23 Dec 2015
How to prepare for an Air Test

This depends on where you are in the build process. For the purpose of this article I am going to assume that the build is almost finished.

Firstly, make sure your air testing company is registered with ATTMA.

One of our favourite sayings here at Northern Air testing is:

”Treat every room as an air tight plaster board box” (What do we mean buy this?)

Well if you imagine a small bedroom and think about any penetrations there may be through the plasterboard. These are almost certainly as follows:

1) Where the plaster board meets the floor.

2) Where radiator pipes penetrate the wall or floor.

3) Under the window sill where the plaster board meets the sill.

4) Gaps between the floor boarding.

If the skirting is sealed top and bottom it will resolve issue 1

Proprietary fittings should be used where flexi radiator pipes penetrate to plasterboard, where pipes penetrate the floor the holes should be sealed, issue 2 is now resolved.

Under the window sill is often an area that is missed and is simply resolved with the use of some decorators Caulk issue three resolved.

Often flooring needs to be cut once it is down to access pipe work etc. The cuts need to be sealed once the floor is put back down. Issue 4 resolved.

You now have an air tight plaster board box (with controllable ventilation such as trickle vents) If we tested this room it would get a very low air test score.

Now think of every other room in the property in the same way.

Obviously bathrooms, en suites, kitchens, utility rooms have more penetrations through the plasterboard so take extra care. Remember that once your bath, vanity units and Kitchens are in it is more difficult to seal any penetrations.

So if you do treat every room in the same way as the small bedroom then you are going to achieve a very good air test score, as you will have minimal air permeability throughout the building.

Article Tips from How to Prepare for an Air Test.

  • Seal all skirting boards both top and bottom
  • Don’t have carpets fitted until the air test has been done. If you have to have the carpets fitted ask the fitters not to ‘score out’ the seal between the floor and the skirting.
  • Remember our plasterboard box saying.
  • Download our Air Test Check List.
  • Give us a call and we will be happy to offer you practical, free advice.

Article, How to Prepare for an Air Test by Phil Ramshaw (Director)

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