How Thermal Imaging is Used for Roof Inspections

How does your commercial roof look? On the surface, it may seem like your roof is in excellent condition, but many would be shocked to learn that their flat roof has minor leaks that could lead to mold, rot or even structural damage.

Roofing contractors and inspectors utilize the latest technology to get the most information about your roof system. The most common tool we use is thermal imaging or infrared imaging. Thermal imaging allows roofing contractors to see what is happening under the roof membrane.

The last thing you want to do is trap moisture into your roof system. By using thermal imaging on commercial roof surveys, a contractor can see if there is moisture present under the roof membrane and make the best decision on how to proceed with your roofing project.

Thermal Imaging for Roof Surveys

Infrared Survey

Infrared Survey

Infrared Moisture Surveys give contractors and inspectors the ability to see what is happening under your roof’s membrane without having to damage your roof system.

Thermal imaging has been used since the 1970s to help determine if your facility needs a total roof replacement or if your facility roof can be repaired in the damaged areas. They are an integral part of delivering the best quality roof at a fair price.

Our team at West Roofing Systems perform many, MANY thermal roof surveys for our customers. Our thermal survey team heads out in the evening on a clear night to get the best reading.

There needs to be precise conditions for an infrared moisture survey to be successful:

  • Flat or low-sloped roof
  • The clean and dry roof surface
  • Mostly sunny and warm during the day
  • Little to no wind
  • Clear night

What Does a Thermal Image Show?

You can see what is happening under the roof surface by the colors that appear on the imaging – whether it is a photo or video. Here are some photos of thermal imaging:

Infrared Roof Surveys

Infrared Roof Surveys

Infrared Roof Surveys

When looking at these images, you can see the color differences

  • Cool Colors – Blues and Purples
  • Warm Colors – Yellows, Reds, and Oranges

 
The areas in the photo that are shown in warm colors are areas of the roof that are holding in the heat from the sunlight during the day. The brighter, warm colors signify the more moisture that is underneath the membrane. As you can see in the photos above, these roofs need some work.

Why Roofers Use Thermal Imaging

Commercial Infrared Survey

Greg Haas Performing a Commercial Infrared Survey

The benefits of utilizing thermal imaging, rather than another survey type, are numerous regarding cost, time and accuracy.

  • Detects problems that cannot be visually identified
  • Not invasive to your roof system
  • Cost-Effective do to advanced technology and short survey time
  • Plan a project accurately, saving time and money
  • Eliminate unnecessary projects

 
West Roofing Systems provides free commercial roof surveys for all of our current and potential customers who are interested in having work done on their facility.

Our sales team and expert technicians perform a comprehensive roof analysis by inspecting conditions, establishing roof assembly through core samples to determine if the project will be an overlay or tear-off, and measuring roof area square footage.

Get Your Free Roofing Quote

Author: Aubrey Barto

Aubrey Barto is the Marketing Manager of West Roofing Systems, Inc. She has two BAs in News and Media Production with Certifications from Hubspot, HootSuite, University of San Francisco and Wharton School of Business. Aubrey works closely with West Roofing’s sales and service teams, she is up on our roofs taking photos and videos for our website regularly.

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