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Water Intrusion in Buildings

The use of infrared technology is gaining popularity in the forensic engineering and building science fields. One such use is identifying specific locations of water damage to buildings without requiring complete removal or deconstruction of building systems or facades. A proposed new ASTM International standard will provide guidelines for this usage. WK44618, Guide for the Use of Infrared Technology for the Investigation of Water Intrusion in Buildings, is being developed by Subcommittee E58.06 on Incidents Involving Structures, part of ASTM International Committee E58 on Forensic Engineering.

“WK44618 will offer guidance to industry professionals, as well as provide a point of reference for those who do not possess knowledge on the subject matter, such as building owners or juries who may be tasked with reading or understanding thermographic building surveys,” says Robin Girard, project engineer, Bracken Engineering, and a member of E58.

Thermographic surveys typically consist of acquiring and analyzing thermal information captured by a nondestructive thermal imaging device that detects and records heat energy emitted by objects and organizes this information into a thermal image. Patterns and anomalies that are found by analyzing the thermal image may be indicative of underlying moisture damage.

“It is not the goal of the subcommittee to prescribe an exacting procedural process but to recognize and provide guidance on the legitimate application of new technology and science to forensic engineering of incidents involving structures,” says Girard.

All interested participants, particularly those who are knowledgeable and experienced in the application of infrared technology to building science and building envelope investigations, are invited to participate in the ongoing development of WK44618.

CONTACT Technical Information: Robin Girard, Bracken Engineering • Tampa, Fla. • Phone: 813-243-4251 | ASTM Staff: Kelly Paul • Phone: 610-832-9745

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.