Your Questions , Our Answers – How can I make sure my ABAA Audit runs smoothly?
ABAA Auditors are typically responsible for multiple projects across a wide geographic area. With this in mind, there are a number of things Installers can do to ensure audits go smoothly. Scheduling is the most vital. The general guideline is to schedule any audit two weeks in advance, however, if the project is not scheduled to start for months the Auditor will appreciate this information. Communication of timeline changes is always welcome.
Sometimes schedules can't be coordinated so the Installer and Auditor may both be present. Per ABAA rules Auditors may conduct audits independently, however, it is preferred that the Installer or a representative from their company provide an escort in order to answer any questions which may arise. At least one of the scheduled audits should occur while installation is actively being done.
Auditors are provided with ABAA approved specifications for the type of air barrier to be used on a project. They do not receive detailed design information or a final list of materials. Auditors are also not notified if there are changes in design or materials. It is the Installer's responsibility to provide the Auditor with information about the brands and types of materials being used to create the air barrier and any changes in design.
Once the Auditor is on site it is beneficial to show them plan details. Auditors need to understand how the air barrier will be tied to the roofline, how door and window openings will be detailed, how inside and outside corners are to be treated, and how gaps and voids will be bridged. The Auditor's job is to evaluate the installation of the air barrier materials but also to evaluate the air barrier as a whole.
Each ABAA audit consists of a visual inspection of all installed air barrier materials and the substrates where materials will be applied, testing of installed materials, plus Installer identification and document review. The Auditor will take an average of 60 - 100 photos of the building and installed materials. Installers are encouraged to prepare testing areas in advance. Prior to the audit, Installers should prepare an area where transition membranes can be pull tested. Disks which need to be secured for adhesion testing should be prepared 24 hours in advance.
Installers should ensure daily documentation is complete, up to date, and available for review. ABAA identification cards for all Installers on site should also be available. If the Installer is not able to be present for the audit, copies of documentation may be left with the site supervisor or emailed to the Auditor.
In short, good communication and advanced preparation are the best means for an Installer to ensure a smooth audit. Being prepared to perform testing and having all documentation complete are important keys. If Installers have questions or concerns about the audit process they should feel free to contact their assigned Auditor.
President and Founder Kichline Enterprises, LLC