First and foremost, remember that you are the first line of defense when it comes to maintaining your roofing assets. With that being said, I would recommend someone on staff who knows what to look for when inspecting your roof and who also has the knowledge to make a temporary repair before the contractor or manufacturer gets there. But even before that, check with your warranty for the do’s and don’ts and be sure you have a clear understanding of your responsibilities.
As the first line of defense, you should always be proactive in inspecting and maintaining your roof. The industry suggests at least two times per year (spring and fall) and after any major weather event. Be sure to keep a log of maintenance and inspections as this may be a requirement for the warranty as well.
1. Visual Inspection
Have a knowledgeable staff member, manufacturer, contractor or consultant look at the roof for any signs of deficiencies or damage to your roof. Good housekeeping is important while inspecting the roof as well. Keep drains clear so you have adequate drainage, keep debris and materials off the roof, and make sure the rooftop units are properly secured to avoid objects blowing across your roof and causing damage or injuring someone.
2. Infrared Survey
Depending on the type of roofing system you have, infrared is one way to find areas of moisture intrusion within your roofing system. Some are easier to survey than others and some are not able to be surveyed with infrared, so be sure the infrared inspector is competent and that your roofing system is one that can be surveyed. Roof construction type, weather conditions and time of year all come into play to make sure the survey results are accurate.
3. Vector Mapping Electronic Leak Survey
Electronic leak detection can help find breaches in the roof membrane and is offered in both low and high voltage. As with the infrared survey, be sure that the inspector is competent and that your roofing system is able to be surveyed.
The tools listed above are all non-invasive in nature. Verification cores are also a good way to confirm the survey results, provided the roof is not under warranty. Always remember to check your warranty so you do not void it
There are several other tools such as nuclear, capacitance meters, and other invasive moisture meters that can be used to help you maintain your roofing assets. One other tool is the use of a computer program to help with the organization of the information gained through the use of the other tools listed. Consult your local manufacturer, contractor or consultant to see what would be best for your specific needs.