Roofs over 100 Years Old

Flat Roofs coverings over 100 years old do exist and are possible today.

Only with proper installation and good preventative maintenance.

Good preventative maintenance requires

  1. Protecting the roofing material from the drying effects of the sun.
  2. Maintaining the stone, chip or other cover material which deflect the UV rays
  3. Not allowing water to “pond” on the surface for extended periods.
  4. Maintenance of a proper drainage system
  5. Restricting foot traffic on the roof
  6. Ensuring that any protrusions into the roof membrane are properly sealed
  7. Regular inspection of the roof surface for signs of decay or separation
  8. Underside for signs of water ingress

Infrared Thermal Imaging is the most reliable and cost effective means of roof inspections.

The Infrared Thermal Imaging process involves

  1. A visual inspection of obvious problems
  2. Noting windswept areas with no granular covering
  3. Identifying blisters in the covering membrane either water or air
  4. Obvious signs of separation
  5. Compromised drainage system
  6. Hazardous conditions that would compromise a night time inspection
  7. Remediation of any of the above conditions by qualified workmen
  8. Thermal Imaging of the roof surface in the early evening between one and three days after a rain of more than 1 cm the following steps will be undertaken.
  9. The roof will be systematically scanned at 3 meter intervals.

The Infrared Thermal Imaging instrument will identify areas of the roof retaining moisture as being cooler than the main dry membrane surface

  1. The Thermographer and assistant will mark areas of concern with spray paint to be visible in the following daylight
  • of separation, cracks, deck material decay
  • of water intrusion
  • where the underlying deck has moisture accumulation
  • water and air blister areas (These will likely be cooler or warmer than the main membrane depending on the ambient temperature.)
2. Particular attention will be directed to
  • Any intrusions into the membrane of the roof
  • Areas along any parapets
  • Skylights
  • Roof access service doors
  • Recent repairs
  • As soon as possible during daylight hours visual picture of the areas identified as areas of concern will be taken and correlated to the Thermograph Images to identify the areas of concern for future referance.
3. Written report will be prepared and made available to management

A roof is only as good as the maintenance provided.

Thermal Imaging should be a part of your roof Preventative Maintenance Program

All pliable material will become hard and crack over time when exposed to heat and UV rays.   It is not a mater of time but WHEN.
The objective of a ROOF Preventive Maintenance Program is to extend the life of the roof as long as possible to avoid
  1. Replacement of the roof
  2. Water damage to insulation and supporting material
  3.  Water damage to the roof deck wood or metal
  4. Water damage to inventory and equipment protected by the roof
  5. Mould and other containments from adversely affecting employees
A small leak can over time can become a major issue                   (Water always wins)
Make a more pleasant working environment at less cost.

Note: There is a narrow window of time following a rain for the best Thermograph.

Some types of Flat roof coverings
Asphalt BUR (Built Up Roof) a combination of multiple layers of reinforced “tar” paper and asphalt with an overlay of gravel to defuse UV rays.  The UV rays oxidize the asphalt causing the oil to evaporate, the asphalt to harden, crack and separate over time.
EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) a synthetic rubber used in single ply roofing.  It is a low cost effective material, properly installed in appropriate conditions.
Turbo Seal from Bostik is synthetic polymer self healing gel containing recycled tire rubber, may be placed over a sound existing asphalt roof or used in new construction.
Liquid Seal a polyurethane based liquid product from 3M, may be place over a sound existing roof.
Hypalon CSPE (Chlorosulfonate Polyethyene) a synthetic rubber roof material known commercially made by Dupont as of April 2010 no longer available.
Modified Bitumen a multiplayer roll roofing product may contain tar pitch, asphalt products, polyester, fiber glass to form a sheet.  May be applied cold or using a torch to heat the underside (not permitted in some jurisdictions) a significant potential safety hazard.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) vinyl sheets welded to form a membrane on low sloop roofs. Vinyl roofing is available in colours similar to the related vinyl siding products.
TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) a Ethylene Propylene single membrane roll product usually white in colour.  Seams are hot air welded producing a seamless roofing material.  TPO is often used when vegetation is planted on the roof. (Green Roof)


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