With the winter behind us and warm weather on the way, this is a good time to consider the function of a flat roof and undertake a Roof Condition Survey or Electronic Leak Detection to establish the performance and integrity of the waterproofing system.
Thornton Consulting undertake these services for numerus clients and have recently completed a roof condition survey for a client who operates a care home in Surrey.
The facility consisted of six blocks of similar size, all with areas of flat roofs waterproofed with single ply pvc waterproofing and of a warm roof construction.
The first phase of the roof condition survey was to conduct electronic leak detection of the waterproofing membrane to locate any breaches. This was undertaken by the pinhole or “holiday“ test method which is a highly accurate way of detecting breaches in membranes such as this. For this test to be affective, the surface of the waterproofing must be dry, so it is advantageous to undertake the test during dry weather to provide an efficient service for the client. Whilst other test methods are possible on single ply membranes, the pinhole test is the most commonly used.
A visual assessment was then undertaken to determine the age and condition of the roof waterproofing which can be used to establish the expected life of the waterproofing and any remedial works that may be required.
The second phase of the survey was to undertake a moisture scan of the roof to detect any entrapped water within the warm roof construction. This is useful in determining whether the roof, as a whole, is watertight. Although no breaches may be present in the waterproofing membrane, it is possible for water to bypass this through defective elements of the structure and result in water ingress. If moisture is present, additional test methods can be undertaken elsewhere to establish the source.
The moisture profile can also assist in establishing the performance of the insulation and if moisture is present a thermographic survey can be undertaken to provide a more detailed assessment of the thermal properties of the insulation and if any significant variations in heat signature are evident.
For this client, the final part of the survey was to undertake a technical audit of other items which could contribute to water ingress into the structure. Typically, this can include items such as poorly sealed penetrations into the structure such as pipes or cables, deteriorating sealant to windows and doors and other items of concern.
All findings and recommendations are presented to the client in a comprehensive report, including images and drawings of relevant items.
If you would like further information on Roof Condition Surveys, or any of our other services, please contact our office on 01342 410508, or use our contact page to get in touch.