Case Study: Large Commercial Infrared Thermographic Roof Inspection- Wichita Falls, TX

We are regularly brought in to help inspect large commercial roofs for internal moisture damage to help with processing an insurance claim. We regularly represent carriers and and policy holders. No matter what side we represent on a claim, the result of our infrared roof and wall inspections won’t vary as we strive to provide you with the best results. The best results come from choosing your inspection time wisely. Major factors depend on the weather and time of day to ensure you catch the roof at just the right time.
We partner with an engineering firm based out of Dallas Texas who represents a number of insurance carriers on insurance claims throughout the country. I appreciate working with companies like them because they put in their due diligence to assess a roofs condition and determine if the claimed weather event correlates with the causation of damage on the roof. They strive for excellence in everything they do and don’t accept short cuts in the inspection process.
For this project, we were asked to complete a thermal roof inspection and Tramex moisture meter test. The project is located in Wichita Falls, TX. Before we got onsite, the field engineering team had already completed a visual inspection of the roofs surface and took core samples in multiple locations to understand roof construction. The 2 larger roofs on the property had different insulating properties that produced completely different thermal imaging results. Both roofs had a metal deck and standard weld layered mod bit roof membrane. The smaller roof had roughly 3” of ISO boards for insulation and the other had 3” ISO with tar membrane and SPF foam on top of that with a modified bitumen membrane on surface.
This location was in military airspace where we were only authorized to operate at 100’ AGL, which is much lower than the desired altitude to complete these inspections. Due to our altitude limitations, we were unable to provide calculations on how much suspected moisture was present, but had no problem reporting where on the roof we suspected moisture. Foam insulation reacts completely different to ISO boards when introduced to moisture. From the leak point, ISO boards will eventually soak up water throughout the whole insulation board. The result from this in a thermal scan can look something like s grid pattern based on the boards that have soaked up moisture. Foam on the other hand, is not highly absorptive. A typical pattern on Foam is generally pretty confined to the opening area and produces small thermal anomalies. The expectations going in to this survey were met by the results of both roof structures being just as explained above. One challenge in performing thermal scans on roofs with multiple layers of roof is the difficulty of understanding how much moisture is present on the bottom roof layer as the upper layer insulated the moistures thermal reading from reaching the surface.
In spite of the difficulties involved with this project, we were able to successful identify where we suspected moisture in the structure.
Mod Bit Foam Roof Thermal ImageMod Bit ISO Board Roof Thermal Image
Foam Insulation Thermal Moisture Pattern  ISO Board Insulation Thermal Moisture Pattern
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