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AAMA 502 
The AAMA 502 (Field Testing Specification for Newly Installed Fenestration Products) is a field testing guide developed by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association(AAMA).  This guide describes test procedures in new window installations  to ensure that air and moisture penetration is minimised. Furthermore, the AAMA 502 guide provides verbiage which can 
be inserted directly into project specifications, saving time and effort.  The only problem with the verbiage given is that it is frequently put into a  standardised format that does not include information about the regions, quantity and precise testing pressures. It is the contractor's responsibility to ensure that such testing parameters are established.  When test criteria are defined, the testing agency ensures appropriate protocols have been followed during the installation phase of the building.  

The AAMA 502 is based on guidelines developed by ASTM  International, formally known as the American Assessment and Materials Association.  The ASTM E 1105 (Standard Field Determination Test Method for Water penetration Installed Outside Windows, Skylights, Doors and Curtain Walls) is used for water penetration testing and the ASTM E 783 (Standard Field Measurement System for Air Leakage Installed Outside Windows and Doors) is used for air infiltration testing. Usually, a set of project windows is selected and tested. The construction contract would select a party to be responsible for the testing costs.  The number of tests will depend on the project size and budget. 

The project planner, manager or owner determines the number and position of the windows to be tested; this occurs either early in the project or in the case of large projects at three intervals: 5 per cent, 50 per cent, and 90 per cent.  Testing early on with a large project will avoid costly repairs if a design flaw is found during the first test phase.  Typically, if a window fails, the contractor should be prepared for more thorough testing. All building crew members involved with window installation are typically given one-week notice prior to water testing. Notifying everyone of the actual test sites is advised before the testing agency arrives on site.  If the installers are aware of the test sites, they will pay "special attention" to these areas, and the test results will not represent the exact conditions. The whole purpose of quality assurance/quality control (QA / QC) monitoring is to minimise the occurrence of water intrusions. 

The installer, waterproofing contractor or the manufacturer will have the ability to fix and/or rebuild the window in case of leaks, after which it will need to be re-tested. For the remainder of the project, a special focus will be paid to the water penetration found while testing windows. Installation of the window is visually observed prior to testing. 

Are the edges horizontal and vertical to perfection?  Is the Square Window?  What feature is drainage? How is  Standard of Installation? Has the flashing  and sealing finished properly? The air and water leakage (in that order)  are then measured using a constant pressure test chamber.  A specified amount of air leakage is acceptable but no water leakage is allowed at all. A defined pressure is maintained during the measurement of any escaping air.  The same approach is used for water leakage when spraying the window from outside to observe indoor penetration. Any moisture that does not come through the glass, but somehow gets in, will be subject to further forensic examination.  Pressures to measure should never exceed 2/3 of the product rating.  AAMA 502 sets out instructions for the type of equipment to be used and the testing procedures to be followed.  If the construction of the window has been completed within 6 months and no building occupancy permit (CO) exists then the AAMA 502 is the correct document to use.  AAMA 511 procedures are required if the building has tenants, or the facility is over 6 months old. 

The AAMA 511 approach is used where water penetrates the envelope of the building and ASTM E 2128 is an acceptable alternative method. For reliable results, Rommel uses licenced test equipment that is configured according to each particular test standard.  Our field experts are well trained and informed of all test requirements. Rommel has comprehensive knowledge of most construction structures and is specialised in investigations of forensic water intrusion.  This allows us not only to better test fenestrations on new construction projects but also to determine the cause of any test failures and provide specific recommendations for successful test results.  Failures during the testing of quality assurance (new construction)  will result in unnecessary delays impacting your bottom line.

Contact Romme today if you are looking for a reliable second or third-party testing company to conduct thorough professional research, provide detailed reports and assist you through the whole method.