Message Board Thread - "Roof Inspection "

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Roof Inspection kaydub 1/6/2003
I am trying to slowly start an IR consulting company and my first job might be a roof survey. The roof has a leak and we are going to try to find the leak, but the black roof is covered with tan gravel. Will the gravel "insulate" the IR signiture of the leaking areas of the roof making it impossible to detect water under the roof? The building is in D.C. should i recommend waiting until spring to get a better thermal load on the roof or is the winter sun strong enough to allow for leak detection?

Thanks for any help,
RE:Roof Inspection Gary Orlve 1/7/2003
Kyle -

The ballast (gravel) actually helps in the heat transfer process and should not be a problem. A winter roof scan is tricky - the window in time for inspection may occur before sun down and will disappear quickly. A good reference for you is ASTM C1153-97, the roofing standard. You also may consider coming to our roof course here in Boston April 8 & 9. E-mail me for more info at:

Thanks for your posting & good luck with your consulting!

Re:Roof Inspection stewart 12/1/2004
We have actually experienced the exact opposite of this on site with ballast. Depending on the depth of the ballast etc. Another problem is that ballast can cause deflections in the deck which will then hold water and show up on a thermal survey. Ballast also slows down the drainage from the roof which in turn holds dirt. The dirt then allows vegetation to grow which again causes thermal problems. As for winter - this is the very best time to do a survey as it provides a natural temperature differential, that is difficult to replicate otherwise. We have now independently surveyed over 1 million square metres of flat roofs in the UK with great success. Good luck with your business and be careful on roofs at night..

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