Below are frequently asked questions, you may find the answer for yourself.
At ROOFTECH, we are often asked about some standard set of Questions in regards with ‘Electronic Leak Detection Technology’ in general as well as some specifics in regards with our product and solution offering. Bellow, we have tried to cover maximum Questions that you might have while exploring our different solutions and products. Still, if there are more questions that were not covered here, feel free to get in touch with us by Email or Fill in the Contact Form OR try calling us on +91 89800 97999. Mostly,we respond to Emails within 24 hours. Let’s talk about your project !
WHAT IS THE FUNDAMENTAL ‘PROBLEM’ THAT WE ARE TRYING TO SOLVE?
Waterproofing Industry in general, for ages relied or obsolete ‘Flood Testing’ method to check the Quality of applied waterproofing layers. Flood testing will simply tell you if there is a leak but can not pinpoint where the breach is located. It is subject to human guesswork, takes enormous amount of time, least amount of accuracy, can be detrimental if there are several leaking points and let’s not forget the environmental damage with wastage of millions of gallons of water every year !
Instead, ROOFTECH promotes the usage of ELD (Electronic Leak Detection Scans) that can locate breaches as small as pin-holes with electric accuracy. They are much faster to execute, accuracy is beyond comparison, breaches are pin-pointed and can be rectified in same schedule, and not to mention, environmental benefits by saving so much of water !
The Question is, when there are ELD technologies available in the market why still 70% (global average) of the construction industry still relies on archaic ‘flood testing’ ? The Answer is simply due to commercial viability, reach of service providers to remotest places and off course the lack of awareness of availability of such technologies.
Also, with so much of buzz about ‘Automation’, ‘Remote Monitoring’, BMS etc. everything else evolved in the past couple decades the way in which we monitor our Lighting , HVAC, Security, Appliances etc. However, minimal advancements were seen in the way in which we can monitor ‘Waterproofing Layers’ to ensure the leak-free environment over the life-cycle of building. By the way, ’Moisture Leakages’ were rated as number 02 problem world-wide for deterioration of building structures.
ROOFTECH hopes to bridge this Market Gap. With proprietary ‘SmartMembrane’ technology, ‘Internet of Things’ finally catches up with Waterproofing Industry and now we can monitor any waterproofing layer in Real-Time on a cloud based platform. All this with simple installation and surprisingly commercially viable solutions.
Talk to Us. Explore More.
WHAT IS THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPAL OF ANY ‘ELECTRONIC LEAK DETECTION Scans (ELD Scans)’?
- As a pre-requisite to any Electronic Leak Detection (high or low voltage), it requires the ‘conductive’ substrate’directly bellow the waterproofing layer for a valid test results. The same is described in detail in the ASTM standard D7877.
- Waterproofing layer per say shall be acting like an ‘Isolator’ for an electric current. Most of the waterproofing layers including membrane and coating available in the market (barring few exceptions like Black EPDM) acts like an insulator or electricity.
- Any Electronic Leak Detection Scan in general creates ‘Potential Difference’ between above and bellow the waterproofing layers. This is done by using different methods depending upon the type of equipment in use.
- So, in common language, positive and negative charges are separated by a layer of waterproofing. Should the waterproofing be intact, charges should disperse in itself. However, if there is smalls breach in the waterproofing layer, there is a current flow, negative and positive charges meets, and a reading is generate.
- A reading of breach is identified again by multiple ways like buzzer, light indicators, triangulating on centric ammeters, digitally pointing out the direction etc.
WHAT IS A CONDUCTIVE SUBSTRATE ?
Typically, any concrete and metal can be considered as a Conductive Substrates. Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) Slabs/ Decks are inherently Conductive. Non conductive substrate include but are not limited to wood, OSB, cover-board, protection board, insulation and light weight concrete (LWC). However these can made conductive using products like Conductive Mesh, Conductive Foil, Conductive Paints etc. before laying of Waterproofing Membrane for it to be compatible with any ELD Scans.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ELECTRONIC LEAK DETECTION SCANS OFFERED BY ROOFTECH AND HOW DO I CHOOSE WHICH ONE IS BETTER FOR ME?
ROOFTECH truly believes that there is no ONE Methodology which works best for all site specific conditions. The type of Electronic Leak Detection methodology largely depends upon variables like shape of the structure (Horizontal / Vertical), stage of testing (Exposed/ Concealed), type of waterproofing layer, Moisture Conditions (Dry / Wet Membrane), Purpose of the Test (Do determine if Moisture exist/ to pin-point the Breaches in Waterproofing) etc.
For example, if you have site conditions, which might have ‘Wet’ conditions, Exposed, Horizontal Flat Surface, Availability of Power Supply (Single Phase) : ROOFTECH’s Low Voltage Electric CENTRIC VECTOR Scan also known as Electric Field Vector Mapping (EFVM) might be better option.
- if you have Vertical Surface, Exposed, Large areas : ROOFTECH’s Low Voltage PHONICS Scan, acknowledged in ASTM D7877 as Vertical Scan Unit (VSU) might be the best option.
- if you have ‘Exposed’ waterproofing layer and in absolutely ‘Dry’ conditions, High Voltage Test might be quicker. Caution: when surrounding area is sensitive to small sparks, (like petroleum refineries etc), again it might not be the best option.
- if you just want to confirm if there is hidden moisture accumulation below the surface of the roof, Infrared Thermography might be better.
- if your intention is to be able to do the Quality Assurance as well as Future
Monitoring of Waterproofing layers after the installation of overburden assemblies, it would be best to lay ROOFTECH’s proprietary ‘SmartMembrane’ on the topside of Waterproofing layer and underneath the overburden. This allows you to monitor the any waterproofing layer in Real-time on a cloud based platform.
ROOFTECH offers all the above testing methodologies under single roof, so that you don’t have to co-ordinate with multiple service providers.
DOES ELD Scans WORK ON ALL TYPE OF WATERPROOFING LAYERS?
MOSTLY YES. Waterproofing layer per say shall be acting like an ‘Isolator’ for an electric current. Most of the waterproofing layers including membrane and coating available in the market (barring few exceptions like Black EPDM) acts like an insulator or electricity and hence are compatible with ROOFTECH ELD Scans. If you have a special material for which you want to ensure the compatibility, just Contact Us & send us the small sample product and we will test it out for Free !
CAN ELD Scans BE USED TO CHECK IF THERE ARE CRACKS IN FRESHLY CASTED CONCRETE SLAB (DECK) ?
That is not the purpose of ELD Scan. Refer the Fundamental Concept of ELD Scan. The fundamental purpose of ELD Scans are to test the integrity of applied waterproofing layer with electric accuracy. If there is no waterproofing layer, there is nothing to test.
CAN ELD Scans BE USED ON CONVENTIONAL BRICK-BAT TYPE OF ‘WATERPROOFING’ MORE TYPICALLY FOUND IN OLDER STRUCTURE IN INDIA?
Brick-Bat type of application is technically NOT a waterproofing layer. Basically, Bricks and Mortar are used to create a Slope profile on the flat roofs which helps in expedited drainage of the water during rains. Further, bricks absorb good amount of water, which eventually evaporates through Sun’s heat. Concrete which might have admixtures to make it waterproof does not give any separate layer to be tested.
DOES ELD SCANS HAVE ANY GENERAL LIMITATIONS ?
All type of ELD Scans can be used to check the integrity of a ‘separate applied layer’ (waterproofing or otherwise) with current accuracy. This means waterproofing methods like Concrete Mixed Admixtures, OR Crystalline based (like Penetron) which basically becomes the part of monolith concrete slab is not testable by any ELD Scans. The reason being it will not provide a separate layer of isolation for potential difference to be created. Refer the Fundamental Concept of ELD Scan.
- Also, Waterproofing layer per say shall be acting like an ‘Isolator’ for an electric current for ELD Scans to work. Most of the waterproofing layers including membrane and coating available in the market does provide isolation, however there are exceptions like Black EPDM which has carbon content to the proportions that make the membrane conductive and might not be tested effectively.
HOW MUCH AREA CAN BE TESTED TYPICALLY BY ELD SCANS IN ONE DAY?
Typically, a technician can test up to 30,000 sqft in one day. However it depends upon the type of equipment being used and number of breaches detected.
CAN YOU TEST THROUGH OVERBURDEN ASSEMBLIES?
Results from running a ELD Scan through Overburden might be inconclusive due to following reasons:
- A continuous water-path from the perimeter wire to a breach location can’t be verifiedby 100%.
- Insulations and Drainage Boards are usually electrical insulators which might prevent a conclusive tests.
- Any grounded objects coming through the membrane, flashed incorrectly might generate false readings.
INSTEAD of running a ELD Scan through Overburden, For all your new projects, to able to troubleshoot any time in future, ROOFTECH highly recommends to lay our ‘SmartMembrane’ directly above the waterproofing layer and then cover it with any sort of overburden assembly. This will ensure that waterproofing layer can be troubleshooted throughout its life-cycle.
MY ROOF IS ALREADY LEAKING AT MULTIPLE PLACES ? CAN YOU TROUBLESHOOT ?
We may be able to troubleshoot. However it depends upon the site conditions. The fundamentals for any ELD Scan to work depends upon a continuous water path from top of the membrane to a grounded substrate below the membrane. Refer the Fundamental Concept of ELD Scan.
If the Waterproofing Membrane is in Exposed condition, we can troubleshoot it 100%. However, if it is covered with some-sort of overburden, we have to ensure that we are getting continuous path of water from above to bellow the membrane (at the location of a breach). For all your new projects, to able to troubleshoot any time in future, it is highly recommended to lay our ‘SmartMembrane’ directly above the waterproofing layer and then cover it with any sort of overburden assembly. This will ensure that waterproofing layer can be troubleshooted throughout its life-cycle.
CAN YOU TEST AN EXPANSION JOINT ?
In Expansion Joints, slabs are not touching each other which disrupts the electrical continuity from one slab to another. As a pre-requisite to any Electronic Leak Detection (high or low voltage), it requires the ‘conductive’ substrate’ directly bellow the waterproofing layer for a valid test results. If there is a break down in between slabs, then the ground connection can be lost. We recommend, before laying of waterproofing membrane, to bridge the expansion joint with any conductive medium like Aluminium Foil tape in such a way that it touches the conductive slabs as well. This way the entire substrate bellow the Expansion Joints is conductive and can now be tested by ELD Scans.
ARE THE ELECTRIC LEAK DETECTION SCAN EQUIPMENTS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE?
Yes ! However, you need to become our Authorised Testing Agency. Check our ECommerce ‘Products’ link.
WE ARE PLANNING A GREEN ROOF / PODIUM GARDEN FOR OUR NEW PROJECT. HOW CAN YOU HELP IN PLANNING ?
Other than assuring the Quality of entire waterproofed areas by most suitable ELD Scan, ROOFTECH highly recommends to lay our patented ‘SmartMembrane’ directly above the waterproofing layer and then cover it with any sort of overburden assembly.
This will ensure that waterproofing layer can be troubleshooted throughout its life-cycle. Further, leaking zones can be automatically detected without the need to remove the overburden saving huge amour of money in future !
Other than that, ROOFTECH takes turnkey contracts for installing any end to end Green Roof (or Green Walls) solutions including Protection Fleece, Solid Drainage Boards, Filter Fabric, Engineered Growing Media and Plants. Visit our sister website www.rooftechent.in
WHAT IS A SmartMembrane?
Our patented SmartMembrane technology, basically is a sensor sheet that can make any Waterproofing Layer ‘SMART’ by letting us monitor the leakages in Real-time on a Cloud
AUTOMATIC LEAK DETECTION SYSTEM – SmartMembrane Technology based platform. Optionally, the same membrane sheet can be manufactured in the form of Waterproofing Membrane with in-built ‘sensors’, that can detect leakages automatically !
HOW DOES SmartMembrane WORK ?
SmartMembrane basically constantly collects data related to ‘electrical resistance’ of applied waterproofing layer and alarms the user over any discrepancies to identify Leakages. It has Three components:
- SmartMembrane sheets come in standard sizes of 1.5 m x 24 m rolls (custom sizes can be produced on bulk orders). SmartMembrane basically is divided in Zones typically of 1.5 m x 1.5 m. This is the accuracy level of identification of a leaking zone
- SmartNode is a monitoring node that monitors 32 zones of SmartMembrane at any given time. They are made in a very contemporary design and in IP 65 encasing which is completely weather proof. Each SmartNode is strategically placed as per the landscape design. So, on an average 1 SmartNode is installed for the monitoring area of approx. 800 SQ.FT.
- One MasterNode collects data from all SmartNodes at a given site and upload the data on a Cloud server for it to be monitored from anywhere in the world.
WHERE IS THE SmartMembrane INSTALLED IN THE BUILT UP ASSEMBLY ?
Typically SmartMembrane is laid directly on the Top of the Waterproofing Layer and Under any overburden assembly coming on top of the Waterproofing Layer.
HOW DO I CALCULATE THE MATERIAL TO BE ORDERED FOR MY SmartMembrane INSTALL ?
Refer HOW DOES SmartMembrane WORK ? Basically, it has three parts:
- SmartMembrane: Typically SmartMembrane comes in Rolls size of 1.5 m x 24 m. So, it has the coverage area of 36 Square Meters (@ 387 Sq.Ft.). You would want to order the no. of rolls depending upon your Roof area you want to monitor.
- SmartNode can monitor up-to 32 Zones. Each Standard Roll of SmartMembrane has 16 Zones. So, you would need 1 SmartNode for 2 Rolls of SmartMembrane (774 Sq.Ft.).
- MasterNode: Each MasterNode can monitor unto 32 SmartNodes which monitors the area of approx. 25,000 Sq.Ft.
Still need confirmation of your estimate quantity, Just Email Us the AutoCAD file of you Roof Plan with the ‘Install Area’ clearly marked by a RED Poly-line. We will get back to you with material estimate typically within 24 hours.
WHO INSTALLS THE SmartMembrane ?
It is super easy to install SmartMembrane and is typically laid by the roofer. ROOFTECH will guide you at each step of your install for your first few projects.
IF I WANT TO REDUCE MY BUDGET / I DON’T NEED REAL-TIME MONITORING. HOWEVER, I DO WANT THE ABILITY TO TEST MY CONCEALED WATERPROOFING LAYER IN FUTURE. WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS ?
You can simply install SmartMembrane directly on the top of the Waterproofing Layer and under any overburden assembly coming over it. Leave the connection network wires at Junction Boxes. Whenever you wish to troubleshoot OR as a part of periodic maintenance checks, you can have the ROOFTECH technician visit site and Scan the Waterproofing Layer with his mobile monitoring SmartNode.
HOW DOES SmartMembrane DIFFER FROM OTHER ‘SIMILAR’ SYSTEMS AVAILABLE IN THE MARKET ?
There are very few systems (can be counted in single digits) available in the world market which can effectively test waterproofing layers (installed on built up or inverted assemblies) in contiguous & real-time monitoring. SmartMembrane is certainly one of the most trusted. Following are the reasons WHY ?
- Other comparable systems needs ‘custom built sensor cables’ to the size of roofing assembly or would need ‘specialised agency’ to install sensor tapes in a predefined fashion on the waterproofing layer. This escalates the end-cost. SmarMembrane is more like a plug & play system and can be laid by any roofer.
- Other systems would need many on-site installations like crimping sensor tapes/ cables, managing huge amount of signal transmission wires and finally taking the whole bunch of network cables on the patching panel and finally using whole lot of gadgets to manage the data sync. This even sounds so complicated ! Think about actually installing one. Again, this escalates the end-cost enormously. SmartMembrane has all required sensors in-built and the user simply needs to plug the network Cat5E cable in the membrane sheet. Even network cable don’t need to travel too much, since local SmartNodes are provided for every @ 800 Sq.Ft.
- Other comparable systems recommends to install multiple layers like Sensor Tapes, Protection Fleece, PE sheets for electrical insulation of system etc. This again escalates cost. SmartMembrane is literally ONE layer that needs to be laid on the top of waterproofing layer and bellow the over-burden, PERIOD.
- FINALLY, let’s compare MOST IMPORTANT POINT –COMMERCIAL VIABILITY. SmartMembraneprovides at leastDouble the Accuracy (1.5 mx 1.5m)of identification Zone at One-Third the end-cost to any comparable systems !!
SmartMembrane ANALYTICS ALLOWS ME TO ACCESS DATA COLLECTED REMOTELY, CORRECT ?
YES. Depending upon the importance of the structure, SmartMembrane can be configured to collect data of moisture performance of waterproofing assembly. This can be every Fortnight, Weekly, Daily etc. The collected Data is uploaded on a Cloud platform using the GSM connectivity or building network of the MasterNode. Facility Management team can anytime Log-in on our www.rootechent.com website and access the Scan Report in Graphical, Leak Zone Indication Drawing or Data-points way and take corrective measures. Notifications can even be scheduled on emails, phones or local BMS portals.
How can I pay? What kinds of payment do you accept? We accept various payment methods, as following:
- Cheque, Cash, or MoneyOrder
- PayPal / PayUmoney
- Credit / Debit Cards