Forensic Water Intrusion Testing

Building Diagnostics Group, Inc. (BDG) specializes in forensic water intrusion diagnostic services using our proven processes and professional testing equipment to accurately identify the cause and origin of water intrusions.

Our systematic approach to a project includes providing an initial evaluation, completing a full service history review, identifying physical symptoms, visually inspectiing reported intrusions, developing a hypothesis, recreating leaks by simulating normal rainfall, tracing and correlating intrusions, verifying the hypothesis, providing a final analysis and accurately reporting our findings through field documentation.

Far too often investigators rely on assumptions rather than following the most basic investigative testing protocols. BDG adheres to the strict standards set forth for our industry in the ASTM E 2128 (Standard Guide for Evaluating Water Leakage of Building Walls) and the AAMA 511 (Voluntary Guideline for Forensic Water Penetration Testing of Fenestration Products). Both offer specific guidelines that provide building professionals with comprehensive methodology for evaluating water intrusions. Moreover, these documents provide guidance on how to perform specific testing methods without exceeding conditions not appropriate for a particular test specimen.

The ASTM E 2128 identifies information-gathering steps for a systematic forensic investigation approach to identifying failures (water leakage) in fenestration products. These steps are somewhat basic, but often forgotten:

»  Review all project documents – shop drawings, installation instructions, contracts, purchase orders, and project specifications.

»  Evaluate the design concept, water management, and critical details – flashing, sealant selection/application, and weep drainage systems.

»  Investigate service history – review maintenance records, interview maintenance personnel, and determine leak history and timeline.

»  Inspection – Interior, exterior, workmanship, and product deficiencies.

By investigating and asking some basic questions, we develop a hypothesis and accurately identify the source of water intrusion while utilizing proper investigative testing procedures.

Many companies become complacent because of their length of service and rely on what they think is happening rather than doing a thorough investigation. The improper diagnosis of a water intrusion can result in unnecessary repairs, additional water damage, and inevitably, an unhappy building owner. To complicate matters, more often than not, water intrusions can be originating from multiple sources. The time and expense to perform an initial, well focused, accurate evaluation of a water intrusion will save the interested parties money in the long run and result in repairs that extend the service life of the building.

BDG utilizes professional testing equipment that is calibrated to each specific testing standard for accurate results. Our field consultants are properly trained and knowledgeable of all testing standards. BDG has extensive knowledge of most building systems and specializes in forensic water intrusion investigations.

Give us a call to discuss your next project.