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  InfraRed has become the most popular moisture detection method for locating subsurface moisture on commercial roofing systems.  Probably the biggest single reason for this popularity is because the infra red camera can scan the entire roof and "see" the actual moisture contours of each wet area.  Every sq.ft. of a roof can be scanned with the infra red camera.  In the hands of a competent operator who is well versed in roofing technology, the infrared camera becomes a powerful tool for determining the subsurface moisture content of a roofing system.



  Thermogram of wet insulation on a single ply roof. The area shown is part of a 2,500 sq.ft. area.


How Is An Infrared Moisture Survey Conducted?

The following general procedures are used to conduct an infra red moisture survey:

  • Before the survey begins, historical records are reviewed and building personnel are questioned to determine leak sites, problem areas, and other important data about the roof.  If possible the underside of the deck is also inspected.

  • The entire roof is scanned with the infrared camera.  The exact contours of all moisture laden areas are spray painted on the roof surface.  Normally orange marking paint is used.

  • During the survey a nuclear moisture detector is used to verify the accuracy of the infra red camera and to check questionable anomalies.  The nuclear meter is also used to detect moisture that is located deep in the roofing system.

Roof Scan is one of the few companies that is licensed to operate nuclear equipment.  Using the nuclear meter as a backup during an infrared survey is a tremendous advantage because it minimizes the chance of errors and insures that the survey is as accurate as possible.  The nuclear meter also keeps the number of destructive cores that are necessary to a minimum.

  • A computer generated roof plan is drawn to scale showing all pertinent roof top equipment and the locations, square footages, and contours of all moisture laden areas.

  • Color, or black and white Thermograms are taken of selected anomalies.  If requested, we can provide an infrared video and a daylight video of the roof.

Thermograms are pictures of wet areas taken thru the infrared camera.  Thermograms allow you to see the wet areas as the camera operator does.The infrared camera sees wet areas as varying shades of gray or white.  These wet areas are called anomalies.

  • As a final verification of the survey, core samples are taken to verify the conditions and to document the exact construction of the roof.  All core sites are patched so that they will be in a watertight condition.

  • Digital photographs with comments are taken of the roof and of selected deficiencies.  

  • If requested by the client, the roof is inspected and repair/replace recommendations are made. The recommendations would include the suggested type of new roof system ,  specific roof repairs that may be required, and budget estimates.

What Information Will The Client Receive When The Survey Is Completed?

  • Client; will receive a comprehensive spiral bound report, a computer generated drawing, and core samples.  

  • Drawing;  A scaled drawing will be prepared that shows all pertinent equipment and the locations,  contours, and square footages of all dry, damp, wet, and saturated areas.  Core locations, photographs and Thermogram locations will be shown on the plan. 

  • Report;  A spiral bound report will be prepared that documents the findings of the survey.  The report will define; the roof construction, the condition of the roof system, and the square footage and percent of total roof area containing dry, damp, wet, and saturated insulation.  Photographs and Thermograms will also be included along with specific repair/replace recommendations (if requested).

  • Core Samples;  All core samples taken during the survey will be sealed in air tight plastic bags so that they remain in their "as removed" condition.  All core samples are turned over to the client.



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