General Information

ROOFER™ is an engineered management system (EMS) designed to evaluate built-up and single-ply roofs. It is a decision support tool which provides systematic and consistent methods of assessing roof condition, selecting repair and replacement needs, and prioritizing work based on maximizing benefits and minimizing costs.

Major users of this system include military installations, universities, governmental agencies, and private building owners. ROOFER is a member of the EMS family which includes BUILDER, PAVER and RAILER. It was developed by the U. S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (USACERL), with assistance of U. S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory and the U. S. Army Center for Public Works.

The ROOFER System

ROOFER combines the ease of a menu-driven program with the latest in roof technology to enable the user to easily see the condition of one section or their entire roof network. The ROOFER system is comprised of network inventory, condition inspections, and network and project-level management. ROOFER allows an agency to efficiently manage its database, small or large. The program stores inventory and inspection data, performs index calculations, analyzes data and generates customized management reports.

Benefits of Implementing and Using ROOFER™

  • A roof inventory that is organized and easily accessible
  • Objective and consistent condition evaluation of built-up and single-ply roofs
  • Systematic and documentable engineering basis for determining needs and priorities
  • Identification of budgeting requirements for maintaining roofs
  • Cost analysis technique for selecting repair/replacement alternatives
  • Rapid access of stored information
  • Small roof problems are detected and corrected before they become costly replacement projects
  • Tremendous cost savings

In addition to the previous benefits, ROOFER enables any business to save time and money that was previously spent on costly roof replacements. Roof repairs are much more economical than roof replacements. Roof repairs range from $.05 to $.08 per square foot per year, whereas roof replacements cost from $3.50 to $7.00 per square foot. Your built-up roofs should last 20 years or longer with regular maintenance, but without an effective program they may only last 5 to 12 years.

Network Inventory 

The first step in implementing the ROOFER system is to develop an inventory of all the built-up and single-ply roofs that the agency is responsible for maintaining. The building roofs are divided into smaller units called "sections". A roof section is the base unit upon which all repair and replacement decisions are made. The agency collects physical and historical information about each roof section, including the physical dimensions, construction characteristics, and material types of each roof component (deck, insulation, membrane, surface, and flashing).

Condition Inspections 

To evaluate the condition of built-up and single-ply roofs, an objective and repeatable rating system for determining the roof's present condition is used. After the inspection, the severity and quantity of the roof distresses are entered into ROOFER database. To ensure objectivity, condition indices are used and the membrane, flashing, and insulation components are evaluated individually. This system insures an objective assessment of component condition, waterproof integrity, and repair needs. The flashing condition index (FCI), membrane condition index (MCI), and the insulation condition index (ICI) are combined to determine the roof condition index (RCI). The RCI is the overall condition rating of a roof section.

The FCI and MCI are determined from a visual inspection. The agency surveys existing roof distresses, using established techniques and procedures. The ICI is determined from conducting roof moisture surveys using methods such as infrared scanning, and nuclear and capacitance metering to identify areas of wet roof insulation.

Network-Level and Project-Level Management 

Once a database has been established and the condition of the roof network is known, network management can be utilized. The using agency can establish current and future budgets for repair and replacement of roofs in the network. The ROOFER program generates several reports which greatly reduce the time and effort necessary to make sound engineering decisions.

ROOFER can perform cost analyses on repair and replacement alternatives to determine the optimal strategy. The necessary documentation for supporting work requests for individual projects can be generated.