Electronic Testing Methods for Flat Roof Leak Detection
Thornton Roof Leak Detection was the first UK consultancy to offer this service, starting in early 1987. The process was also adopted early on as a method for confirming the waterproofing integrity of membranes, the world first project being the prestigious Broadgate development adjacent to London Liverpool Street Station. We went on the test the majority of the waterproofing at Canary Wharf, where work is still progressing today.
The wet test method, otherwise known as earth leak detection, relies on the electrically conductive properties of water and uses the fact that most membranes are insulators. The test simply identifies pulsed electric fields of microscopic proportions and homes in on the source with an extremely sensitive meter.
We also introduced the concept of holiday testing (high voltage) for use on certain membrane types.
Electronic testing is not a catch-all test, even though it is often sold as such. Certain membranes are incompatible, especially rubber, whilst the roof build-up or type of deck may not be responsive to test. Please call us for advice if in doubt (or even if not – we are always happy to chat about a problem, as it keeps the office staff busy!)
Leaks often occur in building terraces for a number of reasons, whether they are balconies in apartments or large podium areas.
In some instances the roof may be leaking but, more often than not, the leak is originating in a weak part of the structure above roof level. This could be in brickwork, glazing, parapets or even TV aerials!
Again, reasons for this are various, whether the design is flawed or there has been carelessness or the lack of knowledge on the part of the builder.
Thornton Consulting’s role is one of establishing the cause without bias toward or against any of the parties involved. It is normal that one of them will procure our services, costs of which will be resolved in the light of findings.