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Water ingress into a property can be a challenging issue to detect and locate, especially when it occurs in concealed or hard-to-reach areas. One effective method for identifying water ingress into a building through a waterproof covering is through electronic leak detection (ELD), which utilises specialised equipment and techniques to pinpoint the source accurately. Here’s how it works:

The ELD method, also known as Electronic Integrity Testing of Waterproofing Membranes can be undertaken by two methods. The affective operation of both tests rely on the electrical insualting properties of the waterproofing membrane and conductive properties of the substrate to locate breaches.

The “wet test” method uses a low voltage generator which emits a signal across the wet surface of the membrane through a conductor loop which isolates the area of test. The operator then systrematically walks across the test areas with probes attached to a detector unit which locates points at which the signal is earthed. This corresponds with a breach in the membrane which can then be marked on the surface of the roof.

The second method, Holiday or pin-hole test, is undertaken on dry roof waterproofing. The test equipment generates a high voltage which is passed through a phosphor bronze bush, swept across the surface of the waterproofing membrane. Since the membrane is an electrical insulator, the equipment emits an audible signal when a breach is located as the electrical signal is discharged to earth.

Both test methods are highly accurate at detecting breaches in the waterproofing membrane, some barely visible to the naked eye.

The information produced by the test is presented in a report detailing the number and location of breaches and represented on a marked up plan of the area . Electronic leak detection can be of considerable benefit to roofers, main contractors and architects on new-build properties to provide reassurance that the roofing membrane is sound and secure before the final sign-off.

Once a leak source is identified, further investigation may be required to confirm the exact cause and extent of the issue. This method of leak detection offers several advantages, including non-destructive testing, precise locating capabilities and the ability to identify concealed leaks in the roof membrane or within the building envelope. By utilising ELD techniques, water infiltration can be detected early, minimising potential damage and allowing for prompt repairs. Whether in residential apartment blocks or commercial properties, Electronic leak detection plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of structures and preventing costly repairs.

Thornton Consulting is an independent test house and their customer-focused services are widely used by clients throughout the UK and Ireland. Strong working relationships with contractors have been formed over three decades within the property sector.  Call us today on 01342 410508 or use the contact form to get in touch.