ASTM E1105 Field determination of water penetration – windows, doors, curtain walls.  

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Use of the E1105 – Field determination water penetration testing standard allows a testing agency to perform standardized tests. Most doors, windows, curtain walls, and skylights come as a complete assembly. These assemblies are installed in-home or building as a single unit.

Window water intrusion testing

As necessary or desirable as these are for most buildings, they create an inevitable weak spot in your environmental envelope. In other words, they become a potential leak point if not installed correctly.

In fact, they can serve as a leak point even if they are installed correctly. Much like a motor vehicle or any other pre-assembled object. There is no absolute guarantee that the assembly was absolutely perfect. Imperfections in the assembly method or any component can cause leaks under variable pressure conditions.

Of course, manufacturers run laboratory tests to determine assembly specifications, such as whether a particular assembly will perform under “normal” conditions. Unfortunately, the weather patterns across the US cover a staggering range of temperature variability, wind speeds, humidity, and atmospheric pressure.

After all, the conditions at ground level in Los Angeles are quite different than the conditions in Denver, which is almost a mile higher in altitude. In order to understand if an assembly will perform properly in your building, you need field water penetration testing. Our testing can perform these tests for you on-site with the use of specialized equipment like calibrated spray rack systems and thermography.

Preliminary Examination

E1105 Field determination water penetration testing
Initially, prior to testing, we will conduct a preliminary visual exam of the assembly. This preliminary examination allows us to note any obvious signs of damage, stress or failure before we conduct any physical testing of the unit. If we spot signs of wear and tear or stress that indicate the assembly is compromised and likely to allow water leakage, its brought to your attention immediately.

Assuming the assembly is in proper working order, we’ll test its basic functions, such as opening, closing, and latching. We will also examine the surrounding wall or roof and ensure the assembly was installed properly in accordance with ASTM E2112. All observations will be noted in the final report. The E1105 – Field determination water penetration testing windows, doors curtain walls report.

Testing Equipment

Los Angeles water intrusion testing equipment

Penetration testing of this sort requires specific kinds of equipment. In most cases, it calls for a test chamber that mounts on the interior side of the assembly. Essentially, this chamber isolates the assembly from the rest of the building interior but leaves joints and surfaces clear for observation.

We also use an air control system to maintain the appropriate level of constant air pressure for the duration of the test. A separate pressure measurement device lets us monitor the pressure difference between the ambient air pressure and the internal test chamber pressure.

A water spray grid is positioned on the outside of the assembly and directs 5.0 U.S. gal/ft2·h (3.4 L ⁄m2·min)” at the assembly.


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Testing occurs using either static air pressure or cyclic static air pressure.

Static Air Pressure

Under the static air pressure approach, the air pressure is set in the test chamber. The spray rack then directs the water at the assembly for no less than 15 minutes. We make note of any water penetration during and immediately after the testing.

Cyclic Static Air Pressure

Under the cyclic approach, we set the test chamber air pressure and direct water at the assembly for no less than five minutes. We reduce the air pressure inside the test chamber to zero for at least one minute before returning it to the original air pressure setting. This cycle repeats anywhere from three to five times. Again, we note any water penetration during or immediately after the testing.

Multiple Assembly Tests

If you want testing performed on more than one assembly, we will repeat the same process on each unit individually. The report will contain separate sections that cover each unit and its testing results, rather than aggregate information or a simple list that denotes unit pass or fail information.

Potential Damage During Testing

Although the risk of assembly unit damage remains small when testing follows standard procedure, it still exists. In contrast, when testing within a building which is in a “lived-in” state as opposed to a newly constructed unoccupied state, there is a higher probability that testing may in fact damage interior finishes.


Understand Unit Failure

Failure with this testing procedure means something very specific. It means that water penetrates the perimeter frame of the assembly. Residual water on the assembly sill or in gutters does not constitute failure. This, in terms of the E1105 – Field determination water penetration testing.

E1105  Field determination of water penetration as described in the AAMA 1105 is as such;
3.2.3 water penetration, n—penetration of water beyond a plane parallel to the glazing (the vertical plane) intersecting the innermost projection of the test specimen, not including interior trim and hardware, under the specified conditions of air pressure difference across the specimen.

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Furthermore, in paragraph 10.2 reads:
Water contained within drained flashing, gutters, and sills is not considered failure. Basically this is translated to say that water can leak onto the windows frame and pass so long as it does not travel beyond the vertical plane or other words, over the frame onto the interior of the building.


Water Intrusion Specialist Testing Agency will provide you with a comprehensive report after testing. The ASTM E1105 – Field determination water penetration testing report will cover substantial ground. It will include administrative information. Further documenting location, date and time of testing, as well as basic information about the make and model of any tested assembly. A compliance statement is also standard as is the use of thermography in the report. The report will cover description information about the condition of the assembly and whether it was in proper working order at the time of testing. It may also include a visual breakdown of the assembly.

E1105  water penetration testing

The report must also cover:

  • Any sampling methods used
  • Testing parameters (such as air pressure limits or changes to water spray volume)
  • Weather conditions at the time testing (barometric pressure, temperature, etc.)
  • Test results

The test results report will typically describe any partial or full water penetration of the assembly during or immediately following the testing. Test results typically also detail the location of any water penetration if there is any.

Parting Thoughts

Any fenestration assembly can come with built-in flaws. An unrecognized error in the assembly process or a batch of subpar components can lead to a variety of failures. Including water penetration problems in a home or commercial building.  The damage unchecked water penetration can do to a building’s interior ranges from cosmetic flaws in finishes to health-threatening fungal growths. These are not problems any building owner or manager can ignore for long. Water Intrusion Specialist is your local water intrusion testing agency providing services in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and also Arizona and Nevada.  We can help you identify problems with an assembly with our water penetration testing. If you’re ready to schedule your test, call today at 888-381-7377 or Request a Quote Here

Note: Unless otherwise indicated, Water Intrusion Specialist Testing Agency Testing follows the steps in the ASTM E1105  Field determination of water penetration – windows, doors, curtain walls

Standard or the steps in the most recent revision of the Standard. We’ll discuss any deviations from those steps with you in advance. Plus, we’ll include an explanation for any deviation in the final report.


ASTM E1105  Field Determination of Water Penetration – Windows, Doors, Storefronts and Curtain Walls
ASTM E1105  Field Determination of Water Penetration – Windows, Doors, Storefronts and Curtain Walls
The ASTM E1105 test method is a water penetration resistance test and is necessary to ensure the fenestration products chosen for any given building are acceptable for that specific installation. Any unchecked water penetration can do to a building’s interior ranges from cosmetic flaws in finishes to health-threatening fungal growths. This test method is primarily used as a Quality Control Measure during the course of new construction, but may also be utilized for Forensic Water Leak Investigations of fenestration products (windows and doors).
Water Intrusion Specialist (WIS)
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