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Survey reveals ‘quick win’ opportunity for envelope quality improvements through seal testing focus

Virtually no roofing and cladding installers regard self-drilling fastener seal testing as the priority when working on building envelope installations, according to our recently carried out survey.

It asked installers to rank the importance of four things when thinking about installing a roof or façade:
  1. Choosing high-quality fixings
  2. Regularly testing the quality of the seal
  3. Picking the right screw gun
  4. Using a properly set nosepiece

Regular seal testing was the least important factor by a considerable margin with just 4% of respondents ranking it first, unlike ‘choosing high quality fasteners’ which was the runaway winner with 56% saying it was the priority.

“Regularly seal testing” and “Using a properly set nosepiece” were consistently ranked as the least important factors when installing self-drilling fasteners. Suggesting that best practice is still somewhat of an afterthought.

These findings support our goal to provide clear information and easy to access best practice guides and training for the use of self-drilling fasteners. Seal testing is one important stage of the process which can get overlooked, despite being a really easy process to carry out, and the survey findings indicate that it is still not being given the focus it deserves.

Brian Mack, Technical Business Development Manager at EJOT UK said: “Installers have a lot to gain by making seal testing an integral part of every job where self-drilling fasteners are being used. Not only is it easy to do and low cost, but it is really effective at picking up quality issues that could prove financially and reputationally costly further down the line.

“But it does require two things – a good seal testing kit and some planning to work out how to make testing part of every project in a way that doesn’t cause disruption or add extra work.

“We can help on both fronts, in particular giving you the right kit through our VACUtest. This is an easy to use air pressure testing kit that works by creating a vacuum around the fastener head via a suction cup attached to a hose and a hand pump. And we’ve now produced a short video which shows exactly how easy it is to use.”

We aim to build a comprehensive framework of recommendations that underline the value of regular and correct seal testing, this includes a new 'how to' video and extended literature. The video covers all seal testing basics, such as marrying the correct suction cup to the right fastener and washer, through to what the correct gauge reading results should be.

These updated resources also offer some sound troubleshooting advice by highlighting typical 'bad practice' workarounds known to be used on site when a fastener seal is not as it should be.
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