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Electronic leak detection (ELD) stands at the forefront of modern technology, offering a precise and efficient means of identifying and locating breaches in various waterproofing systems. Flats roofs on large commercial, industrial and residential apartment blocks are particularly vulnerable to leaks and water damage. ELD has emerged as a valuable resource, revolutionising the approach to precise and non-destructive leak detection. As an independent test house, Thornton Consulting was founded in the 1980’s and for well over 30 years their highly skilled team of field testers and consultants have provided clients with a timely and comprehensive, bespoke roof leak detection service in Surrey and throughout the UK and Ireland.

Utilising the sensitive electronic equipment, the electronic leak detection (ELD) technique allows for non-invasive inspection. This enables any weak areas to be identified promptly and then addressed by the client, avoiding on-going deterioration to the roof’s integrity and the interior of the building. The effectiveness of electronic leak detection to pinpoint breaches in the roof waterproofing is dependent on the electrically insulating properties of the waterproofing material and conductive properties of the substrate beneath. Two ELD techniques can be applied; low voltage or the ‘wet’ method and the ‘dry’ method, which is also referred to as the pinhole or holiday test.

Flat roofs, especially those where access is required, can be prone to damage and ultimately water ingress, due to inadvertent damage by maintenance contractors or builders, exposure to the elements, or heavily trafficked surfaces, such as car parks. Although water ingress can be illusive to locate accurately with the naked eye, by employing electronic leak detection, Thornton Consulting’s skilled technicians can swiftly and accurately identify leaks and weak points in the waterproofing system. This proactive approach not only safeguards the integrity of the structure but also helps in preventing extensive damage and costly repairs down the line.

The capability to detect leaks in real-time ensures that potential hazards are promptly addressed, preventing accidents and environmental contamination, while also safeguarding the property as a valuable asset. An electronic leak detection (ELD) survey is of considerable benefit to roofing or main contractors as confirmation of the waterproofing integrity prior to the project sign-off, or for any damage to be repaired without delay when breaches are identified. This not only avoids the potential for costly call-backs, it also protects the contractor’s professional reputation by preventing interior water contamination or even the need to replace the entire roofing cover.

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