Waterproofing Testing: Ensuring Resilient Building Envelopes


Waterproofing is a critical aspect of construction, safeguarding buildings against moisture ingress, leaks, and structural damage. In this blog, we delve into the world of waterproofing testing, focusing on key standards and compatibility assessments.

There are 4 main aspects of waterproofing testing:

1. Internal Waterproofing

2. External Waterproofing

3. Compatibility between waterproofing membranes and tile adhesives

4. Compatibility between waterproofing membranes and substrates, primers, topcoats, sealants, etc

1. AS/NZS 4858:2004 (R2020) – Internal Wet Area Membranes

AS/NZS 4858 sets out performance and general test requirements for waterproof membranes, specifically those defined in AS 3740 including liquid and sheet membranes. These membranes play a vital role in wet areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, laundries, etc.

This testing regime includes testing such as chemical resistance, resistance to heat ageing, water vapour transmission, water absorption and cyclic movement.

2. AS 4654.1:2012 – Waterproofing Membranes for External Above-Ground Use

AS 4654.1 relates to testing waterproof membranes applied externally, this test standard measures the performance capability against external conditions, and the effectiveness in preventing waterproofing failures. Test methods used in AS 4654.1: membrane durability testing, cyclic movement, water vapour transmission, temperature resistance, bond strength to substrate, seam strength of overlapped sheet membranes, dimensional stability of sheet membranes, tear resistance, puncture resistance, UV exposure, abrasion resistance and root resistance. AS 4654.1 covers test methods for both liquid and sheet waterproofing membranes.

3. AS ISO 13007.5 and AS ISO 13007.6 – Waterproof Membranes for use beneath ceramic tiling bonded with adhesives

These test standards assess the performance of waterproofing membranes bonded with tile adhesives, both liquid (AS ISO 13007.5) and sheet membrane (AS ISO 13007.6) applications. These standards encompass comprehensive test methods, including tensile adhesion, post water contact tensile adhesion strength, tensile adhesion after heat ageing, after freeze thaw cycles, after contact with lime water, water impermeability and crack bridging. The focus of the tensile adhesion is to assess the bond/pull-off strength of the specimen.

4. System Compatibility Testing

Compatibility testing is essential to ensure that various components within a waterproofing system work harmoniously. Waterproofing membranes may comply to there associated standards, but are they compatible with different substrates? Are they compatible when applied over different primers, or when different materials are applied over the top such as sealants, top coats or tile adhesives? It is essential to prevent waterproofing failures by testing waterproofing membranes as a system.

XTec Gen, a NATA-accredited material testing laboratory, specialises in this area. Common test methods used are pull-off adhesion and adhesion in peel. Both these methods provide adhesion qualities from different perspectives, providing valuable data to assess a compatible system.


Waterproofing testing is not just about compliance, it’s about ensuring the longevity and reliability of our built environment. Whether you’re a builder, specifier, or manufacturer, understanding these standards and conducting relevant tests can lead to resilient building envelopes. For more information on waterproofing testing, visit XTec Gen’s website. Remember, a well-tested waterproofing system keeps the elements at bay and ensures a dry, secure space for generations to come.

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