Roof Moisture Detection Technologies: What You Should Know

When you live in a home with a low-slope roof, you often do not realize how much it differs from a standard residential roof. That is, until you find that moisture has unknowingly built up within your low-slope roof causing a great deal of damage and flooding. To prevent this from happening to you, you need to attempt to detect moisture in your roof early. Luckily, there are several technologies available to you to help you detect moisture in your roofing system. All you need to do is learn the available technologies and options and make sure to inspect your roof for pockets of moisture regularly and frequently.

Infrared Moisture Detection

One of the standard methods for moisture detection in low-slope roofing systems is the use of infrared technology. In order to use this infrared technology to effectively detect areas of moisture buildup in your roof, conditions must be right.

Infrared moisture detectors work the best just after dusk. This is because your roof has been able to thoroughly soak in the thermal energy from the sun throughout the day leaving it warm.

Warmth shows up on the infrared detector as an orange or red mass. However, areas of dense moisture will not heat up from the sun the way that dry roofing will and will look green, blue, or violet. In this way, an infrared moisture detector will be able to identify the location and relative severity of moisture buildup in your roofing and insulation.

Nuclear Moisture Detection

Nuclear moisture detection works quite a bit differently from infrared technologies and can be used on roofs that do not lend themselves well to infrared scans. Certain stone roofing systems will hold intense thermal heat in spite of any moisture buildup, thus rendering infrared scans ineffective.

In such instances a nuclear moisture detection system is the best alternative. Extremely small amounts of radiation are used to detect water and moisture in the insulation of your roof.

This is accomplished by actually sending microscopic neutrons into your roofing structure. These neutrons move at such a high speed that they noticeably collide with the hydrogen atoms in any water that is present.

Hydrogen readings must be taken as a baseline as well to be able to properly read the results of the scan, as hydrogen is a common chemical element that can make up components of your roofing system when dry. However, once these baseline measurements are taken, the nuclear scan is easy and accurate.

When you have a low-slope roof, you need to be sure to inspect for moisture buildup on a regular basis. Professional roofing contractors can perform such inspections for you, or you can purchase your own moisture detection systems to perform these scans yourself. If you opt for professional services, should you find yourself in need of roofing repairs or replacement, these roofing or re-roofing contractors will be able to assist you with the whole process. So, be sure to inspect regularly so you can take care of any moisture issues as early as possible.  Talk to your local experts, such as Earhart Roofing Company Inc, for more information.


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