Air tightness testing, often referred to as an air leakage test or air permeability test, is a valuable method for measuring the extent to which air is lost through leaks in the building enclosure. Knowledge of the air leakage rate of a building is critical to reduce energy consumption and to improve comfort for the occupants.

Element provides air tightness testing of various types of assemblies used in building enclosures, from air barriers to fenestration and cladding products. Since air leakage is not only responsible for heat loss and low occupant comfort, but it also enhances the risk of moisture damage, we pair our testing with water penetration tests under uniform or cyclic static pressure difference. Our goal is to ensure that the materials used in building enclosures will prevent air and water infiltration, allowing for lower CO2 emissions, better indoor air quality, and fewer issues due to moisture brought in by outside air.

Testing for the air tightness of building products is particularly useful during the design phase and the construction process of new buildings as well as during retrofits. It confirms that air tightness targets are met and avoids undesirable and costly problems during the service life of the building. 

 

For more information about how we perform air tightness testing, or to learn more about water penetration, contact us today. 

air tightness testing and water penetration

Products we test

Element's experts have a thorough knowledge of air tightness testing, and our laboratory is outfitted with advanced equipment that allows us to test various types of air barrier assemblies and systems used in building enclosures.

These include: 

Wall assemblies:

  • peel and stick membranes
  • liquid spray or troweled applied
  • silicone spray or troweled applied
  • woven or non-woven wraps
  • 1 and 2 component spray foams
  • EPS or XPS foam boards

Fenestration assemblies:

  • residential and commercial windows and doors
  • window walls
  • curtain walls

Cladding assemblies:

  • pressurized rain screens
  • back ventilated rain screens
  • sidings
  • claddings
air tightness testing and water penetration

Standards we test to

We test the air and water tightness properties of building materials and assemblies in accordance with the test methods prescribed by the major national and international standards for determining their air leakage rate and the resistance to water penetration. 

Air tightness testing standards:

  • ASTM E283, ASTM E2178, and ASTM E2357
  • CAN/ULC S741 and CAN/ULC S742
  • NAFS-11 and 17

Water penetration testing standards: 

  • ASTM E331 and ASTM E1105
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