We often work with commercial roofing contractors who specialize in large roof repairs or replacements. In this case study, we review the over 650,000 sq’ commercial roof we performed a thermal roof inspection on a manufacturing facility in the Chester, SC area for a contractor out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. This roofs known construction consisted of a typical Modified Bitumen construction. From the bottom, it had a metal deck, ISO board insulation and the membrane was constructed of your typical welded base and cap sheets.
While every roof we inspect is slightly different in construction, age and expose to mother nature, we put every roof through a similar moisture inspection process. We have even seen 2 roofs with almost identical construction experiencing the same weather elements produce completely different moisture test results. The goal is to provide an unbiased perspective as to the roofs condition that provides value to the property owner.
When you study the infrared imagery to identify suspected moisture, you can’t just look at the thermal images. You have to understand the limitations of the equipment used to complete the inspection, know the weather conditions and time of day the the scan was done, and compare the condition of the exterior of the roof with the thermal images looking for discoloration, debris, ponding water, mechanical equipment and more that all give off thermal signatures that can be mis-interpreted as moisture if not examined closely. For this job, we were only involved with identifying where we suspected moisture in the roof. The roofing contractor performed a few core samples in various locations on the roof that were wet and dry. The core samples correlated with the wet locations we suspected, validating our observations in the report. Of the total 647,302 sq’ of roof, we calculated 235,681 sq’ of suspected moisture reflecting roughly 36.4% of the roof being compromised.