What does air leakage look like in a building?

Most commonly, you may experience these effects of air leakage rather than seeing them. Uncontrolled air leakage can lead to:

  • Energy Loss and Higher Costs
  • Decrease in Environmental Control
  • Increase in Moisture Laden Air = Potential Damage
  • Increase in Noise

Identifying Air Leakage

Here are some tests we use to identify air leakage.

ASTM E1827: Standard test method for determining building air tightness using an orifice blower door

ASTM E1186: Standard Practices for Air Leakage Site Detection in Building Envelopes and Air Barrier Systems
4.2.1 Air Infiltration Site Detection Using Infrared Scanning
4.2.2 Smoke Tracers Used in Whole Building Pressurization or Depressurization
4.2.6 Smoke Tracers Used in Chamber Pressurization or Depressurization
4.2.7 Detection Liquid Air Testing

The photos below show the detection of air leakage by using smoke tracers.

Air Barrier No Leakage

No Air Leakage

Air Barrier Leakage

Air Leakage

Whole Building Air Barrier Test

In order to ensure the building envelope is meeting performance requirements, whole building air barrier testing may be conducted. Air barrier testing can identify leakage and the airflow paths, which illustrate the potential amount of energy lost.

Standard test ASTM E779, is conducted using orifice blower door fans that induce a series of positive and negative pressures on the building envelope.

We do not want the tested air leakage to exceed 0.40 cfm/ft2 at 75 pa. If the air leakage exceeds the limit, we conduct:

  • Visual Inspection of air barrier

  • Seal leaks where practicable

  • Additional report outlining corrective action