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Find IR |
Mayfield Thermography is currently providing
aerial thermography through AITScan. This is a powerful tool which
allows rapid scanning of building rooftops to find moisture and
1. Why not just walk onto the roof to perform an infrared
roof moisture survey?
Why not just fly over it and perform the survey? No site access
problems, no ladders required, no image perspective problems, no
trouble moving about the roof levels or other obstacles.
2. What type of roofs do not lend themselves to aerial
Standing-seam metal roofs do not lend themselves to aerial IR
inspection. Other flat or low-slope roofs that have highly
reflective coatings sometimes pose difficulties.
3. Do aerial infrared surveys have to take place at
No, they donít have to, but the conditions are generally better
and more reliable because the major source of distraction (the Sun)
is absent. Also, air traffic is lower, as are wind speeds and
4. Can aerial infrared surveys be used for leak
detection? Why or why not?
An Aerial IR survey will greatly assist the leak detection
process, but is not leak detection, per-se. We have found that roof
leaks are almost exclusively found within the area of water
contamination of the roof insulation, which is what our surveys do
detect. If roof maintenance personnel conduct a detailed inspection
of the indicated water contamination area from the
aerial survey, they nearly always locate the leak source. However,
there are some leaks that occur from having the water pass directly
down through the roof flashing, for instance, at a cracked or
ill-fitting skylight, etc.
5. What special equipment is required for aerial infrared
A very reliable aircraft, a high-resolution infrared camera with
appropriate mount and the best digital recording equipment
available. Having a high-resolution camera with 512x512 focal plane
array detector (262,000 pixels), with a low-resolution recording
medium defeats the purpose of retaining all the detail necessary to
conduct a good analysis of the roof problems. A computerized moving
map with Global Positioning System (GPS) input is highly desired in
order to quickly and accurately locate the many building roof
targets that comprise an aerial IR survey mission. This is not
equipment but a highly skilled pilot is needed to fly low, slow and
in the middle of the night.
6. How do weather conditions affect an aerial infrared
The same weather conditions that positively or negatively affect
a walk-on inspection apply to aerial surveys. We look for a calm,
clear night after a day with good solar radiation levels. We can
accept less than perfect conditions because the camera we use is so
capable. Any time of year will work, as long as there is little rain
water, snow or ice on the roof surface.
7. Is a baseline required to generate a positive result?
No. Even if a report from a walk-on inspection or a previous
aerial survey is available, it may be out of date or of poor
quality. We ask for and gratefully accept any and all information
available concerning the roof, including: roof type, age and
materials of roof construction, known leaks or leak areas and
previous visual, IR and other technical inspection results.
8. How does Stockton Infrared use CAD drawing to support customers
of aerial infrared surveys?
In our opinion, CAD drawings are the ultimate form of data that
we can provide to the customer for his direct use in quantifying the
roof problems and locating the areas that need further visual
inspection and repair. These drawings, when verified, create a great
bid document for hiring a roofing company to repair damaged areas of
9. How often do you recommend a aerial infrared survey be
conducted on a roof?
As an integral part of an overall roof asset management program,
we recommend all new roofs receive an initial inspection to insure
they were not closed up wet and a follow-up inspection after
approximately six months to make certain that the roof was properly
installed. This timing regime will help the building owners with
acceptance, bond, warranty and insurance issues.
Owners, operators and tenants of existing buildings can benefit
from aerial IR surveys of their roofs every couple of years. Once
the faults that were discovered in an initial aerial survey are
repaired, follow-up surveys will discover new problems when they are
quite small and relatively inexpensive to repair. This regime of
inspections has repeatedly shown substantial savings in roof
maintenance costs over the life of the roof, as well as helping to
as much as double the service life of the average industrial flat or
10. Are there any other points that you think people
would like to know about aerial infrared roof moisture surveys?
Aerial IR surveys are fast, efficient, effective and safe. For
single building roofs over 100,000 square feet, the cost is
comparable, or less expensive, than a walk-on survey and the results
are superior. For multiple smaller buildings in a city or county
area, an aerial survey can be completed in one night in a fraction
of the time it takes a ground-based team. We have quite a lot
experience with walking roofs, since that was the method we used
Perhaps the biggest advantage of aerial infrared is not its use
on roofs that have well-defined areas of moisture at all, but those
roofs that are the most difficult to image from any distance or
angle. I am referring to the roofs that, for instance, have a lot of
ballast, are covered with reflective coatings or ones that for
whatever reason are impossible to image from the roof. With
high-resolution aerial imagery, slight nuances of temperature can be
seen from far enough away to actually see the pattern of heat!