FLIR Infra-Red Scans

 In Case Study

Recently an AV client, a major property owner, was planning a complete renovation to one of their high-profile grocery retail properties.  Part of the renovation included replacing the entire roof system and the initial plan was to completely tear of the existing asphalt built-up roof system including the considerable thickness of insulation.  Our decades of experience in construction and expertise in commercial roofing applications brought us to question if total tear off was necessary.

These scans are performed just after sundown which required Aerial Visions to fly under the authority of the Waiver from Daytime Operations as issued to AV by the FAA.  FLIR Thermal Infra-Red Scans detect minute differences in temperatures, wet insulation and moisture trapped in roof systems.  These are visible because the roofs cool off after the sun goes down at a different rate than dry insulation and roof areas.

The areas compromised by moisture are a different color and are known as “anomalies.”  We found the sections of the roof containing moisture represented a small percentage, less than 5% of the total building area.  This led to an enormous cost savings for our client, over $100,000, along with an ahead of schedule project.  Further benefit was increased energy savings by additional insulation and the elimination of the tear off prevented hundreds of tons of debris not being transported to and disposed of at a landfill.  The cost of the FLIR Infra-Red Scan conducted with our drones was insignificant compared to the savings to the customer and project schedule.

This is just one example of how the roofing professionals and building owners in general benefit through drone technology that did not exist or was not practical just a few years ago.  Whether a contractor, consultant, engineer, or architect is evaluation a roof system, no matter the size, the first tool in their arsenal should be a FLIR Thermal Infra-Red Scan.  Just like a doctor uses an X-Ray or MRI to diagnose what’s wrong, a FLIR scan is a critical tool as well as the most cost effective and accurate technique to diagnose the problems and defects of a commercial roofing system.

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