Infrared Roof Thermal Imaging Surveys
Infrared roof surveys are a proven method for detecting trapped moisture problems in flat roofs. It can also prevent equipment down time, production losses and damage to structural components which have been compromised by water. Periodic Infrared roof inspections can add years to the service life of a roof and find energy loss due to wet insulation.
The thermal imaging surveys that we perform are non-intrusive and non-destructive. If you have a roof leak or you have been told that you need a new roof, then you need to call us first for an infrared roof survey. We may be able to save you a substantial amount of money and extend the life of your roof. We are experienced thermographers who understand how to use thermal imaging on roof systems. All of our surveys are performed in accordance with currently accepted industry practice and ASTM C1153 “Standard Practice for Location of Wet Insulation in Roofing Systems Using Infrared Imaging.”
Our surveys include:
-The perimeter of defect areas on flat roof surfaces are usually spray painted to show the section(s) to be repaired (unless the client request otherwise).
-We prepare a report that is accurate and easy to understand by the customer.
-The reports are clearly presented with both IR thermographs and digital pictures.
How can we help you maintain your flat and low-sloped roofs?
Infrared imaging is a proven method for identifying and defining moisture problems in your roof. This enables you to make informed decisions and will help develop your roof asset management program. Correct problem areas without the tremendous expense of replacing the entire roof. As water enters your roof through the waterproofing layer(s) by tears, cuts, poorly sealed penetrations, failed flashings and caps, the insulation below can become laden with water and trapped in the roof substrate. If left in disrepair, the concrete deck absorbs or traps water, the wood deck rots. The metal deck rusts, and water intrudes into the building’s interior. Infrared thermography is useful in precisely locating these moisture intrusions.
Why use Infrared Thermography on Flat Roofs?
By using infrared thermography, we find the trapped moisture and mark the wet areas so that repairs can be made surgically. This can save you money because you may not have to replace the roof as soon. By marking paint directly on the roof, repair areas can be seen by anyone standing on the roof after the survey is performed.
How it works…
During the day, the sun radiates energy onto the roof and into the roof substrate. Then at night, the roof radiates the heat back into outer space. This is called radiational cooling. Areas of the roof that are of a higher mass (wet) retain this heat longer than that of the lower mass (dry) areas. Infrared imagers can detect this heat and "see" the warmer, higher mass areas, during the "window" of uneven heat dissipation. Heat loss and other IR services can be performed at the same time.
By using the information generated by our report, the owner’s roofing professional can recommend cost-effective removal and replacement of wet components and draw documents to prepare an adequate roofing substrate to repair only the needed sections and to satisfactorly extend the roofing system’s overall service life .
Roof Maintenance in General
Waterproofing problems manifest themselves in two ways: leakage and entrained moisture contamination.
Leakage is pretty simple, although the leak inside the building rarely directly relates to the exact spot on the roof because the water flows down the slope of the roof to a spot that is not sealed and into the building at that point. Most leaks occur where the waterproofing termination is sealed or where there is a penetration of the roof. Since most types of roofing systems absorb some amount of water, it is harder to find the exact spot of water contamination in the insulation because it may not leak into the building until the insulation has absorbed all the water it can hold.
There are three types of surveys that are used to find water in a roof.
Nuclear gauges - which count neutrons
Capacitance meters - which measure resistance
Infrared - which measures heat.
Both nuclear gauges and capacitance meters are used to take spot readings on a 5’ X 5’, 10' X 10' or 20' X 20' grid on the roof. These measurements are used to extrapolate where the water is from the readings obtained from the gauges. Less than 1% of the roof surface is actually surveyed. These surveys are very labor-intensive and expensive. They are good for types of roofs that do not gain or lose much solar energy and therefore, do not lend themselves to infrared.
With the average lifespan of the typical commercial or industrial roof being seven years, regular inspections and a proper roof maintenance program are required if the owner wishes to properly maintain the roof. With proper maintenance and monitoring with infrared, the lifespan can be increased by as much as 300%, resulting in significant savings for the roof owner.