Flat Roof Inspections

Whether apparent or concealed, roof problems are always trouble and can result in a significant expense. While there may be a number of factors contributing to the cause, it has long been understood that entrapped moisture will ultimately destroy a roof system.

Thermal image indicating moisture intrusion in flat roof system

Left unattended, moisture intrusion into a roof system will cause the roof membrane and insulation to rot. It decreases the thermal efficiency of the insulation, which will increase heating or cooling costs of the building. Water also dangerously increases the weight load of the roof and can lead to structural deterioration and safety concerns for personnel.

Proper identification to the defects will help determine the influences that are contributing to the deterioration, the repair needed and the proper repair material to be selected. It will also help managers prioritize repairs according to the significance of the problem, time constraints and budget limitations.

The IPSI Approach

At Infrared Predictive Surveys, Inc. (IPSI), we take a multi-faceted approach to your flat roof inspection needs.

A field survey would be conducted to evaluate the condition of the roof to be inspected.

The scope of a typical roof survey would include interviews with the customer, visual observations, photographic documentation, and field testing using a combination of nondestructive and destructive techniques.

We would complete the survey with an analysis and evaluation of the roof and provide a Report of Findings regarding the roof conditions at the time of the survey.

Roof appears to be in poor condition. Many areas of the asphalt appear to be brittle and are splitting.

The first step to a roof inspection is to conduct an interview with the customer to determine their past and present experience with roof leaks, repairs, or other service issues. It is through this interview that information would be gathered on repaired areas, wall location, insulation voids and the location of HVAC units and duct work. Details would also be gathered on the roof edge and supporting structure, roof-wall joints, and the manner in which projections were installed on the roof.

Visual Inspection and Photographic Documentation

Interior and exterior visual observations are then made of the building structure, roof drainage, roof surface conditions, and other accessory items.

Base flashing is open which possibly
allows water to enter the building

The purpose of the visual inspection is to locate obvious defects in the roof system such as ponding water, open joints in the flashing, missing flashing, punctures, blisters, bare spots on aggregate-covered roofs, and cracks in adjacent masonry walls to name a few.

While it is not intended to provide a complete photographic record of the roof, photographs are made to provide a visual description of the typical roof conditions or selected problem areas at the time of the inspection.

Field Testing Methods

Detecting entrapped moisture within insulated buildings is achieved through proper evaluation and the application of one or more field testing methods. Infrared Predictive Surveys, Inc. utilizes three primary non-destructive testing techniques. These are infrared thermographyelectric capacitance/impedance testing, and nuclear detection testing (nuclear backscatter). We also utilize moisture verification (core cuts) to determine the amount of moisture present in the marked areas.