Smoke Testing

If your building fails it’s air test, HRS highly trained and experienced air test technicians will help you to understand why your building has not passed the air test.

HRS generally use hand held smoke generators or smoke pencils to help identify air leakage paths in the case of an air test failure. In special cases, HRS can bring to site a number of high volume smoke generators which can fill large buildings with smoke relatively quickly.

On most occasions, HRS highly trained and experienced air testing technicians will be able to locate the problem areas and identify where air is leaking out of the building by walking round with the site manager using a smoke pencil to check the most common problem areas first – eaves/verges/plant rooms. The smoke leakage paths can be reported on by a schedule including photographs or video if required.

If required HRS can use an air test fan and large volume smoke generators with CO2 bottles to carry out a full building smoke test. However, in 99.9% of cases HRS find that by using an experienced HRS air testing technician working with the site manager and a smoke pencil, the problem and risk areas can be identified.

HRS have experience of smoke testing existing buildings to identify air leakage paths, and have sometimes used thermal imaging cameras to aid the investigation.

How to actually carry out the smoke test?

It is helpful for the building to be pressurised up to at least 10 pascals with an air test fan to blow the smoke out through any holes, gaps or cracks in the external building envelope, rendering the air leakage paths visible. Smoke leaking from the building can be usually be seen both inside and outside, and photographed to provide a record of air leakage paths.

Smoke tests are ideal for identifying generic areas of air leakage and proving them to sceptical sub-contractors and clients.

How long does it take to carry out smoke investigations?

Localised smoke investigations using hand held smoke generators or smoke pencils usually take 1 -2 hours, depending on the size/complexity of the building and the knowledge / experience of the air tester and site manager to identify and access areas of potential air leakage.

Full building smoke tests to large units can take 4 or more hours depending on how long it takes to fill the building with smoke and then to evacuate the smoke out of the building. The investigation phase takes the time to walk the perimeter of the building taking a video to record results.

What smoke is used and does it damage finishes?

HRS get asked this question a lot. The smoke is a harmless food grade water based monopropylene glycol (MPG), but it is a good idea not to expose fresh food or produce to it. Please note the smoke will cause no damage to the building or finishes.

What Health and Safety precautions should be taken when carrying out smoke tests?

The building needs to be emptied of all people for Health and Safety reasons, and HRS strongly recommend that the Fire Brigade and neighbours are informed to avoid unnecessary call outs and worry.

If you are unsure of the Air Tightness services you require please call 0800 030 4391 or email and one of HRS Air Tightness Consultants would be happy to guide you through the process.

0800 030 4391

Knowledge Hub
“Just wanted to drop an email show appreciation for HRS operatives for the works that they carried out. They very knowledgeable and were able to guide and work with our site team,  in order to achieve satisfactory air tests.”
Project Manager, Kier Construction
“Please pass on my thanks to the air tester for there positive approach and his hands on attitude. Can you please also pass this on to his line manager in his professional attitude. I look forward to being able to use HRS again in the future.”
Quantity Surveyor, Morgan Sindall
“I would like to thank your air tester for his patience during the past tests. He has given me excellent advise which we help on future projects.”
Design Co-ordinator, Balfour Beatty Construction

Case Studies & Gallery

Please hover over an image and click the ‘Link’ icon to view Case Study information, or Click the ‘Magnifying Glass’ icon to see a larger photo.

HRS can provide you with a complete range of building environmental and sustainability services, meaning you can save time and money, avoid inconvenience and your risks are minimised.

From concept design stage to completion, HRS can work alongside you every step of the way. You and your project would be supported by HRS’s extensive knowledge that has been built up over 30 years, whether you need consultancy or on site advice and guidance, HRS’s large team of consultants and on site technicians are here to support you to make sure that your project hands over on time and within budget.

At HRS we believe strongly in being pro-active and customer focused, providing you with innovative cost-effective solutions.

All you need to do is make one phone call to 0800 030 4391 or email: sending one set of drawings stating what services you require, and HRS will take it from there.

Building and Enviromental Services from HRS

Relevant Accreditations

To see the wide range of accreditations that HRS Services hold, please visit our Accreditations page »

Need advice or a quotation give HRS a call on:
0800 030 4391 or email: