Why perform an Infrared Roof Moisture Survey?

Infrared Thermography is a low-cost tool that will detect the presence of moisture infiltration non-destructively inside the roofing assembly


The roofing assembly is the most critical element in the building envelope due to its intended purpose to protect the building-asset from moisture infiltration and other elements that have the potential to cause roofing failure and damage.

Water infiltration is one of the most costly problems in the roofing industry. Asset owners collectively lose billions of dollars every year as a result of roof leaks.

Water infiltration will cause the breakdown of insulation, which results in the loss of insulating properties. It will also cause the deterioration in the structural roof deck and consequently property damage within the roof and building envelope.

Asset owners collectively lose billions of dollars every year as a result of roof leaks.

This is a preventable issue through the implementation of annual visual roofing inspections.

Faced with complete removal and replacement of all roofing materials, asset owners are left to pay for a roofing replacement knowing it is premature to the service life of the existing roofing system.

Regular moisture surveys have the power to determine if, where, and to what extent detrimental moisture has compromised the roofing system. Below is an example of a metal roof with wet insulation.


By utilizing an annual visual roofing inspection program, the building asset owner has more options for corrective actions and solutions. Regular moisture surveys save an asset owner significant costs by locating the problem before it has the potential to cause major damage. The asset owner can replace only the damaged areas of the roof rather than the entire roofing system.

Non-destructive moisture surveying does not compromise the roofing structure. Moisture surveys are also valuable tools that identify and verify issues with new roof installations as well.

Infrared Thermography

A thermal imaging camera is used to complete an infrared survey. Such cameras indicate trapped moisture within the roofing assembly system.

Roof-Tek will only perform infrared surveys after sundown, as this is when the air and roof surface temperatures reach a state of equilibrium. It is in these conditions that thermal differences or “anomalies” occur that identify moisture issues.

Moisture within the roof insulation during the day is heated therefore retaining its heat into the night longer than the dry insulation. When this happens, the infrared camera detects thermal anomalies in the areas that are warmer. These anomalies are suspect wet areas indicated on the roof surface with spray paint.

Roof cut testing is later performed in both dry and suspect wet areas to verify the instrument readings. Locations of these anomalies including test cuts are also indicated on the roof plan to ensure property history of the building is also documented.




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