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Infrared Thermal Imaging in Detecting Moisture Intrusion

There is one main aspect of the Indoor Air Quality industry on which all experts agree: Mold growth will begin where moisture is present. No company can guarantee mold growth will not return unless all sources of moisture intrusion have been eliminated. Orange Coast Inspection's Thermal Infrared Technology process provides the only method to accurately locate moisture intrusion without destructive procedures. Moisture deposits are difficult to detect unless visible signs emerge, often too late to prevent serious contamination. The actual source of the moisture can be many feet away from the site of detection. Visible cues alone are clearly not effective indicators of moisture.

Many times, specifically on roofs, moisture intrusion have can been extremely difficult to detect. Orange Coast Inspection provides non-invasive moisture detection services, specifying the traces of moisture in the walls and ceilings of buildings. Using our Thermal Infrared Technology detection equipment, we can visualize the tell-tale signs of moisture intrusion, without damaging roofs or walls. Our certified specialists capture images of suspect areas with sophisticated thermal scanning equipment. Once downloaded to our proprietary software, the images are enhanced and evaluated by experienced technicians who provide a comprehensive thermographic assessment for the structure. The report is then reviewed by a microbial-growth expert who will develop a comprehensive decontamination plan.

Predicitive Roof Maintenance

Infrared thermography can be a very effective tool for roof asset management. IR roof moisture surveys are performed on roofs to quantify the extent of roof moisture (water) that is inside the roof system. Infrared thermography is not leak management. No matter how the water got into the substrate, the purpose of this type of survey is simply to find and document where the water is located. Extending the life of a roof will save the owner the expense and aggravation of re-roofing or re-covering. The cost of an infrared roof moisture survey is five to ten CENTS per square foot. It cost between three and five DOLLARS per square foot to repair/replace roofs, so knowing the exact location of the subsurface water is extremely useful information, since only those areas that are damaged need to be repaired. This information is used to plan budgets and when needed, as a bid document for contracting repairs and/or replacement of the roof.

The ravages of sun, wind, rain, snow, chemicals, leakage, rapid changes in temperature and time - will eventually cause every roof to fail. Some roofs last many years…when they are well-maintained. Owners may believe that a roof warranty will somehow protect them from having to do maintenance. This is not fact as roof warranties are written by roofing manufacturers for the purpose of protecting themselves from liability. For example, we frequently find a warranty is written so that if improperly installed or defective roofing materials are used on a roof, and water leaks into the electrical switchgear room causing an explosion, the roofing manufacturer will replace the materials, the roofer will reinstall the materials, but the building owner has to pay for the replacement of the switchgear and any downtime that resulted from the failure. Also, the roofer’s and roofing manufacturer’s liability, in the case of roof failures are also reduced by vaguely written roof warranties, which do not define words like "regular" or "routine" maintenance. To eliminate these problems, the building owner should have an agreement with a qualified roofer or roof consultant to inspect and maintain the roof (in accordance with the terms of the warranty) at least once a year.

Infrared thermography is used world-wide by building managers, plant engineers and government agencies to accurately locate and quantify moisture trapped within roofing assemblies. The infrared detection technique can be used effectively on virtually all types of low slope roofing systems.

When the Infrared Roof Moisture Survey Should be Used:

  1. Prior to Final Acceptance and Payment for a new roofing system.
  2. Before the warranty expires.
  3. Before acquiring real estate.
  4. Before re-roofing over an existing roof assembly.
  5. For early detection of problems in order to minimize long term repair costs.
  6. Before preparing your budget request for roof repairs
  7. Whenever leaks occur.

 

   
 


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