Imaging

Infrared Roof Leak Detection

INFRARED LEAK DETECTION

Infrared leak detection is a smart way to see how your roof is doing, EVEN IF IT IS NOT LEAKING!  Owners, property managers, entrepreneurs and companies usually take the same approach, if my roof isn't leaking we are good.  Not smart.  The smart money is on having an infrared done today by Drone Infrared Imaging to see how your roof is doing.We are heading into the wintertime months, which are going to accentuate every roof leak, even the small ones.  What is going to happen is the small amount of water that is getting under the roof is going to freeze and blow your seams apart causing big leaks.  This doesn't have to happen.See complete report for this roof: Infrared Roof Report  The contractor installed 5 different types of roofing on this building on purpose to see how they would perform.
Infrared Leak Detection

The above picture taken from an infrared drone indicates a leak by a skylight.  The roof overall should cool down the same temperature at night, this small area by the skylight remained hotter than the rest of the roof.

Infrared leak detection is not just for roofsNote that leak detection does not have to be localized to just roofing.  It can be used on any surface that has radiant heat emitted from it.  Walls for instance is a good example.  Many times leaks are improperly diagnosed because the point of origin is not the point at which the moisture gets into the building.  The infrared drone can capture images and or video which take the guess-work out of it.  

Infrared Imaging

Infrared imaging on a rainy, windy daySo what does an infrared drone guy do on a rainy windy day... practice.  Happily Flir in conjunction with DJI has upgraded their camera and software to give so many more options.  All the colors and palettes become more vivid and dynamic.  You can even tell how hot your cup of coffee is if you have your drone fired up and running (no propellers) and facing yourself.  The Starbucks coffee was 140 degrees when I first set it on the desk.  Within the first 10 minutes it decreased 20 degrees.  Enough about coffee.Infrared Imaging    Infrared Imaging    Infrared Imaging    Infrared ImagingInfrared Drone UsesThe use of drones and infrared imaging are growing.  A lot of people don't even realize how useful it can be.  I recently had my DJI Inspire Pro with the XT Flir camera flying over a commercial building.  Now I didn't know were the leaks on the building were, but after careful examination I circled areas of concern on the infrared and presented this to the owner.  Surprise surprise the areas that I circled on the infrared turned out to be close to the leak areas on the building.  Now the owner is educated about his roof leaks on his building and a roofing contractor can come out and accurately repair the roof.Roof InfraredHvac contractors can use infrared to see how hot the units are running and believe me some run very hot compared to others (see picture above, two units running hotter).Electric companies can inspect transformers and any other part of the electrical systems to find out what is operating inefficiently.  Any type of piping that runs on the outside of a building can be inspected.Cellular towers can be inspected.Search and rescue, especially at night reveal vivid pictures of human being trying to hide or run from something.The energy efficiency of any building can be determined.

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.