Monthly Archives - August 2016

ROOF INFRARED OR LOTS OF COOL COLORS

Roof Infrared InterpretationYes the roof above does have leak issues. The roof is a BUR roof and the gravel is spread evenly across the roof (meaning the roof should have cooled off at the same temperature which it did not).Can you just look at a roof infrared scan and tell what is going on?  Are all the red areas on the scan a roof leak?  Are there some roofs that can't be scanned?  These questions will be answered in this blog post.Question #1.  First off, there are so many different roof membranes producing so many levels of radiant heat that a hot spot could mean many things.  For example a large area of ponding water could cause the membrane to be cooler than it should be.  Another example could be repairs that are black in color could produce hotter than usual temperatures.  This would lead one to believe that the roof has leaks in all of those areas.  This is why it is very important to have someone like Drone Infrared Imaging with 30 years of commercial roofing experience interpreting what the infrared scan is revealing.Question #2.  There are different palettes of color that Flir Camera can be set at, so saying that all the spots that are red are leaks won't work.  Even if it is set at a rainbow setting, red spots could come from many different avenues.  HVAC units (see picture) in the summer operate very hot and can cause the membrane to stay warm longer.  Different membranes DJI_0049used on the same roof systems for repairs.  Even tar that has bled through the gravel of a BUR roof system can cause hot spot.  My point here is you need to know your membranes and the ambient heat that they produce.Question #3.  For the last question the answer is yes.  One example is a EPDM Ballasted Roof.  The ballast stays at a consistent temperature masking the real temperature of the EPDM under the ballast.  
Commercial roofs need infrared imaging

DRONE INFRARED IMAGING

Drones provide quick infrared resultsThere are many ways to evaluate a commercial building.  One way is to do a visual inspection by walking the entire roof.  Another is taking core samples of various areas of the roof.  Still another is through aerial photography.  If a professional roofer is able to look at an aerial detailed picture, many areas diagnosis can be given just from the picture alone.  Probably the most promising is to do an infrared scan of the roof.  Some infrared cameras even allow you to take video.  Isn't technology wonderful.  After getting to the facility and mapping out a plan, making sure it is safe to fly, it is only a matter of 15 minutes and the infrared drone can be up and flying over the facility.  There is so much information that can be gained from the infrared pictures and video.Discover roof leaks, heat duct leaks and energy deficienciesIt is important to note, not all roof types can have an infrared scan.  If the roof is scanned for leaks, roof leaks will be obvious.  Roof leaks will allow water to saturate into the insulation causing those areas to be hotter as emissivity is happening.  Emissivity is the ability of a surface like a roof to emit radiate energy.  Roofs during the warming of the sun can cause some roofs to get to 180 degrees.  If a roof is dry and free of leaks, emissivity will happen consistently across the roof.  Wet insulation under the roof will cause the radiant heat of the roof to stay hot.Some HVAC units are equipped with side mount discharge, meaning the duct comes out of the side of the unit.  These ducts can also be tested for leaks through the infrared scan.Lastly the roof can be scanned to discover potential energy deficiencies.  For example, over time the roof insulation shrinks causing gaps under the roof membrane.  These areas can be detected through an infrared scan.  If it is cold outside and the building is being heated then the lines along the edges of the insulation will test hotter because the hot air is trying to escape.To learn more about emissivity go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75PmF7KLf4A
Thermoplastic Roof

THERMOPLASTIC ROOFS, BENEFIT IN THE MIDWEST?

White thermoplastic roofs are coolThe most common thermoplastic roofs are PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin).  Both of these materials will prove to be cooler roof systems than most materials out there.  On a 90 degree day, an EPDM roof can get upwards of 170 degrees.  On a 90 degree day, thermoplastic roofs will be at a temperature of 110 degrees (approx.).  This is a significant difference in temperature.  Most consultants would argue that the temperature doesn't matter in the Midwest because they want the warmth in the winter.  I will tell you the biggest benefit in the last paragraph.Thermoplastic roofs in the summerWhether you are in the Midwest or not having a cool roof allows buildings to stay cooler thus reducing the cost of cooling buildings.  The other thing it does is allow HVAC units to operate more efficiently through reduced heat around the unit.  Both of these factors contribute to energy saving costs in the summertime months.  In future posts, I will have infrared shot via a drone to prove my points.Thermoplastic roofs in the winterThe effects of the sun is significantly less in the wintertime because the sun is no longer high in the sky or directly overhead.  The absorption of the suns rays is not as strong as the dead of summer causing the black roof materials to reach temperatures that are less than if the sun would be directly overhead.  Don't get me wrong, is it beneficial to have a roof that is warm in the winter on a sunny day, YES.  The effects however are not as significant as the summertime cooling.  Is the energy savings more significant in the south, YES.Thermoplastic roofs biggest benefitUltraviolet rays are probably one of the most damaging factors to any roof system.  Roof materials deteriorate because they dry out and crack or shrink.  Anything that can be done to avoid this process would be beneficial the roof system.  Thermoplastic roof can have a .070 - .085 reflection of the sun.  Thermoplastic white products are reflecting 70-85% of the suns rays back into the atmosphere as opposed to absorbing them and drying out the product.  So whether you are in the Midwest or the deep South, this benefit will always remain.