At the June, 2014 Meeting, David Vokey presented Westcon construction consultants with a review of new ASTM standards for detecting and locating leaks in waterproof membranes.
NEW ASTM STANDARD D7877-14
“STANDARD GUIDE FOR ELECTRONIC METHODS FOR DETECTING AND LOCATING LEAKS IN WATERPROOF MEMBRANES”
The new ASTM standard D7877-14 (Standard Guide for Electronic Methods for Detecting and Locating Leaks in Waterproof Membranes) was approved in December 2013 by ASTM’s Technical Committee D08 on Roofing and Waterproofing after four years in development by a task group led by Mr. Vokey.
The new guide describes procedures for using electrical conductance measurement methods to locate leaks in exposed or covered waterproof membranes installed in roofs, plaza decks, pools, water features, covered reservoirs, and other waterproofing applications.
As reported by Mr. Vokey, prior to the development of D7877, the only standard for testing waterproof membranes was ASTM D5957 (Standard Guide for Flood Testing Horizontal Waterproofing Installations), which, as its title suggests, simply tested waterproof membranes for potential leaks by flooding it with a layer of water for up to 48 hours.
Mr. Vokey noted that flood tests are expensive, time consuming, often inconclusive, and may even create a risk for flooding damage with flood testing. Further, even if leakage occurs during such flood testing, the process does not identify where the actual breach in the membrane is located. In contrast, electronic leak detection procedures can pinpoint the precise locations of waterproofing failure.
ASTM D7877 addresses the construction industry’s pressing need for a systematic procedure to test, verify and monitor the integrity of waterproof membranes using electronic conductance measurement methods that locate leaks in exposed or covered waterproof membranes. The new standard provides a practical and informative guide to the testing of waterproof membranes with both the advantages and limitations of the test methods noted.
These test methods are applicable to waterproof membranes that are electrically insulating and fabricated from materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, and bitumen.
The methods can be used on both conventional and protected roofs and are particularly useful for roof designs that incorporate a waterproofing membrane under a green roof, wear-course or topping slab where direct inspection of the roof membrane is difficult or impossible. ASTM D7877 also includes general descriptions of the equipment used to carry out this testing.
Mr. Vokey reported that architects, specifiers, membrane manufacturers, roofing contractors, warranted providers, and building owners will benefit by using the technology and methods promoted by this new standard.
About our speaker:
David Vokey is President of Detec Systems.
Members of the public may purchase a copy of the new standard at the ASTM website.