June 11, 2013

Thermographic Roof Surveys

Thermographic roof surveys to locate water intrusion, leaks and inspect insulation performance.

Infrared thermal imaging is a valuable technique for non-destructively inspecting roofs of many types and constructions.  There are a number of different methods for using thermography on a roof system. Some are more appropriate than others depending on the construction, the time of the year and the weather conditions.

When looking for water penetration in a flat roof the “traditional” infrared method is to scan the roof surface from above around sunset after a sunny day. Remarkable results can be obtained on a number of different roof constructions and materials. These include inspection of single-ply membranes, bitumen felt, EPDM, GRP, hot melt and cold applied liquids laid above insulation or boarding.  One of the main advantages of thermal imaging a roof versus electronic leak detection is that even conductive materials like EPDM can be scanned. As thermal imaging is a non-contact method, inaccessible or unsafe roofs can be inspected by a thermographic scan from a distance.

A mast or UAV/drone can be used to elevate or fly a thermal camera above the roof at the right time and in the correct conditions. Sometimes viewing from a higher roof can be utlised.

Detecting A Leaking Roof With Thermal Imaging Equipment

Whenever possible, we recommend that roof access is provided. This allows us to conduct a detailed visual inspection as well as verification of suspected moisture intrusion. We do this using secondary methods such as radio-capacitance roofing meters. ScanTherm has a range of different moisture meters specifically designed to non-destructively test for the presence of moisture within the roofing system. We often provide a combined infrared inspection and moisture mapping service for the added confidence it provides.

thermographic leak detection in roof

We conduct many thermographic roof inspections from inside the roof void or from below, scanning the roof soffit.  In each case we discuss the specific objectives with the client and based on the the construction, time of year and goals we will recommend a method we believe will be the most effective in terms of results and cost.