AAMA 511-08 performed in Los Angeles
Most of the calls we receive have to do with water intrusion of some type. Be it rain leak testing, leaking from decks, walls or even roofs, it always entails testing of some sort. Many times, however, destructive testing is necessary to source the leak. Although destructive testing is somewhat messy, it’s necessary. Especially when we’re talking about the AAMA 511-08 standard.
In the first place, there is a great deal of investigation which goes into the AAMA 511-08 test prior to ever applying any water. Included in this are interviews with the occupants or others who have experienced the leaking. Past weather is even considered. For example, the tester will want to try to simulate similar weather conditions as when the leaking was identified. This is accomplished through past weather data.
Investigations before testing
For this project, we were contacted to source water leaking from an unknown source. Consequently, because of the large scale of this project, the water source possibilities were endless. For this reason, we choose to use our thermal imaging camera to to scan the rooms, walls and ceilings. All we knew from our investigations, was that water was entering the building from the floor.
Did I mention is was a condominium complex? Well, it was. Not only was it in a condo complex, it was the middle unit. All this did was add to the complexity of the situation.
After initially walking through the unit which we were investigating, we observed water on the floor, which was obvious. As an investigator, having water on the floor, with no other water penetration indications was perplexing. Luckily, the use of the thermal imager was paramount to our investigation, initially. Thermography allowed us to start the process of sourcing the water intrusion, into this unit without a Window Water Intrusion Test With Destructive Testing.
Thermography is a must
Through thermography, we were able to see water up high on the wall, under the ceiling. Sort of an ah-ha, moment, but not really. The obvious and first thought was the deck was leaking, from the upper unit into my clients unit. Coincidentally, this was also the conclusion of the contractor sourced to perform he work after our tests.
After visiting the upper unit with my infrared camera, I came to a different conclusion. What did we see? Moisture was observed in the wall, under the windows.
So, in light of this significant finding, my testing now was focused on windows. But, I had to convince the management company that Window Water Intrusion Test With Destructive Testing was necessary.
Our first step was to remove wall coverings around the windows which were were going to test, in the lower unit. So that was done. After we chose the windows to test, using the E1105 standard as our guide, we began to test. We elected to test in a cyclic method, with zero negative pressure within the interior chamber. On the exterior, the window installation was covered and only the glass product was tested. After our initial test we decided to pressurize the chamber.
Our first test with the stucco/frame covered, lasted the full distance. Afterwhich, we pulled the plastic and covered the glass and frame for another test. It wasn’t but a minute after when the leaking of the window started. This can be seen in the images below. If we had not performed Window Water Intrusion Test With Destructive Testing, we may not have sourced this leak so quickly.
On a side note… there were other leaks observed within the building envelope after additional testing.
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