Thursday, March 29, 2012

When should you have your roof inspected?

You want to have your roof inspected once before the season with the most severe weather and once after. In the northern climates, the severe weather is winter where the cold, storms and precipitation contributes more to the demise of the roof. However, where hot weather rules, summer is the severe season - the solar UV radiation is higher, and the roof is subjected to high heat and to thermal shock due to sudden cooling during summer rains. You want to check the roof before the severe season to prepare the roof for its ordeal to come and once after it has weathered the season to repair any problems that happened during.

Periodically, a formal moisture survey should be done in addition to the normal visual survey. There are three major types of moisture survey systems used, none of which actually measures water. All of them measure properties of the roof materials that change when there is water present.
  • An infrared scan measures the amount of heat retained or lost through the insulation. Wet insulation transmits heat better than dry materials. Thus, the infrared camera will pick up the higher levels of heat radiated by wet materials.
  • Nuclear isotopic meters work by sending hydrogen ions into the roof system and counting the number that bounce back. Because water has two hydrogen ions in every molecule, the number of ions counted increases significantly when water is present in the roof.
  • Electrical capacitance and resistance meters measure the ability of roof materials to conduct electricity. They work on the principle that wet materials conduct electricity better than dry ones do.
Each of these testing methods has limitations that need to be discussed with a roofing expert to determine their applicability to a particular roof before they are used. It is worthwhile to have a formal moisture survey done at least once every five years. If a roof is found to be in marginal condition at any time, a survey should be used at that point to help formulate a course of action.

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1 comment:

  1. Repairing a roof is one of the most expensive things a family will have to pay for. When roofs get damaged, they must replace/repair those roofs as soon as possible. To prevent an expensive repair, families must make inspect their roofs every once in a while to maintain your roof’s structural integrity.

    Neil Hirsh