ASTM E514 / E514M - 14a

    Standard Test Method for Water Penetration and Leakage Through Masonry

    Active Standard ASTM E514 / E514M | Developed by Subcommittee: C15.04

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.05


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 This test method provides information that aids in evaluating the effect of four principal variables: materials, coatings, wall design, and workmanship.

    4.2 Water penetration and leakage through masonry is significantly affected by air pressure in the test chamber. Data from tests made at different pressures are not comparable.

    4.3 The performance of a masonry wall is a function of materials, construction, wall design, and maintenance. In service the performance will also depend on the rigidity of supporting structure and on the resistance of components to deterioration by various causes, such as corrosion, vibration, thermal expansion and contraction, curing, and others. It is impossible to simulate the complex conditions encountered in service, such as variations in wind velocity, negative pressure, and lateral or upward moving air and water. Factors such as location, exposure, and wall openings should be considered.

    4.4 Given the complexity of variables noted above, this test method establishes comparative behavior between various masonry wall constructions in a given laboratory.

    4.5 Even when a single laboratory tests the same wall design utilizing the same wall materials and the same construction practices, variables such as the level of skill of the mason building the specimen, the temperature and humidity in the laboratory at the time of construction, curing of the specimen, the moisture contents of the materials used to build the specimen, and even the use or lack of use of a lime and water wash on the back of the specimen can affect the results of the test making reliable comparisons dubious. For these reasons and the multi-variables listed in 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3, a meaningful, useful, absolute wall leakage rating standard is impractical and discouraged.

    4.6 This test method is similar to but distinct from field Test Method C1601. This laboratory test method is designed to test laboratory fabricated wall specimens. Field Test Method C1601 is designed to test in-situ walls. This test method measures the water that has penetrated into and through the masonry specimen and is collected. Test Method C1601 determines water penetration of the masonry at its surface. Results from Test Method C1601 and Test Method E514/E514M are not the same.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This laboratory test method2 provides a procedure for determining the resistance to water penetration and leakage through unit masonry subjected to wind-driven rain. This test method is not identical to and the results are not the same as field standard Test Method C1601. This test method measures through-wall water penetration, whereas Test Method C1601 only measures surface water penetration.

    1.2 The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system may not be exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in non-conformance with the standard.

    1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, 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. For a specific hazard statement, see Section 6.


    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

    C270 Specification for Mortar for Unit Masonry

    C1232 Terminology of Masonry

    C1601 Test Method for Field Determination of Water Penetration of Masonry Wall Surfaces

    The Masonry Society Standards

    TMS402/ACI 530/ASC Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures

    TMS602/ACI 530.1/A Specifications for Masonry Structures


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 91.080.30 (Masonry)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/E0514_E0514M-14A

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