A building’s roof is a significant investment. By treating the roof system as an asset, similar to the way cash flow or a stock portfolio is managed, owners can maximize returns on their roofing investment. Contact SME’s experts for professional advice regarding your roofs.  

SME specializes in the analysis, diagnosis, and design development of roof systems for both contemporary and historic structures. Leaking roofs are the most common problem on both new and old facilities. Over the life of a building, roofing defects are more likely to cause owners problems than any other controllable factor. SME’s roofing consultants provide services throughout a roof’s lifecycle. These services are tailored to fit the facility’s needs and the owner’s budget requirements for each individual project. 


SME performs roof evaluations, waterproofing assessments, code compliance and forensic investigations to assist clients in evaluating the integrity of an existing roof or building envelope through comprehensive assessments that determine signs of deterioration, water tightness, and estimated remaining useful life. These services include:

  • Visual condition surveys to document and assess existing conditions for developing rehabilitation plans
  • Roof samples to characterize and quantify existing materials. SME uses sampling to determine the composition of a roof system, evaluating condition of a sample, check compliance with specification, and identify hazardous materials
  • Infrared moisture surveys to delineate areas of entrapped moisture within the roofing system and aid in determining the extent of necessary repairs using nondestructive infrared thermography, nuclear density testing and roof cores
  • LEED and green roof assessments

Roof Test-Cores

SME performs roof test-cores on Built-Up Roofing and single ply roofing membranes to characterize in-place materials to determine type of roofing substrate, verify entrapped moisture at thermal anomalies, and insulation type and thickness to assist in thermal and energy performance upgrades. Test-core locations are patched with compatible roofing materials.

Slate and Clay Tile

SME performs assessments of slate and tile roofing, and can develop design documents for replacement and repair. We provide laboratory testing for slate including ASTM C-217, ASTM C-121, and ASTM C-120 for either salvaged slate from a project, or new roofing slate shipped directly from the quarry. SME also has experience in the detection of “black heart” distress in clay roofing tiles. Typical construction phase activities include: verification of substrates and underlayments; fastener pull-out testing and fastener selection based on substrate type and pull out resistance; verification of head and side laps; special detailing requiring field cutting and field fabricated copper wire hangers and attachments; and sheet metal flashing integration.

Copper and Stainless Steel

SME performs assessments of copper and stainless steel roofing assemblies to determine distress conditions to develop estimated remaining service life, and development of design documents for repair or replacement strategies. We were a major contributor to the soldered copper installed prequalification procedure referenced in the 7th Edition of the SMACNA Manual, and have significant experience in soldered copper coupon destructive analysis and interpretation. SME can provide vacuum box testing of soldered copper or stainless steel roofing, gutters and liners, as well as observation of batten seam and standing seam sheet metal roofs.

Infrared Thermography (IR)

IR thermography is use to find entrapped moisture in roofing applications such as adhered or mechanically fastened EPDM, Build-Up Roofing, and older, oxidized thermoplastic membranes that have lost much of their reflectivity. Roofing IR testing is typically performed during warm weather months, typically after sunset on a day with ample sunshine. Areas of wet insulation retain the heat longer than dry areas, creating “heat sinks” that result in anomalies in the thermal profile of the roofing assembly. White reflective roofs and ballasted single-ply roofing are typically scanned for moisture using nuclear density testing or electrical capacitance. SME also performs heat loss/air leakage IR scans in cold weather months, typically in the early morning to take advantage of anticipated overnight low temperatures, with the scan completed before sunrise to avoid solar interference.

Repair Design

SME designs maintenance and repair strategies for roofing systems based on an engineering analysis of existing conditions.

  • Development of a phased repair program
  • Economic life-cycle analysis


SME develops roof repair or replacement technical specification and drawings for competitive bidding and quality control during rehabilitation.

  • Bidding documents
  • General conditions
  • Technical specifications
  • Roof plans and details
  • Contract administration

Roof Management Program

A Roof Management Program (RMP) forecasts potential problems by gathering and arranging information on past roof performance into an efficient and usable format. This information can be used to predict roof performance by gaining an understanding of present conditions and the expected remaining service life of the system. With this knowledge, an appropriate response to maintenance and repair can be implemented for each roof section in a “just-in-time” manner.

  • Data collection
  • Field surveys
  • Roof condition indices (RCI)
  • Automated inventory, condition, and rehabilitation database
  • Life cycle analysis, economic analysis, maintenance schedules and multi-year budgets
  • Annual roof condition updates
  • Roof inspection training

Historic Preservation

Caring for roofs on our historic buildings requires special engineering expertise and respect for construction legacy. Roofing systems protecting these structures encompass a variety of classic building materials including slate, copper, and clay tile. Historic roof systems include those on registered landmark structures, as well as on historically and architecturally significant buildings that come under a public or personal stewardship. With each project, SME uses as a guide the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, which promotes responsible preservation practices. 

  • Condition assessment of roofing systems, materials, evaluation, wood, slate, copper, masonry, stone and mortar
  • Restoration design
  • Roof deck analysis: wood, gypsum, concrete and hollow clay tile
  • Fastener testing
  • Soldered copper seam testing
  • Coppersmith certification
  • Project documents
  • Roof rehabilitation administration and monitoring

Learn more about historic preservation.

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