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Executive Summary ♦
Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) roof moisture surveys have been employed in the roofing industry in the United States since the late 1970s to locate areas of moisture contaminated insulation below low-slope roof membranes. The information obtained by performing an NDE roof moisture survey is most often sought by building owners to help them decide whether:
  1. The existing roof system is a candidate for long-term repair efforts.
  2. To re-cover the existing system with additional insulation and a new roof membrane.
  3. To remove an existing low-slope roof system (i.e., themembrane and insulation) prior to replacing them with new insulation and a new membrane.
The decision of whether to remove or re-cover an existing roof is critical because of the significant cost differential between roof removal and replacement (tear-off) and roof recovery. Although re-covering an existing roof system is less costly, there is a risk that moisture trapped within the original system, especially in the insulation, will have a negative effect on the overall roof assembly. Moisture contained in the insulation of the original roof system that is re-covered often leads to corrosion of fasteners and steel roof decks and may cause spalling damage to concrete decks. Furthermore, trapped moisture can cause structural damage to other types of roof decks (e.g., wood, gypsum, cementitious wood fiber).