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  Nuclear moisture detection is an extremely accurate  method for locating moisture in a roofing system.   The nuclear moisture meter can detect moisture as deep as 8" into the roof system and it can be used on all types of roofs.  On projects where one roof has been installed over another, or on multi layered systems, nuclear moisture detection is the only moisture detection method that will locate moisture in the bottom layer of insulation.   The meter only detects moisture in the immediate area of the meter, consequently many readings must be taken over the roof surface to insure that there are no moisture laden areas that go undetected.


  Photo shows a core sample taken to verify the findings of the Nuclear Meter and to determine the roof construction.

How Is A Nuclear Moisture Survey Conducted?

The following general procedures are used to conduct a nuclear 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.

  • 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.  

  • A 10' x 10' grid is laid out on the roof surface.  The intersecting grid points are marked in spray paint.  A corresponding grid is placed on the drawing.

  • Nuclear moisture readings are taken at each grid point and at other selected locations where necessary to define the concentrations of moisture and the actual moisture contours.

  • Core samples are taken to calibrate the meters to the roof construction and to visually verify roof conditions and the roof construction.  

  • Galvanic moisture tests are taken to further verify the results of the nuclear readings.

  • The moisture contours are plotted on the roof plan.

  • 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 location, contours, and square footages of all dry, damp, wet, and saturated areas.  Core and photograph locations will be shown on the drawing.

  • 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 comments 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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