Finding roof leaks is the first step in fixing them. Sometimes, it is more than half the battle won.
The real source of the leak may be some distance from the area where you are noticing signs of unwelcome wetness, further complicating matters. In order to identify roof leaks, modern approaches now complement tried-and-true methods.
Finding the source of roof leaks is essential for fixing them.
Using the human eye for examination and “thinking like a drop of water” when identifying situations that may cause capillary action, for example, are still very effective and reliable detection procedures.
However, you might not always have access to a water test or a reliable technique to confirm your suspicion. There are always practical tools that can be added to the wise but basic observing approaches.
Tools for the job
Sometimes leaks are difficult to detect. Electronic moisture meters were created to find moisture whether it was visible to the naked eye or not.
Such meters come in a variety for scanning walls and roofs. The invasive pin type requires introducing a probe into the precise location being evaluated. It detects moisture in the contact region and at the depth, the pins are inserted. Others are non-invasive and pinless.
These can detect moisture leaks in the waterproofing membrane even when there are several inches worth of insulation and coating materials on top of it.
A harmless signal is sent into the depths of the area being tested to accomplish this. Impedance changes are detected and recorded by the meter. It is well-recognized that some alterations point to the presence of moisture.
A unique camera-like gadget uses infrared thermography to sense an area in temperature gradations that are shown on its own screen.
Different color values are intended to be assigned to each temperature in some versions, which are sophisticated enough to register specific temperature ranges.
This results in a simpler visual that can be understood. This device is adaptable enough to assist in identifying potential moisture problems resulting from various factors in addition to current leaks.
It can be used in energy audits to find structural, insulation, and ducting problems that are allowing heat to escape. Observing significant heat loss via roofs may point to the possibility of melting snow and the formation of ice dams, a key component in winter leaks.
ELD (Electronic Leak Detection)
This approach permits testing without substantial flooding to locate leaks and is more precise for membrane-style roofs. A low voltage pulse generator is connected to the membrane’s structural deck underneath.
A gentle misting of the surface is all that is required. Moisture from a leak will complete the circuit and let current flow between the two leads.
The flow direction is determined using a detector with two probes. Up until the real leak is located, it is moved around. In a high voltage form that requires no moisture at all, the two probes are swapped out for a broom-like wand with conductive bristles.
Leaks that are essentially undetectable can be found using both the high and low voltage versions. Since comprehensive water testing would require a significant amount of water and might not be as precise, it is especially helpful for very big flat roofs.
The Experts Have the Equipment to Find and Repair Roof Leaks
By using moisture meters, IT cameras, and ELD (when needed), leaks may be found without having to tear them into walls or ceilings, which can be expensive and time-consuming.
Moisture detection can help minimize the extent of the invasiveness even when a wall is accessed for this purpose. Employing one or more of the aforementioned methods will enable roofers to locate leaks more precisely and repair them more quickly.
Wet Testing Methodology
Water is sprayed on the roof’s surface in this method for locating roof leaks. The edge of the roof is wrapped with a trace cable. Consequently, an electrical field is created. The pulses of this electrical field can be used to locate the earth leakage location within it.
The wet testing procedure is in no way affected by the membrane thickness of the roof that is being tested.
The dry testing method is used to inspect flat roofs for holes and punctures along the surface of the roof. Wet testing is much faster in locating leaks when compared to dry testing.
However, the detector must be given precise data on the membrane thickness before leak detection may begin. To perform a dry test, the surface of the roof being examined must be completely dry and devoid of moisture.
The testing apparatus in this procedure applies a direct current voltage across the roof’s surface, and a spark and beep will be released from the apparatus to locate the leak.
Heating and Cooling
A survey using thermal imaging can also locate a roof leak. As the name would suggest, thermography is used in this method of leak detection.
The result of using thermal imaging is a colored image. Wet areas will be shown in a darker color in this poll. By studying the thermal imaging output, the surveyor can find leaks by spotting variations in the surface temperature of the roof.
Find Trace Gas Leaks
To detect roof leaks using trace gas, a non-toxic gas is released beneath the region where the leak is coming from. This is a fully safe method of leak detection and does not cause any damage to the property, or environment of any person.
When discharged, this particular trace gas floats up through the roofing material, and the leak happens where it enters the roof. This method of leak detection has a very high success rate.
Need Aid Finding A Leak’s Source?
Acting quickly is essential if your flat roof is leaking in order to limit any damage. L
arge-scale water damage can result from even the smallest leaks. Leaks do not fix themselves; they just get worse.