EMA can provide structural inspections for the following cases
Structural Inspections Foundation
Structural inspections masonry
Structural inspections concrete & steel structures
Structural 40 Year recertification inspections
structural building inspections
Project construction structural inspections.
Hurricane damage structural Inspections
Special buildings structural Inspection
Quality Assurance Structural Inspections
Structural damage Inspections
Fire Damage Structural Inspections
Residential/Commercial Structural Inspections
Structural Sinkhole Inspections
Structural Forensic Inspections
Flood Inspections Retaining Structures
Tree Damage Inspections
Structural Framing Inspections
Structural Shoring Inspections
Structural Forensic ROOF INSPECTIONS
Structural forensic roof inspections or quality control monitoring and proper inspection of a roofing system will provide a good water tight roof. It is important to monitor the condition of the roofing system through proper inspection at frequent time intervals to discover damage to the roof. Small imperfections can be corrected with minimal maintenance. No roof system can be expected to give long term performance without some attention and maintenance. Too frequently, roofs are forgotten until a leak develops. Most problems begin in a small way and if left undetected, develop into a more expensive need for repairs, or in the extreme, need replacement of the roof.
A Infrared Inspections consists of the following elements:
Infrared Inspection: To pinpoint and identify moisture within the roof mat.
Roof Moisture Verification: Infrared roof testing is performed to verify areas of moisture.
Observations and Findings: Results of the investigation.
Drawings: Location of infrared findings of additional suspected moisture.
The summary of infrared analysis and thermograms correspond to areas shown on drawings.
EMA Structural Forensic Roof Inspections Techniques include
1. Principles of Infrared
With the Infrared Thermography, roofs can be scanned with a highly sophisticated infrared camera to detect and accurately map sub-surface moisture, thereby determining whether a portion or all of the roof requires replacement. Unlike other non-destructive techniques, infrared thermal scanning assesses every square inch of the roofing including vertical flashing. This results in a comprehensive view of the roof s condition with the possibility of error minimized.
The thermographic survey is conducted by hand carrying the Infrared cameras over the roof.
Thermography or Infrared Scanning is based upon the ability of a specialized infrared camera to detect variations in temperature radiating from the roof surface and to convert them into an electrical signal which is displayed instantaneously as a video heat image called a Thermogram. The difference in tones (black to white) denotes variations in the roofs surface temperature of 0.2 degrees Centigrade, and is influence by the moisture content.
Every object whose surface temperature is above absolute zero (-273 degrees C.) radiates electromagnetic energy which is a function of its surface temperature. The intensity of this radiation varies along the wave lengths of the electromagnetic spectrum from visual to the infrared ranges. Using a highly sensitive, real time infrared imaging system, it is possible to observe, qualify and record the thermal picture of the object whose temperature is between -20 and +2000 Degrees C. The sensitivity of the equipment is such that it is capable of detecting temperatures between two given surfaces to an accuracy of .2 Degrees C. at an ambient temperature of 30 Degrees C. The heat picture, known as a Thermogram, is composed of a gray scale with continuous contrast ranging from black to white. Areas of higher temperature appear lighter while areas of lower temperature appear darker.
2. Characteristicts of Moisture in Roofing.
Infrared techniques pinpoint the moisture entery points from the interior, exterior, or from roof leaks. The absorption characteristics of various types of building materials are of particular interest. With porous material, moisture generally penetrates from the surface down; the greatest amount of water is found near the surface traveling along and dispersing into the porous material. In colder regions a potential condensation problem exists. The insulation is often protected by a vapor barrier located as near as practical to the warm side. As long as the vapor barrier is maintained at a temperature above the dew point, condensation can be completely forestalled. If water vapor can penetrate into the roof because of a poorly installed vapor barrier, it will migrate to the cold face, condense and often, be absorbed by the insulation or other absorbent materials.
The characteristics of various types of roofing materials raises a similar interest. Different roofing materials have varied moisture absorption characteristics. With porous material, moisture generally penetrates from the surface down. The greatest amount of water is found near the surface traveling along felts and dispersing into the insulation. The quantity of moisture, its form, and location within the assembly, and the water absorption.
3. Technical Approach
When an abnormality on a Thermogram is identified as wet, (usually noted as a darker colored area), it is marked with paint and is photographed for future reference. The location of this area of sub-surface moisture is noted on the roof map which accompanies the report. Findings were not confirmed by further tests.Under a clear sky during the day, the roof acts as a large thermal collector and can approach 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Insulation laden with sub-surface moisture absorbs this radiation and acts as a reservoir to regenerate the heating of the membrane after the solar affect has dissipated. The affect of wet and dry material on the surface temperature of the roof is also a result of emissive cooling of the roof surface as much as 15 degrees Centigrade below ambient. In cooler weather, the introduction of moisture reduces the R-value of the assembly producing thermal bridges. These thermal bridges are localized warm zones which also produce images on the Thermogram.
4. Interpreting Thermograms.
A Infrared Thermogram is a “temperature picture” of an object. Unlike ordinary photographic equipment that responds to visible light, the infrared camera responds only to invisible heat radiation. The
resulting image produced on the display unit resembles the object in black and white with shades of gray. The whiter an object appears, the hotter it is. Conversely, the darker the cooler. In the color mode, the object being inspected with infrared equipment will show the warmest areas in white progressing through the spectrum to the coldest areas in blue.The sensitivity of the Thermographic equipment is such that temperature difference of as little as 0.2 degrees Centigrade, at an ambient temperature of 30 degrees Centigrade, is sensed.