Standard Active Last Updated: Dec 06, 2021
ASTM D5957-98(2021)

Standard Guide for Flood Testing Horizontal Waterproofing Installations

Significance and Use

5.1 This guide describes the techniques used to test for watertightness of waterproofing installations on horizontal services having a slope not greater than 20 mm/m (2 % slope) (1/4 in./ft). See also ACI 515.

5.2 The structural capacity of the substrate to which the waterproofing system is to be installed should be reviewed by a licensed structural engineer to verify that the loads associated with the use of procedures described in this guide do not exceed code and design restrictions. Lateral loads will be imposed on curbs or walls used for containment of the water during the test procedures and their effect should be accounted for. The effects of equipment, planters, or other movable objects present within the test area should be considered.

Note 1: Potable water weighs approximately 1000 kg/cubic m (62.3 lb per cubic ft) at 22 °C (71.6 °F) or 1 g/cm2/cm depth (5.19 lb/ft2 per in. depth).

5.3 This guide describes a procedure to test for watertightness of waterproofing installations under ponded water with a short-term hydrostatic head measuring not more than 100 mm (4 in.).

Note 2: Increasing the amount of water forming a hydrostatic head beyond 100 mm (4 in.) of water may be considered provided the impact of increased loads on the substrate has been reviewed and approved by a licensed structural engineer.

5.4 For the purposes of this guide, the installation of the waterproofing membrane and flashing should be completed and the materials fully cured. Manufacturers should specify a minimum time period for materials to cure prior to performing flood test, however, no testing should be performed during the first 24 h following installation of system materials (48 h min if materials are installed at a time when ambient temperatures are below 10 °C (50 °F)).

5.5 The additional loads imposed upon the structure during the test period will affect the deflection of structural items. The effects shall be analyzed by a licensed structural engineer prior to placement of additional loads. Critical locations shall be monitored during the duration of the test period.

5.6 This guide is not recommended to be used if freezing temperatures are expected to occur during the test period. Ponded water can freeze and become adhered to the waterproofing system, resulting in pulling or tearing of the flashings away from the substrate or may break interior corners.

5.7 The intent of this guide is to provide a measure of confidence of the waterproofing installation to remain watertight for the service life of the system, based upon the observed performance of the system under ponded water for a limited period of time.


1.1 This guide provides the user with a method for testing the watertightness of waterproofing installations applied to horizontal surfaces having a slope not greater than 20 mm/m (2 % slope) (1/4 in. per ft).

1.2 This guide is intended for waterproofing installation on parking garages and plaza deck type applications over habitable spaces or on elevated structures, but is not intended for use on building roofing systems. Applicable waterproofing membrane installations that may be tested using this guide are fully adhered or bonded sheet membranes, liquid or fluid-applied membranes, or loose-laid sheet membranes.

1.3 The procedures presented here are not intended for use on those waterproofing installation applications that are for long-term water storage or continuously submerged environments, such as swimming pools, fountains, tank liners with hydrostatic pressure, or water storage units (storage period greater than 48 h).

1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

1.5 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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.6 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 04.04
Developed by Subcommittee: D08.22
Pages: 5
DOI: 10.1520/D5957-98R21
ICS Code: 91.090; 91.100.50