March 29, 2023 2:37 PM

A roof survey is a comprehensive examination of all the elements that make up a roofing system. It is an important part of preventive maintenance, and it can help identify potential problems before they become serious. But you might notice that different types of roof surveys are advertised. So what is the difference between them?

Extended Camera Survey (ECS)

An extended camera survey, also known as an aerial roof survey, is conducted using a drone fitted with a high-definition camera. This type of roof survey is ideal for large commercial properties with complex roofing systems as it can provide a detailed and comprehensive inspection of the entire roof, including hard-to-reach areas.

As the name suggests, an extended camera survey is more extensive than a standard roof survey, so it’s important to be aware that this type of survey will take longer. However, the results of an ECS will be more accurate and comprehensive, making it worth the wait.

Thermal Imaging Survey (TIS)

A thermal imaging survey uses a special camera to identify areas of heat loss on a roof. This type of survey is particularly useful for flat roofs as it can help to identify leaks that would otherwise be difficult to spot.

This being said, a TIS can also be used on pitched roofs, but it’s important to note that the results may not be as accurate. This is because the heat from the sun can cause the camera to produce false positives, so it’s important to have a qualified roofing contractor carry out the survey to ensure accuracy.

If heat loss is identified during a thermal imaging survey, it’s important to book repairs as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the roof. Not only will the weather and other aspects continue to damage the roof, but you’ll also pay more for your energy bills because your property is leaking heat.

Infrared Survey (IR)

An infrared survey is similar to a thermal imaging survey, but instead of using a camera, an IR thermometer is used. This device is placed on the roof and measures the temperature of the roof surface. The readings are then used to create a heat map, which can help roofers pinpoint problem areas.

Moisture Survey

As you’ve probably guessed, a moisture survey is used to check for leaks in the roof. This is done by inserting a probe into the roof and measuring the moisture content of the roof material. If the readings are high, there is likely a leak in the roof. If the readings are low, the roof is probably in good condition.

Core Sampling

This time, a core sample is taken from the roof to check for damage. This is done by drilling a small hole in the roof and then inserting a probe into the hole. The probe will take a sample of the roof material, which can then be examined for damage. Depending on the results of the core sample, repairs may be necessary.

Visual Inspection

Of course, a visual inspection can also help assess the condition of a roof. This can be done from the ground with binoculars, or from a ladder or other elevated platform. During a visual inspection, the roofer will look for signs of damage, such as missing shingles, leaks, or damaged flashing. He or she will also look for any areas where the roof may be sagging or otherwise in need of repair.

With Phoenix foam roofs and various other styles, a visual inspection can also determine if the roof needs to be cleaned. Over time, these roofs can accumulate dirt and debris, which can lead to clogged drains and other problems. A professional roofer will assess the need for cleaning and recommend the best course of action.


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