building air tightness, a man sealing a crack near the window

Air Tightness Test Prep: The Ultimate Checklist for Commercial Buildings

Air, as essential as it is, can be both a friend and an enemy to your commercial building. It can sneak in or out through the tiniest cracks and gaps, and cost you a lot of money if your building is not suitably airtight. 

While it is essential to get certified, your commercial building’s air tightness also speaks volumes about indoor air quality. Whether it’s gaining insights into indoor air quality or meeting necessary regulations, an air tightness test identifies problem areas and suggests the right fixes. 

At Gio Property Solutions, our expert team thoroughly examine your building to identify unnecessary air infiltration. We will assist you in complying with the regulatory requirements as well as maintaining a stable indoor environment.

However, if you require an air tightness test for your commercial building, you need to prepare in advance. To help you pass the test successfully, we have made a checklist. This comprehensive checklist will ensure your commercial property is prepared to undergo the test and maximise your chance of passing. 

Let’s dive in!

  • Ensure that the building is in a finished state, with doors and windows properly fitted.
  • Seal all boxed-in elements, including soil pipes, waste pipes and ductwork for the MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery) system.
  • Pay attention to the sealing of doors and windows, thresholds and frames. 
  • Make sure that light fittings are fitted securely, and downlighters are properly sealed.
  • Install sockets and light switches as needed, ensuring they are correctly sealed. 
  • Check that access panels and loft hatches are in place and adequately sealed.
  • Ensure that bath panels are fitted securely and sealed.
  • All plumbing fittings should be permanently sealed and fitted.
  • Install and seal skirting boards.
  • Double-check that all penetrations and potential air leakage points in the building are addressed.

Understanding Common Areas of Leakage

To pass your air tightness test, it is important to cover all bases. Some common openings in commercial buildings can be easily overlooked, tampering with the air tightness test results. Therefore, whilst preparing your commercial building for an air tightness test, it’s essential to identify and seal these potential leakage points. Here are some common areas to pay close attention to:

1. Drainage Traps

Drain traps, such as those under sinks and on floors, are a common source of air infiltration. If these traps are not closed, they can tamper with the test by making the air pressure uneven. Make sure to seal them up well or fill them with water, to help us find hidden leaks and conduct an accurate air tightness test.

2. Skirting and Coving

Sometimes, there are gaps between the bottom edges of walls and the floor, as well as where covering meets the walls, which can result in air leakage. Filling these gaps will help us in precisely conducting the test for building air tightness.

3. Metre Boxes

The holes and openings in metre boxes for utility lines can compromise the air tightness test. You should conceal these gaps with appropriate materials like a silicone sealant. Maintaining a securely closed metre box is important in ensuring dependable test results for your commercial building air tightness.

4. Light Fittings

Lighting fixtures can often create holes in the walls and ceilings, through which a considerable amount of air can pass. To seal gaps around the edges of the lightbox, you can use a special material called painter’s caulk. If you are not sure about using caulk, you can also use something called a painter’s putty or spackle to fill in the gaps. 

5. Elevator Shafts 

The gaps around the elevator doors, openings for cables and shaft penetrations need to be sealed properly before the test. When these areas are not closed, air can easily move between floors, affecting the pressure balance and compromising test results. 

6. Service or Utility Shafts 

The service shafts, housing water pipes, electrical conduits and other utilities, can be sources of major air leakage. Properly sealing these shafts prevents unwanted air movement between different areas of the building and precise test results. 

Contact Gio Property Solutions for Accurate Air Tightness Testing Results

Ticking through this comprehensive checklist will help you to prepare and achieve the best result for your commercial building’s air tightness test. Once you are prepared, you can contact Gio Property Solutions to conduct a hassle-free air tightness test. 

We always offer outstanding support to ensure our clients succeed in their air test during the initial visit. If you think your property might not pass the test, we will guide you on how to address the issues effectively and achieve successful results.

With our air tightness tests, you can improve your indoor air quality and ensure your building is compliant with codes and regulations. We provide precise results, and top level support, ensuring the best quality service. To learn more, visit our air tightness testing page or contact us to book an appointment today!

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