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Waterproof Membrane Leakage

A proposed new ASTM standard will be used to ensure that the waterproofing of building and civil structures is performing as intended. Once approved, the practice will be used by architects, specifiers, membrane manufacturers, roofing contractors and warranty providers, as well as building owners, to test, verify and monitor the integrity of waterproof membranes.

WK27666, Practice for Electrical Conductance Methods for Locating Leaks in Exposed or Covered Waterproof Membranes, describes procedures for using electrical conductance measurement methods to locate leaks in exposed or covered waterproof membranes. The practice is applicable for membranes made of materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride and bituminous materials.

“The proposed new standard will provide a practical and reliable way to test the integrity of waterproof membranes on modern roofing assemblies,” says ASTM member David Vokey, president and CEO, Detec Systems LLC. “The described tests are used on both conventional and protected roofs and are particularly useful for roof designs that incorporate a waterproofing membrane under a green roof, wear course or topping slab where direct inspection of the roof membrane is difficult or impossible.”

The ASTM subcommittee developing WK27666 also hopes to develop a proposed new standard guide for permanently installed roof membrane monitoring systems that describes how to report on the condition and location of any developing issues in the waterproof membranes.

“A monitoring system standard would be especially important for modern roof designs incorporating a vegetative roof, insulation layer, wear-course or topping slab,” says Vokey. “The membrane can be remotely monitored without having anyone walking on the roof, damaging the vegetation.”

WK27666 is being developed by Subcommittee D08.22 on Waterproofing and Dampproofing Systems, part of ASTM International Committee D08 on Roofing and Waterproofing. All interested parties are invited to join in the standards activities of D08.22.

CONTACT Technical Information: David Vokey, Detec Systems • Bellingham, Wash. • Phone: 360-961-9452 | ASTM Staff: Joseph Hugo • Phone: 610-832-9740 | Upcoming Meeting: Dec. 7-10 • December Committee Week • New Orleans, La.

Testing a membrane with a scanning platform

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.