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Flat Roof Leak

Launch Slideshow

Flat Roof Leak

IR images pinpointed the source

Flat Roof Leak

IR images pinpointed the source

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    As you can see from the visual image, there was some moisture damage on the ceiling, but it seemed to be limited to that one location.

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    In the thermal image, it's obvious from the darker areas that the water had in fact traveled all the way to the floor.

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    On the roof, we found that ponding was occurring because an overflow drain at the parapet wall was improperly installed.

We were called into this large custom home in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., by a water-remediation company that was already at work on another portion of the home when a rainstorm blew in and caused some new leaks. Before making any expensive repairs, the remediation crew wanted to make sure they knew what they were facing.

As you can see from the visual image (see slideshow), there was some moisture damage on the ceiling, but it seemed to be limited to that one location. But in the thermal image, it’s obvious from the darker areas that the water had in fact traveled all the way to the floor. When we went up on the roof, we found that ponding was occurring because an overflow drain at the parapet wall was improperly installed. This was a leak waiting to happen.

IR From the Air

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Our company also does aerial scanning of large commercial roofs. For roofs up to 100,000 square feet, walk-on inspections with capacitance meters are cost-effective. But for larger roofs, a fly-over survey becomes a viable solution, because it’s much more efficient. Roof inspections are typically done at night, when the dry areas of the roof cool off quickly but wet areas continue to radiate heat due to higher thermal mass.

The white lines in this scan of a large low-slope roof indicate moisture trapped along the edges of the rigid insulation panels. The other light-colored irregularly shaped areas show places where the insulation is wet. In the image of a flat roof, the light-colored area at thetop indicates moisture in the roof substrate.