Roofing has come a long way since the days of interlacing twigs together in bundles, laying them in rows along a wooden support system, and calling it good. Today, roofs are made of a variety of materials and can last for over a century. As technology continues to grow, roofing will continue to evolve.

PRN Roofing, the best local roofing company in Tuscaloosa, is using a new roofing technology called thermal imaging roof inspections in order to better detect roof damage. In this blog post, we’ll discuss this burgeoning technology and how it can help you with your roofing system. Contact us today!


A roof’s membrane is a layer of your roof that acts as a barrier between the outside elements and the interior of your home, office, or business. These membranes are designed to withstand the toughest elements Mother Nature can throw at buildings, such as high winds, scorching heat, and they can even be water resistant. They expand and contract based on temperature and are made of a variety of different composite materials.

Sometimes when a leak in your roof develops, it can go undetected for quite some time. This is because it is small enough that the water is absorbed either by your insulation or by your roof’s membrane.

Thermal capacity is a material’s ability to store heat. Roof membranes have low thermal capacity to store heat; whereas, water requires a lot of energy to store heat and to cool down. Thermal roof inspections work by using special equipment that can detect the difference in this heating up and cooling down between your roof’s membrane and between the insulation and water. This not only detects a leak if one exists but shows the extent of the water in these materials. PRN Roofing leverages thermal capacity roofing technology for the people of Tuscaloosa.


Thermal roof inspections have to be done on days where there is a noticeable difference in the temperature for optimal results. For example, your roof needs to be free from snow, dirt, and debris, needs to be dry, and works best on clear sunny days coupled with clear cool nights. On cloudy days, your roof won’t absorb enough heat during the day or radiate the energy out on cloudy nights to be effective. Wind is a variable that increases cooling of your roof, which can throw off results.

Thermal roof inspections are also limited by your roofing system. If you have a double layer of insulation, thermal roof inspections can be especially challenging because of their complex thermal relationships. If your roofing system is a heavily ballasted single-ply roof, thermal roof inspections may not yield accurate results. If you have inverted membranes (the waterproofing layer is beneath the thermal insulation rather than above it) in your roofing systems, thermal roof inspections won’t help.

Another common hindrance with thermal roof inspections is that some single-ply membranes reflect long-wave infrared radiation. This can cause the heat of other buildings or other objects around the roof such as trees to interfere with the readings because their heat signatures are being reflected onto the roof you are inspecting.


Even with all of these caveats, thermal roof inspections are a valuable tool for local roofers to use in detecting leaks and water damage to your home. The key to overcoming all of these challenges is to be aware of how they may influence the outcome of the thermal imaging results. Here, you’ll need an experienced roofer who has been formally trained in this new technology in order to interpret the results, even when taken under less than ideal conditions.

Thermal energy roof inspections can save the consumer thousands of dollars in roof replacement costs. Rather than rip off your entire roof when a leak is detected because no one knows where the leak is coming from, a thermal energy roof inspection can localize your leak, thus having only a portion of your roof replaced.

Thermal energy roof inspections help to evaluate the health of your roofing system without causing any damage. It’s a cost effective way to achieve peace of mind with your roofing system that PRN Roofing in Tuscaloosa offers.


  • Safety. Undetected leaks can do a lot of damage to your roof, including rust and rot that can threaten the structural integrity of your roof. This can pose a significant danger to both those who walk on top of your roof as well as those below your roof in the event of a cave in.
  • Interior damage. Slow leaks can damage your electrical or mechanical systems that live in your roof as well as cause mold to grow, which can damage your health. The inventory of your business can suffer damage as well.
  • Cost savings. Wet insulation allows more heat and cooling to escape from your building since it’s a better conductor than dry insulation. This can significantly drive up your utility costs.
  • Saves on roof replacement costs. Just replacing a portion of your roof or even just a portion of your insulation is much more cost effective than replacing the entire roof.
  • Protects the warranty on your roof. Some roofing manufacturers are requiring regular thermal energy roofing inspections in order to keep your warranty in effect.


Thermal roof inspections detect areas affected by moisture in order to discover the smallest leaks. They can also help to pinpoint where this tiny leak is as it might be hard to discern with just the naked eye. While this technology is great, it is touchy. The weather conditions must be right to use thermal roof inspections, and different roofing materials can be troublesome to detect. However, with a competent and certified thermographer, you’ll get the most out of your thermal roof inspection.

PRN Roofing in Tuscaloosa offers thermal roof inspections to better evaluate your roof. We specialize in both residential, commercial, and multifamily roof repair, roof maintenance, and roof replacements. We also offer emergency roofing services 24 hours a day. Our experience and friendly roofers are ready to help. Call us today for a roof inspection today!