A recent roofing repair job led to more than what the property owner bargained for – and not in a feel-good bonus kind of way. The “Times-Georgian” recently reported that “a roofing repair ‘hot spot’ may have been the cause of a … fire that destroyed a building due to be reopened soon.”
Just 45 minutes after roofing crews had wrapped up completion on the roof repair, the blaze reportedly broke out. What is a roof hot spot? It’s is a section of the roof that contains moisture. The heat such a spot accumulates during the day is then released at night. Even when a hot spot doesn’t flare into a full-fledged fire, the lost heat it contributes to a building can significantly impact the cost of heating and cooling for the property owner.
The pitfalls of a roof hot spot don’t stop there, however. Roofing hot spots most typically are found when a new roof system is installed over an existing roof. Because the old roof is laden down with moisture content, the addition of the new roof causes the moisture to get trapped inside the structure. Over time, that new roof you spent thousands of dollars on begins to rot from the inside out. What’s worse, it’s a case of buyer beware, because even when you shell out extra dollars on a roof warranty, you’ll receive no payout if your new roof system was installed over a moisture-laden existing roof.
How can you avoid all these expensive and sometimes dangerous side effects? Your best option is to hire a reputable roofing professional who will get the job done right. You can also request a thermal imaging scan of your existing roof. A heat spy thermal imaging camera can uncover hot spots easily and quickly. This scan should be performed on any core samples of your roof that have a history of leaking.
A core sample is taken when a small section of your roof is removed and examined for moisture content. Using infrared photography, a thermal scan can then detect any hot spots in your roof.
Hot spots also have a less insidious but just as irritating definition in the roofing industry. Most typically, they occur with tile roofs. The way in which the tiles are taken off the pallet on which they are delivered, the way in which they are installed on the roof and, most notably, the way in which they are stacked on the roof can all contribute to hot spots. When several tiles of the same color are installed too close together, a layout hot spot can occur. While they won’t cause your roof to burst into flame, if left undetected, they can mar the blended effect you’ve spent hard-earned money to achieve.
Whether it’s the threat of physical conflagration, the potential for expensive overhauls or merely a cosmetic headache you’re forced to endure, a roofing hot spot is nothing to play fire with. For these reasons, it’s important that your new roof be evaluated and installed by a professional roofer.