ASTM D7877
Standard Guide for Electronic Methods for Detecting & Locating Leaks in Waterproof Membranes

Presented By: David Vokey, President, Detec Systems

Prior to the development of this new standard, the only standard for testing waterproof membranes was ASTM D5957 Standard Guide for Flood Testing Horizontal Waterproofing Installations. As the title suggests, waterproof membranes were often tested for potential leaks by damming up the area to be tested and then flooding it with a layer of water for up to 48 hours. Flood tests are expensive, time consuming, and inconclusive. There is also the potential of structural damage with flood testing. Even if a leak occurs during flood testing, the process does not identify where the actual breach is located. As a result of the inherent problems and cost of flood testing, electronic methods to test membranes have been developed which can pinpoint the breach. There are both low and high voltage electronic conductance test methods in use that have not been described in the form of an international standard.

This new standard addresses the 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.

Described within the new standard are:

• Horizontal Membrane Scanning Platform
• Vertical Membrane Surface Scanning
• Horizontal Membrane Electric Field Vector Mapping
• Low and High Voltage Membrane Testing

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. The test 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.
Architects, specifiers, membrane manufacturers, roofing contractors and warrantee providers as well as building owners can all benefit by using the technology and methods as described.

David Vokey, P.Eng., President of Detec Systems, a member of IEEE, RCI, ASTM and the Technical Leader for the WK27666 task group. Detec Systems is a North American provider of membrane integrity testing services as well as embedded leak detection monitoring systems under the trade names IntegriScan & PermaScan.








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