Roofing Southwest Blog > Thermal Imaging a Boon to Roofing Industry

Thermal Imaging a Boon to Roofing Industry

May 30, 2017

Infrared thermography or thermal imaging is fast becoming a popular technology for the roofing industry. It allows property owners to learn about hidden problems before they become costly repairs.

A thermal imaging camera detects the heat given off by an object. On a sunny day, normal roofing materials will absorb some of the heat of the sun and radiate it back quickly at night. However, if moisture has crept into or under the roofing materials, the materials and the water take longer to heat up and much longer to radiate that heat back. A thermal imaging camera can easily distinguish where moisture is hiding by showing the hot or cold spots on the display screen.

That being said, infrared roof inspections should be done under the right conditions to obtain the best result. Here are some things we consider when conducting the inspection:

  • Was it a clear sunny day?
  • Is it a clear night (for good radiation cooling)?
  • Is there little or no wind?
  • Is the roof surface dry?
  • Is the roof clear of snow, dirt and debris?

Thermal imaging is useful on all sorts of roofing materials, but can come in particularly handy for low-slope or flat roofing most often used in industrial or commercial buildings. It is a great way to scan large areas without tromping over the entire roof to inspect every inch.

The advantages of thermal imaging include:

  • It is a cost-effective way to scan large areas.
  • It is a safer way to scan potentially hazardous roofs.
  • Thermal imaging is extremely effective at finding hidden damage.
  • It is effective at finding damage both outside and inside the building.
  • It allows property owners to catch damage early and fix it quickly before it becomes a big problem.
  • It is a great way to protect and maintain the conditions of a roof warranty.
  • It is a non-invasive way to detects leaks or damage.
  • It can pinpoint accurately where repairs must be made.

In recent years, thermal imaging technology has taken another step forward. Thermal imaging cameras are being integrated into drones, which can be piloted from the ground. A drone survey takes only a few minutes and can be done by one trained technician, saving the roofing company and property owners both money and time.

Feel free to give us a call about having your roof scanned for hidden problems.


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