area under evaluation, and the pressure differential, the air leakage of the building envelope is determined.

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