1. NEVER ASSUME A NEW ROOF DOES NOT LEAK.
A good vapor seal on the roof substrate can prevent water from entering the top floor apartments and yet destroy part of what was a good roof. Over 50 percent of the moisture we find, no one ever knew existed.
2. NEVER THROW AWAY AN EXISTING ROOF UNTIL IT HAS BEEN TESTED WITH SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENT.
You could be throwing away tens of thousands of dollars of a good roof without a Roof Moisture Survey.
3. NEVER RELY ON A VISUAL EXAMINATION TO DETERMINE WHERE TRAPPED MOISTURE HAS ENTERED AN EXISTING ROOF.
Rely on proven scientific testing instruments to "x-ray" inside a roof. A visual examination only tells you how good or bad the top felt is. The most reliable testing device for Florida is the nuclear scanner.
4. NEVER PUT A NEW ROOF OVER WET INSULATION.
Test the entire roof and remove any wet insulation boards. Then it may be possible to install a new roof over the existing roof.
5. NEVER INSTALL METAL FASTENERS THROUGH WET INSULATION BOARDS.
Test the entire roof, replace all the wet insulation and then it may be possible to anchor the new roof with metal fasteners. These ancors may penetrate a steel or concrete deck so you don't want any moisture around that may be able to penetrate the building through these holes.
6. UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR WARRANTY DOES NOT DETERMINE THE TRUE VALUE OF YOUR ROOF.
The manufacturer's guarantee, the reliability of the roofing contractor and your willingness to apply any needed preventative maintenance are most important.
7. DON'T NEGLECT YOUR DUTY AS THE OWNER.
Owners' neglect allows poor workmanship to go undetected, and this same prolonged neglect will shorten the roof's expected life to 50 percent of what it could have been with proper care.
8. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE SOMEONE TRAINED IN ROOFING EXAMINE YOUR ROOF AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR YOU MIGHT LOSE THAT LEGAL CASE AGAISNT YOUR ROOFER.
Yes- and be sure that the company doing the inspection is an independent certified testing company. I have found on countless occasions where building owners and managers thought they were getting an unbiased opinion only to find out later that the so-called consultant actually had a shared interest in a roofing company or worked for a material manufacturer. Remember, a truly unbiased opinion can only come from someone who has nothing to gain by the information they are providing you.
Look at the company's credentials-the State of Florida has no licensing for roof consultants and many who claim to be lack the knowledge to render a professional opinion. I have seen several roof consulting compaines who share the same address with roofing companies and there are even those who will set up trade show booths together. I would tend to be very skeptical of these types of companies.
9. KNOW THE LIMITATIONS OF INFRARED TESTING.
Too many variables affect the infrared test. Some of those variables are as follows: high humidity, cloudy days wind, water on the roof, shaded spots, reflectivity of the roof surface (aluminum-coated or reflective material) and heat differential. If you find a low-humidity, non-cloudy, non-windy (less than ten miles per hour) day, along with the other mentioned variables, then this type of testing can be used. Unfortunately these conditions rarely exist in Coastal Regions and it is our opinion that this type of testing is not reliable enough to establish a good baseline for roof maintenance or replacement recommendations.
10. AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION...
Roof testing is quite affordable. Most test cost approximately Thre Cents a square foot and a new roof can cost around $10.00 to $20 per square foot. Ignoring leaks will "wick" and can destroy all or part of what could have been a good roof. A yearly test is inexpensive. A NEW ROOF is expensive.
Determine how long a business has been under the same incorporated name. This is very important because it shows a track record of good performance. However, it should not be the only determining factor in your selection. Many fradulent businesses are good a deception any may have been able to scam their way along for quite some time.
Check references. It is recommended to speak to contacts of previous work perform by consultant.
Check Licensing and insurance. At this time there is no Roof Consultant Certification but there are other cetifications a Roof Consultant should have to make accurate roof evaluation. Example certifications is Radioactive Material License from the State of Florida, Level One Certified Infrared Thermographer, Miami-Dade County Certified testing Lab. Next, ask to see from thier insurance agent a copy of the Workers' Compensation, General and Professional Liability Insurance.
Make sure a Consultant is truely independent. It is advised that your hire a consulting firm that has nothing to gain by giving you its opinion - a truly unbiased opinion.
1. KNOW THE LIMITATIONS OF INFRARED TESTING.
Too many variables affect the infrared test. Some of those variables are as follows: high humidity, cloudy days wind, water on the roof, shaded spots, reflectivity of the roof surface (aluminum-coated or reflective material) and heat differential. If you find a low-humidity, non-cloudy, non-windy (less than ten miles per hour) day, along with the other mentioned variables, then this type of testing can be used. Unfortunately these conditions rarely exist in Coastal Regions and it is our opinion that this type of testing is not reliable enough to establish a good baseline for roof maintenance or replacement recommendations. The type of roof assembly can also impact the realiability of the infrared testing. Many roofing systems contain light weight insulating concrete to provide slope to the roof. The problem with testing this type of roof with infrared is the water that has penetrated the roof will migrate to the bottom of the roof and become undetectable to an Infrared camera which only measures roof surfrace tempature.
2. NUCLEAR TESTING:
The nuclear scanner is the most reliable method of detecting moisture trapped within a roofing system. The Nuclear scan is performed during the day and all troubled areas can be easily marked for repair. The nuclear scanner does not have roof depth limitations, it can penetrate up to 8 Inches of any material and give an accurate reading even when the roof is damp. Essentially the Nuclear Meter is a Density Gauge, it relies on moisture that is trapped within a component of the roofing assembly. The numerical differential of hydrogen reading will identify the areas of trapped moisture for easy repair. This method is recommended by the Army Corp. Of Engineers as the most relaible method for determining a flat roofing systems condition.
Roof Leak Detection is Certifed to Provide both methods of Roof Moisture Testing, however we always rely on the Nuclear Moisture Method to back up any Infrared results, therefore, from our perspective it is best to use the Nuclear Method.