Building codes now require spray testing of walls where there’s at least one opening—this testing ensures that the entire building envelope resists wind-driven rain and moisture. Because windows interrupt the continuity of the façade, it’s important that all windows are properly integrated with the building’s envelope, the underlying weather-resistive barrier, and other moisture-management materials.
Testing windows and their installation verifies that both the window product and the way it’s installed will keep water out of the interior wall assemblies, complying with the building codes, industry standards, and good practice.
SBSA’s window spray tests determine at least two things:
- If the window product itself will prevent water infiltration at the defined performance standards.
- If the window is properly installed and integrated with adjacent moisture-management materials to keep water out of the walls.
Problems with the product:
SBSA ‘s experience has been that window and door products can fail despite guarantees and warranties from the manufacturer. Often these failures happen with window assemblies that incorporate millions, which separate the individual window units. Water can overwhelm the window assemblies, resulting in failure. Defective fenestrations allow water to travel through the interior of the window to where it meets the framing members; from there, water can enter the interior of the building, resulting in damage to structural systems and interior finishes. The spray testing will determine if the product is broken or defective.
Problems with the installation:
Installation problems with windows can lead to unintended water intrusion. Manufacturers may not provide specific installation instructions, and it’s up to the installer to ensure integration of the window with adjacent flashings and weather-resistive barrier, directing water away from the interior spaces. When flashings are not correctly lapped, properly integrated with the surrounding weather-resistive barrier, or components are missing, water can penetrate into the walls. Water causes damage to the framing and other moisture-sensitive materials and can result in damage.
It’s easier to test the window products and installation and correct any problems before construction is complete. SBSA can perform this testing so you can be confident in your finished work product.