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    Construction Performance Guidelines

About the Guidelines

These helpful guidelines outline work and material deficiencies in new homes and residential condominium units covered under the statutory warranty [...]

A5: How to Conduct a Water Test

A water test shall be performed to confirm water leaks, both above and below grade. Above grade the intent is to simulate an average, wind-driven rainfall but should never be done using full pressure in a single-stream or pressure altering device such as a pressure washer. This can force water through building assemblies and flashings not intended for high-volume or high-pressure water saturation. Below grade the intent is to simulate natural water flow around a foundation caused by rain or snow melting where the water may inadvertently be directed towards the foundation wall. Water penetration is considered to be bulk water coming into the basement or accumulating near the point of entry, or dampness on the wall appearing as a result of the test, but excludes dampness caused by condensation or other causes.

5.1 Above Grade:

Use a standard garden hose and sprayer attachment. The sprayer attachment should be set on “shower” or other similar dispersal pattern. Spray the area to be tested for not more than 10 minutes from a minimum distance of 2 m. Have another person checking inside for the point of origin and the length of time it takes for water to appear. Areas to be investigated should be kept dry prior to the test.

5.2 Below Grade:

Use a standard garden hose with no attachments. The hose bib should be set at about half flow to simulate melting snow or rainfall. The water from the hose is to be directed along the face of the foundation to allow the water to run parallel to the wall, at grade, finding its own way down the exterior of the wall to the perimeter foundation drains. Run the water for not more than 20 minutes checking periodically for water penetration. Identify the location and the point of entry of any water (crack, tie rod, snap tie, honeycombing) and the length of time it takes for water to appear.