Roof

 

Uplift testing on built-up gravel ballasted roof. Photo by Complete.
Uplift testing on built-up gravel ballasted roof. Photo by Complete.

The study and understanding of a roof in place has many components. Typically, a roof is reviewed carefully if there is some form of damage, most likely resulting in water intrusion or roof leaks. In more complex commercial flat roofs these may occur as a result of natural disasters such as wind or hail, as a result of improper installation at the time of new construction, or remodeling done on the roof top. A general understanding of how a roof works is critical to providing for a proper repair, whether that means replacement or spot fixes. Usually one would start with the plans to understand the construction of the roof as well as the water-shedding plan envisioned by the designer. Roofs can be made of many different products and can have either metal or wood decking and insulation made of lightweight concrete or iso board. On top of these structural elements, followed by insulation systems, is the water shedding systems that may be multi-layer or single-ply. Common roof types include asphalt, coal tar, modified bitumen, thermoplastic welded membranes, or rubber. Each of these roof systems have different benefits and challenges inherent because of their construction. After an understanding of how a roof in constructed, visual inspection as well as interview of the persons most knowledgeable will point to those areas that require further investigation. We use a combination of tools from thermal imaging to moisture detection through electrical resistance, to destructive testing including removing sections of the roof. One method of understanding the securement of a roof membrane is the UL-I52 testing done with a suction chamber placed on the roof at various pounds of uplift pressure. In addition, fastener withdrawal testing can be measured to determine if a substrate is appropriate for continued use. All of these tests, along with experience, will result in proper analysis followed by responsible recommendations

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