An infrared thermography roof scan is a diagnostic tool with many applications, but one of its primary purposes is to identify and outline areas of heat loss within a roofing assembly. This is important as the scan can identify the problem areas, significantly reducing the cost of flat roof repairs. This test is typically carried out on buildings every two to five years as a preventive maintenance measure, identifying minor roof repairs before they become large, expensive ones. A scan will also confirm the condition of a roof before a roofer’s warranty expires, helping you save money if there is a problem with the roof.
How Does Infrared Thermography Work?
During the day, the sun heats up the roof’s surface and insulation. At night, the roof cools down, but areas of wet insulation hold the day’s heat longer than surrounding dry areas. The infrared thermogram registers this temperature differential between the dry and wet areas.
In order to detect this temperature difference, scans must be conducted in specific weather conditions and at night. A dry roof is necessary, and the temperature differential must be significant enough (between the heat of the day and the time of scan) so that a thermal difference exists between wet and dry areas of the roof.
During the scan, all anomalies are marked on the roof’s surface with high visibility paint. Thermograms are taken during the scan and accompany the written report. The following day, verification is carried out to confirm that the infrared thermography camera readings were correct. This is achieved by using a capacitance meter to probe the suspected problem areas. The results are recorded in a chart and the wet areas are quantified. A drawing is then produced showing all areas of moisture within the roofing assembly.
Wall scans can also be a very useful diagnostic tool. They are conducted to help building owners identify areas of heat loss.
Infrared thermography is often requested for roofs and walls, but scanning electrical panels and/or mechanical components is also key. If your electrical connections are overheating, it could mean that your efficiency is down and a safety hazard exists. Scanning could help you to avoid a fire by preventing an electrical failure. These can be dangerous, potentially fatal and often times expensive concerns for building owners.