Leak investigations VS integrity testing

What is the difference between leak investigations and integrity testing?

Leak investigation can be summarised as a reactive task where all efforts concentrate on locating the ingress point, Integrity testing can form part of this leak investigation works and is often a pro-active task that is undertaken annually to ensure the roof is in good condition. 

Integrity testing

involves the use of electronic test equipment to check the Integrity of the roof covering. Engineers utilise testing procedures to scan the entire flat roof areas to determine if there are any breaks in the waterproof covering, i.e., holes and open laps. 

Often integrity testing forms part of an annual maintenance plan where the building management teams catch problems before they occur, the roof is tested, a report is issued given the condition and recommendations for remedial works. Integrity testing can be one of the first processes’ on any roof inspection, it will give the team an understanding of the condition of the roof covering, deterioration levels, frequency of mechanical damage, insulation standards etc.  

Integrity testing is utilised following the completion of a new roof covering where engineers work with the site team, property owner or roofing contractor to ensure the roof is a defect and damage-free and ready for handover. 

Defects that are identified during testing will be numbered, categorised, marked directly onto the roof covering and mapped on an accompanying roof layout drawing to enable accurate repair works and control costs. 

Leak investigation

is generally focused on the identification of the leak ingress points to enable a quick repair to get the building back into service. This type of investigation combines several different testing techniques and various equipment dependent on the existing roof covering, the age of the roof, the use of the roof etc.

Engineers map out and assess the identified leak location internally and externally, depending on the roof type externally and determine the best system and procedure to be utilised in identifying the leak. 

Often water testing is utilised as many defects relate to areas of detailing such as roof penetrations where A/C service penetrations have been added to the roof, roof lights and wall/cladding interfaces areas where electronic testing is not suitable. 

Following testing, a detailed report will be issued detailing the testing procedures utilised and reasoning, test findings and detailed recommendations to help resolve the leak.