Testing water penetration of Installed Windows

Quick Summary:

As described below, there may be times when a building owner needs to know if windows and doors that are already installed are performing as they should.

There are well established test methods to do this. Using recognised test methods together with the appropriate test equipment and trained technicians, the results are dependable and can be relied upon to accurately determine any matter.

The entire process can be certified via IANZ accreditation.

Below is a more detailed description. A short form specification is available to architects and specifiers for incorporation into their contract documents.


WANZ welcomes any enquiries for these independently provided services.

Please use the "Contact Us" form.

WANZ also welcomes inquiries from those already suitably experienced in the window industry who wish to be trained, equipped with certified equipment and registered on this site as providing specialist on-site testing services.





There are occasions when on-site testing of the weathertightness of window or façade element installations is required.

These tests may be part of building Quality Assurance programmes, verification of remedial work on installation detailing, or diagnostic tests to trace observed water penetration through recently installed fenestration products.

Most products supplied to building sites will either have had prototype testing on near identical component systems carried out by the manufacturer or have been designed based on engineering information and established performance criteria.

However as most commercial building sites are not identical, the installation details of fenestration elements will be specific to the particular site. As the prototype testing of facades is an expensive undertaking, such testing is usually only carried out where the system or products have no performance history, and it is necessary to demonstrate that the specific criteria of structural performance air infiltration and water penetration at defined wind loads is achieved.

Where established fenestration systems are being used in different arrangements from the original prototype tests, the structural aspects of the design can be verified by engineering calculation, but there may be questions concerning equivalent weatherability performance that need to be considered. If the installation detailing is significantly different to that of the original prototype or there are concerns by the specifiers that require additional verification of the fenestration installation, site testing should be considered. While this is an additional cost to the project, these costs may well be an insurance against subsequent remedial work on weathertightness problems, after the building contract is completed.

To avoid specifiers and building contractors developing site testing procedures that may be non-standard and therefore not able to be certified within existing NZS ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory testing protocols, WANZ has developed two test procedures that can be specified for on-site weathertightness verification and quality assurance and that can be incorporated into existing IANZ accredited laboratory test schedules. These two testing procedures are based on long established testing methods developed by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) for site testing of fenestration elements and their installation.


The two tests procedures are:

AAMA 501.2 Quality Assurance and Diagnostic Water Leakage Field Check of Installed Storefronts, Curtain Walls and Sloped Glazing Systems”,

AAMA 502 Voluntary Specification for Field Testing of Newly Installed Fenestration Products.


Members of the Window Association in New Zealand have for many years valued the ready availability of the many technical support documents published by the AAMA.

Many of our members have utilised the standardised field testing procedure that is covered by AAMA 501.2 with the purchase of the recommended nozzle and making up and using the equipment in accordance with the procedure. More recently there have been moves on a number of building projects to undertake a more detailed evaluation of water tightness performance, using an internal enclosure similar to that covered by AAMA 502 – 08.


Suitably Qualified Providers

HBC 2016 Ltd Tel or   www.hbc.co.nz

APL  Tel

Fairview Tel

Fletcher Aluminium