Building Envelope Leak Investigations With Thermography Testing
We have completed literally hundreds of projects with multiple building envelope water entry failures, giving us a unique perspective based on factual knowledge derived from our forensic probing/testing of your building(s).
We call this education process “Failure Driven Knowledge” and pride ourselves in providing you with factual conclusions and recommendations that are not based on theory to restore the integrity of your building(s). Read on to learn more about our water intrusion testing and thermographic testing or reach out now for a consultation.
Evaluation of Buildings
The most common and costly problems associated with the performance of a building envelope are related primarily to excessive air leakage and water intrusion, meaning that working with a building envelope consultant is essential. In particular, windows, doors, and curtain walls, as well as their interface with the adjacent wall construction, are determining elements in the performance of the building envelope. Improved standards and design principles have contributed to significantly improving the performance of windows. Doors and curtain wall systems, whether it is with respect to resistance to water penetration, air leakage resistance, wind load resistance, or condensation resistance, are also able to be improved. The reality, however, is that many buildings of recent construction are still experiencing problems with the in-service performance of the installed windows and curtain wall systems. Typically, these problems are often the result of poor installation, fabrication, and lack of adequate quality control from a third-party construction management team.
BES diagnoses performance issues: ▼
- Establishes probable cause of poor performance, via:
- Observation from the ground, from aerial personnel lifts or swing stages (provided by others), and/or from accessible roof levels
- Review of existing architectural drawings and shop drawing documents if available
- Review of previous condition studies, reports, or other relevant client documents
- Perform a range of tests and/or soundings, and (if justified) observe and conduct limited destructive analysis in the vicinity of a failure to further clarify the mode of failure
- Prepares a detailed, written, photographic report of observations and findings
After mode of failure is established, BES: ▼
- Develops procedural recommendations, details, and specifications for repair/remediation
- Performs bid review and contract administration for quality assurance during the repair cycle
- Provides site observations and written photographic reports as part of the field quality assurance program during the repair
Thermal Imaging Services
BES employs infrared (IR) thermography testing to diagnose building envelope performance problems. IR imaging can reveal:
- Undesirable airflow through an envelope assembly
- Moisture trapped within an envelope assembly
- Voids in thermal insulation
- Condensation-prone conditions
- Thermal bridges that create undesired thermal transfer through the envelope assembly
NON-DESTRUCTIVE ELECTRICAL IMPEDANCE SCANNING
Electrical impedance moisture scanning uses a low-frequency electric signal to locate moisture. BES performs non-destructive electrical impedance moisture scans to source and trace leaks in a compatible roofing systems. Scans detect hard-to-find moisture below the roofing membrane and can be performed during normal working hours. Detecting leaks was previously dependent on either flood testing the membrane system or using hand-held tools to probe the leak area. Both methods are time-consuming and may not produce immediate results. Electrical impedance scanning performed by our building envelope specialists delivers quicker, more accurate results. Moisture in a roofing assembly, if left unaddressed, affects performance, and may ultimately result in failure of the roofing system. By utilizing electrical impedance technology, scanning results deliver a relative moisture content value, which helps determine the amount of saturation present in the roofing assembly. Scans can be performed for both quality assurance, and leak detection, and are often utilized in concert with infrared inspections or destructive moisture testing techniques to perform a comprehensive moisture investigation.
Compatible Roofing Systems ▼
- Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO)
- Performance Criteria Development
- Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)
- Fluid Applied
- Built-Up Roofing (BUR)
Electronic Leak Detection (ELD) Testing (EFVM) ▼
Electronic Leak Detection (ELD) is a state-of-the-art technology that is revolutionizing the ability to detect leaks and provide quality assurance in the low-slope roofing and waterproofing industries. Both high voltage and low voltage methods are non-destructive and are performed by BES for integrity testing or leak detection in roofing and waterproofing systems. High voltage ELD is used on a dry membrane surface. A portable generator produces a small current with low amperages. The generator connects to a lead connected to the deck, and another lead that is attached to a copper bristle push broom. As the broom sweeps along the surface of the membrane, any breaches will complete the electric circuit and send a signal.
Low voltage ELD works by wetting the membrane and using a wire loop to create a conductive medium. Our building enclosure specialists will then implement probes to isolate the breach. Detecting leaks was previously dependent on either flood testing the membrane system or using handheld tools to probe the leak area. Both methods are time-consuming and may not produce immediate results. Electronic Leak Detection delivers quicker, more accurate results in wtaer leak investigations. ELD testing incorporated into a green roof design can also allow for leak detection through soil overburden should a leak develop after the installation of a green roof.
Compatible Roofing Systems ▼
- Hot Fluid Applied (HFA) Rubberized Asphalt
- Built-Up Roofing (BUR)
- Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) Roofing
- Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Roofing
- Fluid Applied Roofing and Waterproofing
- Cold Fluid Applied (CFA) Waterproofing
Leak investigations are performed on a variety of buildings new or old, including the following: ▼
- Multi-family properties including condominiums and apartments
- Commercial and retail spaces
- High-rise buildings
- Institutional buildings such as schools, hospitals, courthouses, detention centers, etc.
- Single-family residences
- Parking garages
- Manufacturing facilities
- Public works buildings
Finding the cause of a leak can be a challenge. However, our trained building envelope consultants have the experience, specialized knowledge, and understanding of building science principles, we can simplify and speed up this process for the building owner or managers. This results in determining the cause of the leak and applying the correct remedial measures to eliminate the problem.