Infrared Roof Leak Detection

Roof system x-ray

ROOF SYSTEM X-RAY

Roof System x-ray (sort of read on)A roof system x-ray or better known as an infrared of your roof system, performed with a drone, can be both cost-effective and eye-opening.  The featured picture is an infrared of the below building.  Drone Infrared Imaging flew about 80' off the ground to capture the below image.  The pvc roof system has seen its better days.  The roof is now dull and dingy.  The black stained areas usually have to do with the lack of drainage on the system.  A roof that has poor drainage does not mean those areas are leaking.  In this example, it is revealed that it is opposite.roof system x-rayWhat would a roof consultant say?A roof consultant would probably recommend a complete tear off for this roof system.  Good plan if the owner of the building could afford it.  The infrared drone is just reading the moisture of the layer of insulation directly under the roof system.  It can't read the other layer which is under the initial roof system and over the deck.  The only way to know the moisture content in that layer would be to investigate leaks by doing a series of core samples.Infrared Scan helps to provide economical roof system optionThe roofing contractor removed the top layer of roofing.  The infrared helped make this decision.  The moisture did not penetrate the initial layer of insulation over the deck so they could leave that roof in place.  This made it very affordable and something that the owner was willing to do.  The requirements for roof insulation are very high.  Roof insulation is now the highest component of the roof system.  A recovery board was installed instead of all the different layers of insulation which saved money.  There was a labor saving by not tearing off the bottom roof.  As a result, a building owner was happy!
Drone Inspection

DRONE INSPECTION

Drones are going to be used in many industries in the years to come, way more than what you think.Will drones be delivering packages?  I don't know.  Currently a drone in between .5 lb and 55 lbs cannot be flown if it is out of our line of sight.  You would be hard pressed to flight a drone two towns over and maintain line of sight.  Oh and by the way no help of anything to enhance vision can be used according to the FAA.  A drone inspection can reveal so much more information we could not see in the past.  Drone inspections can be performed on roofs, construction sites, water towers, electrical towers, stacks, walls, siding, water treatment, agriculture, condominiums, townhouses, factories, commercial buildings and all of these can have infrared imaging.
Drone inspection

Drone water tower inspection

Drone inspection

Drone construction site inspection

Drone Inspection

Drone agriculture inspection

A drone inspection is done to discover and plan for the future.  At Drone Infrared Imaging, we can inspect whatever property, building, obstacle or object that you may need inspected.  Drone inspections are especially useful for bigger complexes but certainly not limited to them.
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.
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