Can a Poor Air Seal Cause Roof Failure?

2 modules


Course Length
1 hour

Self- Paced

$95 - 150


This hospital Owner in the mid-Atlantic region experienced complete roof failure within five years of installation. Components within the roofing assembly had debonded, warped, twisted, cupped, and distorted causing the roof no longer drain properly and left the Owner fearful that large portions of the roof would fail and blow off in a storm event. During the course of the evaluation thermography, roof cores, moisture meters, document review, and visual inspection techniques were used to demonstrate a number of defects in not only the design of the building but in the installation of various roofing components. The installing contractor had claimed that the building’s mechanical system was solely responsible for pressurizing and damaging the roofing materials to the point of failure. The Owner had claimed that there must have been a number of defects in the installation of the roofing system which caused the system failure. During the course of the forensic evaluation it was demonstrated that the mechanical system was not responsible for the failure of the roofing system; however it was determined that defects in the design and construction of other building components such as the structural steel heliport, the roofing air/vapor barrier and roofing components contributed to total system failure. These findings coupled with significant workmanship issues led to the premature failure of the roofing system.

Mr. Mills graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute of New York in 1983. He has been a resident of the Tidewater, Virginia area for 20 years. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Mr. Mills founded TAM Consultants, a professional services firm in 2002 specializing in providing solutions for the constructed environment including Building Enclosure Consulting, Property Inspections, Property Damage Surveys, Property Defect Surveys, Structural and Forensic Engineering and Design, Project Management and Owner Agent Services. Prior to forming TAM Consultants, Mr. Mills had experience with a number of multi-disciplined design and inspection firms and served in the role of designer, inspector, project manager, technical specialist, commercial roofing specialist, asbestos and lead specialist, construction manager, general contractor and owner’s project representative. Mr. Mills’ 30+ years of experience cover a wide range of public and private projects of varying types and sizes. Project types include commercial, single and multi-family residential, historical, light and medium duty industrial and manufacturing facilities, warehouse and distribution, parks and recreation, waste-water, fire stations, laboratory, parking, “green buildings,” retirement, and medical and hospital facilities.


  • To gain an understanding regarding the importance of coordination of the various design disciplines and how building failures are not necessarily caused by the obvious issues.
  • To gain an understanding regarding the critical importance of airtightness in buildings and how to ensure that the roof wall interface is constructed air and water tight.
  • To demonstrate good detailing and design practices.
  • To review the steps in evaluating a failed roof system as part of an insurance claim.
  • To demonstrate how multiple failures either in design and construction work together to magnify and turn small problems into a major failure.


By completing/passing this course, you will attain the certificate IIBEC Certification of Completion

Learning Credits

Can a Poor Air Seal Cause Roof Failure?
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Added 2 months ago, by JOHN
Added 7 months ago, by Brian
Added 9 months ago, by Viola
I would like to hear more from this speaker. Very good topic.
Added 10 months ago, by Tony
Added over 1 year ago, by Harry
Very good
Added over 1 year ago, by Michael
Added over 1 year ago, by Gord
Added almost 2 years ago, by William
Added almost 2 years ago, by Monty
I would like to spend some time picking Tim’s brain futher
Added about 2 years ago, by Brian

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