Or better yet — building without them.
Infrared thermography is one method of determining the presence of moisture leaks and water infiltration within roof systems. There are many other non-destructive methods used for testing however, none are conclusive without visual confirmation via some destructive testing i.e. taking cut tests. Non-destructive testing is useless with some roof systems.
When designing a roof it is best to anticipate problems and make allowances. How often do we see metal siding or large skylights that terminate 3" above the roof when in fact the termination should extend a minimum 14" above the roof to provide sufficient room for re-roofing. Obviously the designer thought the roof would be there for as long as the siding or the skylights. We often see a $ 5,000.00 re-roofing job cost $ 25,000.00 due to skylight or rooftop mechanical equipment problems.
Experience suggests that certain types of mechanical A/C units have a tendency to leak and that specific roof systems are prone to premature failure. Nothing can be taken for granted. Every nuance, including the obvious, must be taken into consideration.
The mechanical contractor and the skylight contractor assume that silicone caulking is the greatest invention ever, since it is guaranteed for 25 years or until it leaks!! In the roofing and waterproofing industry, caulking is considered the first line of defense against water infiltration. However, a roof should not leak regardless of whether or not the caulking has been applied. Unfortunately, in practise, the mechanical contractor and the skylight contractor depend solely on that bead of silicone caulking which requires both an almost perfect environment and an ideal substrate to adhere to properly.
To ensure a successful, watertight roof or waterproofing application Mr. Peter Rohmann attends personally at each and every project at every critical stage of installation with special emphasis on the project assessment, preparation of specifications and drawings, and the commencement of the actual roofing or waterproofing work.