SEA Chapter Meeting - May 3

Short Answer: Yes, moisture in roof insulation matters. Excessive moisture can affect R-values, potentially degrade materials, and lead to organic growth. If a path to the interior of the building is present, indoor air quality can be affected, condensation can drip to the interior, and degradation of structural elements is possible. On the other hand, there is always a measureable amount of moisture within roofing assemblies and sometimes the problem can be overstated.

In this presentation, WJE will present case studies of existing buildings where condensation under and within roofing assemblies was excessive. Moisture monitoring devices installed long term in some of these buildings recorded moisture levels over time. Before and after data will be presented that demonstrates the effectiveness of added roof insulation, HVAC adjustments, and/or modification of heating systems. To compliment this data, we will also provide examples of other moisture detection techniques including, infrared imaging, high and low voltage leak detection, capacitance meters, and gravimetric analysis.

1. Identify problems related to excessive moisture in roofing assemblies
2. Evaluate techniques used to measure moisture below and within roofing assemblies
3. Evaluate solutions to moisture issues.
4. Explore the future of moisture measurement within roofing assemblies

Bio: Wade Vorley is an architect and registered roofing consultant at Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates (WJE). He has a master’s degree from UC Berkeley, focuses on building envelope investigation and design; and provides condition surveys, field investigations, repair designs, peer reviews, and litigation support. Mr. Vorley is published in trade journals, presents AIA accredited seminars, and conducts research. He writes technical papers including one presented at the 2011 NRCA International Roofing Symposium in Washington, D.C., and one at the 2013 Waterproof Membranes Conference in  Dusseldorf, Germany. Prior to joining WJE, Mr. Vorley worked as a roof installer, supervisor, project manager, and cost estimator for a roofing contractor in the Pacific Northwest.