Commercial Fenestration Testing
In the world of commercial fenestration testing, window water testing usually hovers around the Fenestration based AAMA and ASTM testing procedures. With this in mind, there are two different types of testing; performance and quality assurances tests. When it comes to the industry standard, there are only the AAMA and ASTM water testing standards.
As a glazing company in search of a water testing agency, there are a few things you need to consider.
- Try to use only licensed, insured and bonded water intrusion testing agencies
- Make sure that your choice in a testing agency is based on their experience with the testing procedures
Fenestration testing as a whole is very complex and time-consuming. What’s important to understand is that not every testing agency are the same, do the same, know the same. Working with a testing agency who understands the window water testing standards is not just important, it’s imperative.
Never take chances on sub-contractors who don’t fully understand the water and air testing standards. Use only contractors familiar with both the AAMA and ASTM testing standards as written. Furthermore, we have knowledgeable staff who can apply these standardized testing measures.
AAMA and ASTM Window Water Testing Agency
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Window Water Testing Standards
Some of these window water testing standards appear to be somewhat complex. What you will find, however, is that those of us who use them frequently, they really aren’t that complicated. In fact, most testing standards really are easy to read and assimilate.
Take the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) for example. They are the foremost experts in standardized testing procedures and thus set the standards for window water testing. Whereas the AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturers Association) utilizes the ASTM standards to form their standards. Collectively, these two organizations work to produce useful standards to help maintain quality assurance in the field of fenestration installation and testing.
Regardless of which standard you reference, the chances are they will likely refer back to one another. As demonstrated in the AAMA 502.12 test. The standard as a whole references two other documents. The E1105 and the E783 ASTM testing standards. Each of these tests come with their own set of instructions. We’ll discuss that test shortly in a little more detail.
The one thing that most builders fail to include in their job-site documents are the specific testing standards. Most of the time, the contractor in charge will supply these numbers.
AAMA 501.2 spray wand test
Consider the AAMA 501.2 water infiltration testing standard. it is considered an industry-standard test for storefront windows. Commercial Fenestration Testing requires the AAMA 501.2 test to be performed with the use of a calibrated spray wand apparatus. While performing the 501.2 water pressure is maintained at 30-35 PSI. The spray wand is moved at a rate of one linear foot per minute during fenestration testing. During this time, an individual is inside looking for any indication of water penetration. Following this test, is the written report. Re-testing may be necessary if water intrusion is discovered.
AAMA 502.12 Field Testing of Newly Installed Fenestration Products
Yet another test that is popular in new construction builds is the AAMA 502.12 water test. The AAMA 502.12 test is again, two tests in one. In Commercial Fenestration Testing the 502.12 test makes up more than 66% of our tests.
ASTM E1105 window water testFirst off, let’s discuss the ASTM E1105. In short, the E1105 is window water testing. When performing the E1105 water infiltration test, the testing agency will utilize two important components.
- Calibrated spray rack
- Interior air chamber
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Without getting into great detail about the specifics of the test, suffice it to say the test is about 15 minutes long. Outside, water is applied to the specimen via a calibrated spray rack apparatus. Inside, there is an air chamber and vacuum used to pull water through the fenestration product or installation. The operator is given testing parameters to follow when performing the water fenestration test. During the test, an individual is inside searching for water through the chamber. On the outside, an operator is making sure the spray rack testing pressures stay the same.
ASTM E783 Air infiltration testThe ASTM E783 is the air infiltration portion of the 502.12 Commercial Fenestration Testing procedure. Although the E783 requires an air chamber, the operator has the option to place it inside or outside. During the test, air can be either pushed or pulled through the specimen.
Infrared Thermography and Commercial Fenestration testing
How many times as a contractor do you find yourself needing to test finished wall surfaces? I’m sure its a lot, because we test conditions like this with Commercial Fenestration Testing, quite often. So how do you water test and still be able to locate a water source? Easy, with infrared thermography. The use of an infrared camera allows an operator like us, to perform fenestration testing with quantifiable results.
In some cases as with painted walls, its difficult to water test. Thermography allows the user to see water as it enters the building. The use of thermography is beneficial in determining the causes of ceiling stains for example.