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Flat Roof Leak Detection

Flat roofs are everywhere. Most commercial, institutional, and industrial roofs are flat roofs.  Thousands of millions of square feet of flat roof are installed each year.  Flat roofs are expensive to install and replacement roofs are usually more expensive when disposal costs of the old roof are included.

Infrared Roof Inspection

Roofs are often ignored as part of the building maintenance plan.  The roof only gets attention when it makes itself known, and the only time that happens is when it leaks.  Forty-five percent (45%) of all new roofs develop serious problems within one year of installation.  The National Roofing Contractors Association estimates that the sources of the problems are due to:

  1. 50% - Poor workmanship

  2. 20% - Poor design

  3. 15% - Poor maintenance

  4. 10% - Material failures


Flat roofs are highly susceptible to leaks and water damage.  Once a leak begins, it will saturate the insulation beneath it, diminishing the R-value of the ceiling's insulation and adding unneeded heating and cooling costs to a building.  Luckily, using infrared cameras is a very quick and easy way to locate flat roof leaks!


Detecting the leak using infrared cameras must be done at nighttime, typically within an hour or so after the sun goes down.  There also must be at least two to three days of no rain before the test can be completed, and the roof surface must be free of standing water.  


Throughout the day the sun's heat will warm the surface of the roof.  The areas which contain water beneath the surface will warm up much slower than the rest of the roof area.  The reason for this is because water has a higher thermal capacity than the surrounding insulation materials, and absorbs heat at a much slower rate.


At nighttime, after the sun goes down and the roof starts to cool off, the areas where moisture is trapped beneath will still be releasing the heat that was stored all day from the sun and can then be easily visible as "hot spots" when compared to the rest of the dry roof areas.

Once the roof leaks have been detected, the area is marked off with spray paint so that a roofing contractor can easily find and repair ONLY the areas that are damaged.  This can ultimately save the building owner THOUSANDS of dollars in unneeded roof replacement costs!

Contact us to see if we can help you detect a flat-roof leak!

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