What is a moisture survey?
Technology has come a long way over the past few decades. All sorts of new testing techniques have come along to help us get a closer look at the roof. And especially how efficient it has been at keeping the water out. The last thing we want in a roof system is water creeping through the membrane. It may make its way to the interior, or it can become trapped between the layers of material in the roof system.
Suppose the roof is older and has had a few leaks over the years. Conducting a moisture survey before moving forward with any roof work might be a good idea. If restoration is possible, it is what you should do. It will save you time and money and prevent lengthy disruptions to the occupant. The roof can be restored for these older roofs, which had a few leaks over the years. It may be necessary to test the roof based on the results. Move forward in the most appropriate direction.
What is a moisture survey?
A moisture meter is when we use a specialized tool called a moisture meter to scan the roof membrane and search for moisture in the system. The device sends a current into the system, which is returned to the machine. And based on the resistance to the electrical signal on its return. The machine can detect potential moisture in the system.
The person conducting the survey will usually mark off any areas suspected of being wet. Both on the roof itself and on a map. Once that map is completed, it is often called the “moisture survey map.” Used to show the client where the water is located and for more invasion testing.
The next step in the process is to cut a few cores out in the suspected areas. It gives us a chance to verify the presence of moisture visually. Once we know how much water is trapped in the system. Then we can offer the best advice to our client concerning whether we restore or replace the roof.
It is so important to have your roof inspected regularly. Latent moisture exists because there has not been regular preventative maintenance performed. Finding water on the roof means no one has cared for it. And the result could be that restoration is no longer possible, can’t be warranted, and the only option is the most costly and disruptive re-roof option.
How can water get into the roof?
Flat roofs or low-sloped roofs (the same thing) often have challenges when it comes to standing water. That means water that does not drain off the roof or evaporates in less than 48 hours. In Arizona, standing water is not acceptable. The reason is that; water is heavy and can cause a roof collapse. As it did with a local grocery store in town. And secondly, most roofing membranes are water-resistant but not waterproof. Over time, water can seep through and become trapped between the material layers or enter the interior.
Over time, water causes blistering, loose seams, and damage to the decking; water trapped in the roof system is never good.
When is it too late for a restoration?
There is absolutely a point when restoration is just no longer a viable option. Now, some contractors will still attempt one. But the results will be very disappointing and costly to the owner. A restoration is supposed to extend the roof’s life and save the owner money. However, if the roof has had some leaks and the decking is damaged, or there are too many areas with trapped moisture. To the degree that it is would nearly impossible or infeasible to dry the roof system out. Then restoration is not possible. Here we call that situation a roof saturation. More water in the system means the only real option is a tear-off and a re-roof, which is more costly and destructive.
When should you have your roof inspected?
Every commercial building should have a roof inspection at least once a year. A professional will do a careful examination of the roof. And provide a report with valuable information that helps you make informed decisions. As the roof ages, it will eventually start to deteriorate. Which means moisture has more opportunity to get in. And it helps to accelerate the roof’s deterioration.
Annual roof inspections will help you stay ahead of the roof’s deterioration. And when the time comes, you can restore the roof—extending its service life by years or even decades. The savings are invaluable. Take into consideration the grocery store that had a roof collapse. This unfortunate event would not have happened had the roof been appropriately handled.
Are you ready to take the next step?
We offer a free initial roof inspection and service estimate. Be it for a roof restoration if that is what we determine is needed. Or ongoing preventative maintenance for the time being. Get yours at firstname.lastname@example.org