We hope everyone enjoyed their summer.  From temperatures in excess of 105 degrees to the devastating hail storm, the weather this year has been unpredictable to say the least.  As a result many of you ended up with unexpected and unwanted roof projects.  We hope your projects are wrapping up or will be within the foreseeable future.  Any uncompleted roof repairs or replacement could create further damage to the facility if not addressed before the winter months.

Those of you that are still working with insurance adjusters may want to consider involving an independent third-party consulting firm to help work toward a resolution.  Insurance adjusters typically work alongside professional roof consultants to substantiate their findings, shouldn’t you?  Contact us to discuss the needs of your particular project and any possible assistance we can offer.

The Liability of the Roof Recover Option

Due to the extensive amount of roof replacements in the St. Louis area we felt it would be beneficial to many of you to explain the possible ills of installing a new roof system over an older, damaged, roof system.  This can be an attractive reroof option for many reasons.  This option reduces replacement cost, can be installed quicker than a traditional tear-off roof replacement, and roof system manufacturers will typically honor a NDL warranty.

As with most things, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Although widely practiced within the roofing industry, roof recover remains a controversial issue.  Roof recovers often encapsulate moisture in the underlying roof system.  Common issues surrounding this roof option are mold concerns, the drying of wet insulation, deck deterioration (dry rot of wood, disintegration of concrete, corrosion of metal), and fastener failures.  Ongoing leaks and voided manufacturer warranties are all too common when a new roof is installed over an existing roof system.  Most importantly, the installation may not meet current International Building Code (IBC) or the manufacturer’s warranty requirements.

What can you do to protect yourself against these issues in the case of a roof recover project?  Randomly selected core cuts and visual observation are not enough investigation to determine the amount of underlying moisture within a roof system. Performing an infrared moisture scan will verify and document areas of subsurface moisture insuring that local code requirements are satisfied.  The infrared scan will allow you to mark and replace any wet or “suspect” areas in the existing roof system during the new roof installation process.  The scan should also provide as documentation to ensure manufacturer warranty compliance as installation of new roofing over wet substrate will lead to systemic issues and premature roof failure.

Make sure to perform your due diligence when selecting a firm to complete an infrared moisture scan.  The company you select should have a minimum of 10 years’ experience using their infrared equipment and should be able to provide training certification from the equipment manufacturer.  This is important because dissimilar heat dissipation readings show up as “hot spots” or “anomalies” and are common.  These readings are not necessarily wet insulation but could be areas of sediment build up, interior lighting, or cupped insulation.  Prior to marking the roof, anomalies should be confirmed with secondary non-destructive equipment such as nuclear or capacitance meters.  Areas marked on the roof should then be confirmed through test cuts to verify and finalize the findings.  What good is an infrared scan if it’s done incorrectly?  We perform infrared scan services regularly and can offer a multitude of references and samples.  Contact us for more information or to discuss scheduling this service for your facility.


Cale Prokopf
RoofTech Consulting, Inc
(314) 687-5687