There are many types of commercial roof damage out there, but moisture damage is one of the most critical issues to address. Moisture can compromise the roof structure and lead to big headaches, such as mold growth and permanent damage.

Before any commercial roofing companies can decide how to approach your roof repair, a thorough investigation of commercial roof moisture damage should ALWAYS be done. 

We will discuss the steps Delta Innovative Services takes to inspect your roof for damage but first, let’s talk about the causes of moisture damage. 

What Causes Moisture Damage on Commercial Roofing?

Moisture damage occurs when water infiltrates the roof system, leading to deterioration of roofing materials and potential leaks into the building. Identifying and addressing moisture damage early is crucial to prevent extensive damage and costly repairs.

Heavy rainfall, snow accumulation, and inadequate drainage are common causes of moisture damage to slightly sloped and flat commercial roofs, especially if there are areas of pooling water. 

Poor installation or neglecting regular maintenance can also compromise seals around roof penetrations like vents and HVAC units. The Midwest is no stranger to temperature fluctuations so it is important to get your roof regularly inspected since extreme temperatures can cause roofing materials to expand and contract, creating cracks. 

Without regular inspections and maintenance, these issues can lead to significant moisture damage and structural problems. Most people wait to reach out until there is a roof leak or a larger problem. 

Evaluating The Extent of Moisture Damage

A moisture damage inspection involves several steps to accurately assess the extent of moisture intrusion and its impact on the roof system. 

Core Cut: The Initial Step



The first step in a commercial roof investigation is performing a core cut. This testing method provides a snapshot of the existing roof system by exposing all layers of roofing and determining the type of roofing deck, especially if it’s not accessible from inside the building.


Delta Innovations found 3 layers of roofing present with the base layer being over 50 years old


Verifying Roof Penetrations


After completing the core cut, the next step is to ensure that roof penetrations meet the flashing height requirements set by the manufacturer. 

Roof flashing directs water away from a roof’s seams and joints, ensuring that these areas remain watertight and able to drain. Proper installation and maintenance of roof flashing affect the longevity and integrity of a commercial roofing system.

Typically, manufacturers require a minimum of 8 inches of flashing height to ensure a “warrantable” detail. This height prevents water or snow from saturating the area and overflowing into the building. Modifications such as raising an HVAC curb or gas line penetration may be necessary if the roof penetrations do not meet this requirement.

Moisture Survey Methods

When considering options, you may be advised to tear off the roof or “recover” the existing one. If the roofing deck is not going to be exposed during a tear-off, a roof manufacturer will typically require additional tests to warrant a recovered roof. 

Moisture survey methods pinpoint areas of water infiltration, enabling precise and effective repairs and maintenance.

The two most common methods for moisture surveys are electrical impedance metering and infrared camera inspections.

Electrical Impedance Metering

dec-scanner-in actionA Tramex Dec Scanner detects and evaluates the moisture conditions within roofing systems by non-destructively measuring electrical impedance. 

It generates a low-frequency electronic signal, transmitted into the material under test via one of two electrodes in the rubber electrode mat. The signal strength varies in proportion to the amount of moisture present, and the Dec Scanner converts this to a comparative moisture content value. 

By moving the scanner across the roof surface in a regular pattern, areas containing moisture can be readily identified.

Infrared Roof Inspections

Infrared inspections can detect the source of a leak by identifying temperature variations where moisture is trapped in the roofing system. Moisture retains heat after sunset, making it visible with an infrared camera. This method is particularly useful for identifying leaks long before they become apparent inside the building.


Blue areas in the figure above shown above are dry, yellow and red are holding moisture


Trusted Moisture Damage Evaluation & Responsive Service

At Delta Innovative Services, we proudly stand as the leading commercial roofing contractor in the Kansas City area. Since 1990, we’ve provided effective solutions for the most complex commercial flat roof issues.

We recognize that every client is unique, and there’s no “one size fits all” solution. We pride ourselves on our expertise and responsiveness when called to action. Typically, we can visit your site and diagnose the issue within 24 hours, providing a proposal within 48 hours.

Contact Delta Innovative Services today to learn more about our roofing inspections or to discuss your commercial roofing needs in detail.