Moisture Roof Surveys And Why They’re Important

If you own a commercial building, one of the best things you can do is keep up with the maintenance of its roof. This includes having it inspected on a regular basis. Some commercial roofing experts recommend getting this done twice a year, in the spring and the fall. Experts agree that during the inspection, it can be a good idea to get a moisture survey done.

The Importance of a Moisture Survey

Sometimes just looking at a roof isn't enough. Often times, unbeknownst to many commercial building owners, moisture is trapped in certain parts of the roof. A moisture survey can help determine the amount of moisture that is trapped in the roof and where the moisture is located.  Finding this out will help you know if there is any damage to the roof and whether or not certain parts of the roof, or in some instances, the entire roof will, need to be replaced.

It's recommended to have a moisture survey done at least once every five years. A moisture survey should also be done if:

  • The warranty on the roof is about to expire
  • You are going to be doing major roof work
  • You notice the roof is leaking

Having a moisture survey done is important because if there is moisture in the roof and it doesn't get taken care of right away, it can cause a lot of damage. Having moisture trapped in the roof can also increase mold production, not to mention your energy bill.

Moisture Survey Methods

Commercial roofing consultants and some roofing contractors can conduct a moisture survey. Special equipment is needed, so building owners usually can't do it themselves. Some of the methods used when conducting a moisture survey include:

Nuclear Survey - Hydrogen ions are present in water so when a nuclear survey gets conducted and it shows an increased number of ions, it is a good indication of moisture trapped in the roof.

Infrared Scan - When the sun is out during the day, energy gets radiated on the roof. After the sun disappears in the evening, that energy gets radiated back into the atmosphere. If there is moisture in certain parts of the roof, these areas will retain heat longer, which show up on infrared images.

Electrical Capacitance and Resistance Meters - These devices work on the premise that wet materials conduct electricity. Measuring the amount of electricity on a roof can show where moisture if present.

Having a moisture survey conducted can help commercial building owners know their roof is fully intact and free of any unseen damage. Check out sites like for more information.