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Title: Moisture in the roofs of cold storage buildings
Authors: Owens Corning.
Tobiasson, Wayne.
Greatorex, Alan.
Keywords: Air leakage
Refrigerated structures
Cold storage buildings
Infrared surveys
Roof membranes
Roof moisture
Thermal resistance
Publisher: Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Special report (Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (U.S.)) ; 98-13.
Description: Special Report
Abstract: The low-slope roofs of 10 cold storage buildings in the Dallas area were examined visually and thermographically from above and below. Cores were taken to verify infrared findings, and 12- x 12-in. (30- x 30-cm) specimens of many of the insulations were removed for laboratory studies of their thermal properties. Insulations included fibrous glass, fiberboard, perlite, wood fiber, expanded and extruded polystyrene, isocyanurate, and phenolic. Areas of wet insulation were found in 8 of the 10 roofs. Some wetness was due to leaks caused by flaws in the roofing membranes and their flashings, but some was associated with infiltration of warm, moist outside air at roof–wall intersections without effective air seals. Of all the insulations examined, permeable fibrous glass was the most susceptible to wetting by air infiltration. Sustained one-way vapor drive, the sealing-in of moisture at the base of insulation in roofs of cold storage buildings by freezing, and the limited opportunities for drying wet insulation in such roofs provide incentives to use insulation that is very resistant to wetting. Its very low rate of moisture gain by vapor diffusion and its resistance to wetting in the presence of freeze–thaw cycles make extruded polystyrene insulation particularly appealing for use in the roofs of cold storage buildings.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Special Report

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