Water Testing Misconceptions: Fenestration Product Certification Vs. Forensic Investigation of Building Leaks

March 30, 2012
Publication: Proceedings from the 27th RCI International Convention and Trade Show, March 15-20, 2012 - Dallas, Texas
Author(s): Buchberg, Brandon S. Francesco Spagna

Abstract: One of the primary goals of a building envelope leak investigation is to trace sources of leaks. National testing standards certify newly installed fenestration products for compliance with specified performance criteria. While these standards can be adapted and used with building envelope leak investigations, water testing for the purpose of tracing leaks should be based on physical evidence, experience, and engineering judgment rather than on guidelines for product certification. Investigators and other professionals often mistakenly apply guidelines for product certification testing during building envelope leak investigations, misunderstand the purpose of accepted test devices (such as the applicable water spray volume), and apply inappropriate test procedures. The speakers will provide an overview of fenestration product certification. Through a study of testing standards and building leak investigations, they will differentiate between test methods appropriate for fenestration product certification and those applicable to building envelope leak investigations.