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ASTM International's roofing- and waterproofing-related test methods

The following list of ASTM International standard test methods applicable to roofing and waterproofing provides a synopsis for each standard. This is not a complete list of all the available standards though many standards developed specifically for use in roofing and waterproofing construction are included. It is not practical to provide a comprehensive inventory of the ASTM International resources roofing professionals use because of the sheer variety of subject matter related to roofing and waterproofing applications.

An ASTM International standard test method prescribes a specific procedure that produces a test result and, sometimes, minimum acceptable results. ASTM International standard test methods represent the best currently available test procedures for the uses intended based on a consensus opinion of subject matter experts.

ASTM International's Annual Book of ASTM Standards volumes and individual standards can be purchased by calling (610) 832-9500 or visiting ASTM International's Web site,

ASTM C1250, "Standard Test Method for Nonvolatile Content of Cold Liquid-Applied Elastomeric Waterproofing Membranes," provides a laboratory procedure for determining the average nonvolatile content for one- and two-component cold liquid-applied elastomeric waterproofing membranes. This method can be useful for determining application coverage rates.

ASTM C1549, "Standard Test Method for Determination of Solar Reflectance Near Ambient Temperature Using a Portable Solar Reflectometer," provides a procedure for use with a portable measuring device with an integral light source suitable for laboratory and field readings from small-area samples. This procedure is suitable for use with flat opaque materials.

ASTM D36, "Standard Test Method for Softening Point of Bitumen (Ring-and-Ball Apparatus)," provides a laboratory procedure for testing bitumens with softening points in the range from 86 to 315 F. Bitumens (asphalt, coal-tar pitch) are not characterized by sharply defined melting points. Instead, they soften and begin to flow under their own weight across a range of temperatures. The standard provides an arbitrary definition for a temperature in the softening range of bitumen and a closely-defined method for its measurement. In roofing, the softening point of bitumen is the principal indicator of its fitness for use in a specific application.

ASTM D228, "Standard Test Methods for Sampling, Testing, and Analysis of Asphalt Roll Roofing, Cap Sheets, and Shingles Used in Roofing and Waterproofing," provides a classification and procedures for sampling and laboratory testing and analysis of asphalt-containing roofing and waterproofing materials of sheet and roll type.

ASTM D3105, "Standard Index of Methods for Testing Elastomeric and Plastomeric Roofing and Waterproofing Materials," is a reference catalog to be used as an aid in the selection of procedures and test methods for use in the evaluation of sheet and liquid roofing and waterproofing materials. Its scope is limited to procedures used in the evaluation of the materials as received or as finished materials or coatings.

ASTM D3161, "Standard Test Method for Wind-Resistance of Asphalt Shingles (Fan-Induced Method)," applies to self-sealing and mechanically interlocking asphalt shingles. During testing, test assemblies constructed according to shingle manufacturers' installation instructions are subjected to fan-induced winds of specific velocities for specified durations. Based on the test results, shingles are classified as Class A when the test assembly passes a test wind velocity of 60 mph, Class D when the test assembly passes a test velocity of 90 mph and Class F when the test assembly passes a test velocity of 110 mph. UL 997, "Wind Resistance of Prepared Roof Covering Materials," provides a similar test method and the same shingle wind-uplift resistance classifications.

ASTM D4977, "Standard Test Method for Granule Adhesion to Mineral Surfaced Roofing by Abrasion," provides a protocol for preparing and testing specimens of mineral granule-surfaced roofing materials such as asphalt shingles, asphalt roll roofing and polymer-modified bitumen cap sheets. The test provides a quantitative measure of the quality of mineral granule surfacing retention of tested products. It is intended for use with materials that have not had weathering exposure.

ASTM D6381, "Standard Test Method for Measurement of Asphalt Shingle Mechanical Uplift Resistance," applies to shingles supplied with factory-applied or field-applied sealant. The standard provides two procedures for laboratory determination of sealant-bonded shingles' resistance to mechanical loading. The procedures are intended to replicate wind-loading behavior. Test specimens are loaded until sealant bond failure and the average maximum load is reported.

ASTM D6511, "Standard Test Methods for Solvent Bearing Bituminous Compounds," provides procedures for sampling and testing of physical and performance properties of solvent-bearing bituminous materials used in roofing and waterproofing.

ASTM D7158, "Standard Test Method for Wind Resistance of Sealed Asphalt Shingles (Uplift Forces/Uplift Resistance Method)," applies to sealant-bonded shingles. This standard provides a testing and calculation procedure that produces a wind-speed-based classification rating for asphalt shingles. This standard extends the wind resistance rating system originally employed in ASTM D3161 to higher wind speeds. The resulting wind resistance rating system is summarized in the table.

Wind Speed UL 997 or ASTM D3161 ASTM D7158
60 mph Class A --
90 mph Class D Class D
110 mph Class F --
120 mph -- Class G
150 mph -- Class H

ASTM D7349, "Standard Test Method for Determining the Capability of Roofing and Waterproofing Materials to Seal around Fasteners," applies to asphalt-based roofing and waterproofing materials designed to seal around penetrating fasteners and prevent the passage of water. This procedure is structured to accommodate the addition of new protocols as needed and allows a referencing specification to select the appropriate test protocol from the available standard test protocols.

ASTM E108, "Standard Test Methods for Fire Tests of Roof Coverings," provides procedures for testing the performance of roof assemblies exposed to gas flame and burning pieces of wood. Roof coverings are tested and rated as part of an assembly. The available classifications, in order from most fire-resistant to least fire-resistant, are Class A, Class B and Class C. UL 790 of the same name provides similar test procedures.

ASTM E907, "Standard Test Method for Field Testing Uplift Resistance of Adhered Membrane Roofing Systems," provides a procedure for field testing roof assemblies' resistance to uplift pressures. The test apparatus creates a localized negative pressure (vacuum) region over the surface of a roof assembly to simulate wind-uplift load. The negative pressure is raised incrementally and the resulting roof assembly deflection is monitored until the agreed upon pressure is reached or roof assembly failure occurs. ASTM E907 test equipment also is specified in the Negative Pressure Test provided in FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheet 1-52, "Field Uplift Tests." NRCA has concerns about the application of ASTM E907 and FM 1-52 test methods as measures of quality assurance for low-slope roof applications. For a discussion of NRCA's concerns click here.

ASTM E1918, "Standard Test Method for Measuring Solar Reflectance of Horizontal and Low-Sloped Surfaces in the Field," is intended for use on various horizontal surfaces and low-slope roof surfaces. It samples a large area for measurement, can be used to record readings for roughly textured surfaces and requires clear daytime weather to perform measurements. Solar reflectance is determined as the ratio of measured incoming solar radiation and measured solar radiation reflected from the surface under study.

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