ASTM C1601 - 14

    Standard Test Method for Field Determination of Water Penetration of Masonry Wall Surfaces

    Active Standard ASTM C1601 | Developed by Subcommittee: C15.04

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.05


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 This non-destructive test method contains procedures and equipment requirements to quantitatively determine the surface penetration of water at a single location on a masonry wall. It is not designed to determine the overall water penetration and leakage of a masonry system.

    4.2  Excessive water penetration of masonry may degrade masonry wall performance with respect to thermal conductivity, durability, efflorescence, staining, corrosion of embedded metal items, and water leakage.

    4.3 This test may be used to evaluate masonry walls in-situ or for field mock-up testing. Common applications of this method have been comparison of water penetration rates of walls before and after repairs, and testing the efficacy of coatings. Alternative procedures are also provided to simulate the effect of local climatology on water penetration of masonry wall surfaces.

    4.4 The outer surface of all masonry walls will experience water penetration when subjected to wind-driven rain. The resistance to water penetration is dependent on materials, workmanship, design, and maintenance. Some wall types accommodate large volumes of water penetration, without deleterious effects, through the presence of properly designed and installed drainage systems including flashing and weep holes. Use of this standard without consideration of the overall wall system may lead to incorrect conclusions regarding performance.

    4.5 It is the intent of this standard that a sheet of water be developed and maintained on the wall surface during testing. In some cases, due to the surface texture of the masonry, the application of a coating, or other factors, a sheet of water will not consistently form. In those cases, results of this test method will likely be inaccurate.

    4.6 This test method is similar to but distinct from the laboratory Test Method E514. This field test method is designed to test in-situ walls. E514 laboratory test method is designed to test laboratory wall specimens. This test method determines water penetration of the masonry at its surface. Test Method E514 measures the water that has penetrated into and through the masonry specimen and is collected. Results from Test Method C1601 and Test Method E514 are not the same.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the field determination of water penetration of a masonry wall surface under specific water flow rate and air pressure conditions. This test is intended for use on any masonry wall surface that can be properly instrumented and tested within the requirements of this standard.

    1.2 This test method is not identical to and the results are not the same as the laboratory standard Test Method E514.

    1.3 This test method evaluates the surface water penetration, which is not the same as through-wall water penetration evaluated by Test Method E514.

    1.4 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to SI units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

    1.5 This standard may involve hazardous materials, operations, or equipment. This standard does not purport to address all of the safety problems associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    C1232 Terminology of Masonry

    E514 Test Method for Water Penetration and Leakage Through Masonry


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 91.080.30 (Masonry)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/C1601

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