The hidden damages beneath and between plies have always plagued professional roofers and facility operators alike. When it hasn’t already caused damages, there’s always future damages that are guaranteed to occur once decay sets in and everything on top starts changing.
In years gone by, combinations of core samples, visual and physical inspection were the only available tools for moisture detection and patching followed by replacement roofing was inevitable. Today’s buyers expect more. Educated and armed with the opportunity to save energy and avoid premature replacement, many now turn to the practice of full roof maintenance that includes protective coatings.
Protective coatings that are worth their salt preventing moisture migration going in also prevent it from going out sufficiently to prevent further damage. While a core sample or other physical test such as finding sponginess can be useful, it never detects the between ply moisture of a hail dimple, loose seam, puncture, or some other easily overlooked damage. If this moisture is sealed over, blisters and more rapid deterioration are possible which could otherwise have been avoided with a simple IR photo scan.
The infra-red photo scan clearly identifies damp areas that the naked eye can not see. For this reason the most respected professional roofing organizations and coating suppliers alike, such as Topps®, always strongly recommend the practice of IR scans as a routine course of action prior to taking action.
A common practice nowadays is to discuss this early on with your prospect if your visual roof inspection indicates theirs may be a good candidate for complete roof maintenance with savings. The facility owner or manager has the most to gain or lose - making this a useful tool for their investment. Many professional roofers will allow their client to deduct the full cost of the scan service (these can be as inexpensive as a few hundred dollars but are frequently worthwhile) towards their own services, making this a two-way partnership. Images then become their property and should be retained in a roofing file.