How to Pass Your Air Tightness Test First Time

Oct 4, 2015 by

Regulations over construction have tightened in recent years. Whilst this ultimately ensures that domestic and commercial properties are completed to a higher quality, failing to meet industry standards can cause havoc for any architect, project manager, builder or self-builder.

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Air permeability testing is one of the major hoops you have to jump through before finalising your build. In order to pass, you must pay attention to air leakage at every stage of construction. To ensure that you pass your air tightness test first time, we’ve got a few expert tips.

Laying the Foundations

To achieve an airtight property, you should properly seal every aspect of the building from the ground up. This is particularly important when constructing the floors and walls that will create the foundation of your property; air leakage in service pipes and mortar can be difficult to address later if located in concealed or hard-to-reach areas.

To this end, it’s worth consulting an air tightness testing company before you commence construction if you don’t have in-house expertise. In doing so, you can ensure that you’re meeting standards from day one, with a clear understanding of what is expected in the Building Regulations.

Sealing Pipes and Fittings

From vents and plumbing to the doors and skirting boards that complete the interiors of your rooms, everything should be properly sealed by your team and any subcontractors you bring in for the project. Professional tradesmen should automatically ensure that their workmanship complies with air tightness standards, but it’s worth double-checking before particular tasks are signed off, to prevent any surprises later down the line.

Controlled Ventilation

However, in an effort to minimise air leakage, it’s crucial to consider ventilation. Whilst unplanned draughts can cause discomfort and reduce the energy efficiency of a building, a circulation of fresh air is necessary for any domestic or commercial property. Installing air vents in appropriate places will facilitate this – again, make sure these are properly sealed to control air flow in and around the building.

Hire A Professional

Air tightness testing requires high quality equipment and industry know-how, to ensure that the building is prepared and tested correctly. Various factors can determine the results of your air permeability test, so it’s vital to conduct the assessment in controlled conditions, taking into account any external variables such as wind speed.

By choosing an experienced air tightness testing company, you can be sure that your results are accurate. They will also be able to advise on whether your property is ready to take the test, to ensure that you get the results you seek first time round. If not, they can help you take the necessary steps to achieve it.

Whether you’re an established building firm or a self-builder new to the industry, it’s easy to make mistakes if you don’t plan ahead to comply with building regulations. Follow these tips to make your property meet air tightness standards, and the journey to completion should be a smooth one.

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