How is thermography technology useful?
Moisture Detection in Walls and Ceilings
As demonstrated above, thermal imaging is a great tool that helps to identifying water damage in walls, floors, and ceilings. By detecting the difference in temperature between a wet area and the surrounding dry areas thermal imaging can help detect moisture issues that would not be visible during a limited visual home inspection. It is also great at identifying areas where the insulation contractor failed to insulate adequately.
Often major damage occurs when a water leak from the plumbing system goes a long period of time undetected. This infrared camera can scan in, under, and around plumbing fixtures in the home to determine if there is active leaking going on. This tool is not a moisture meter but we can and will use it to find heat anomalies and then pursue the issue further to attempt to determine the source and cause of the leak.
Thermal image scanning can detect temperature anomalies in the plumbing system not visible to the naked eye which may be a precursor to a larger issue. The resulting Thermal Image Scan report can be a great aid for the repair plumber hired to address the identified issues.
Stucco & EIFS Inspections
Thermal image scanning has greatly improved our ability to perform stucco and EIFS moisture intrusion inspections. If there is rot behind the stucco it is often visible with thermal imaging in the form of heat anomalies. Thermal image scanning also helps to quantify the affected areas of moisture damage. By adding this tool to our stucco inspections we have been able to better identify where the trouble areas are that need repair.
Wood Destroying Insect Activity
Significant wood destroying insect activity can be detected using this technology due to the heat generated by active infestations. That’s right, active termite activity produces a great deal of heat that is often visible to the infrared camera. Minor activity may not be detectable but areas not normally visible to the naked eye can be identified, and then a more invasive or technically exhaustive inspection can be carried out by the appropriate professional.
We do not currently specialize in performing energy audits, but thermal imaging has been a great tool to help homeowners save money, especially now that energy rates are on the rise. Heat loss and/or cold air influx can be detected and corrective actions can be taken to help improve the energy efficiency of residential and commercial structures.
Once the energy wasting areas are identified, then changes can be made to make a dramatic difference in energy consumption which means less money out of pocket.
Flat Roof Inspections
If you have a leak on a new to mid life flat roof and have been told that a new roof is needed, then call us first. We may be able to save you a substantial amount of money. Thermal imaging can be used to detect the precise location of the leak and mark the affected area so that repairs can be made to the leaking area. Obviously, if the roof is older then you should forego the thermal imaging and invest in the needed new roof.
Loose or dirty electrical connections and other electrical anomalies can cause power outages and possible fires. We can inspect the electrical panels and receptacles to detect issues before there is a costly outage. Thermal imaging can detect hot spots in the electrical system not visible to the naked eye which may be a precursor to a larger issue. The resulting report can be a great aid for the repair electrician hired to address the identified issues.
Abnormal heating associated with high resistance or excessive current flow is the main cause of many problems in electrical systems. Infrared thermography allows us to see these invisible thermal signatures of impending damage before the damage occurs. When current flows through an electric circuit, part of the electrical energy is converted into heat energy. This is normal. But, if there is an abnormally high resistance in the circuit or abnormally high current flow, abnormally high heat is generated which is wasteful, potentially damaging and not normal.
Infrared electrical inspections find hot spots caused by defects in connections and components. Infrared thermography is used to find areas of excess heat (caused by increased resistance) so that problems can be corrected before a component fails, causing damage to the component, creating safety hazards and productivity loss. Because increased heating is a sign of failure, infrared is the best diagnostic tool available for finding these hot connections in the early stages of degeneration.
What Thermal Image Scanning is NOT?
MOISTURE METER – The infrared thermal imaging camera is NOT a moisture meter. It simply identifies thermal anomalies. This device greatly aids in identifying areas that need further investigation.
X-RAY VISION – The infrared thermal imaging camera is NOT an X-ray vision scope. It does not provide the user with an immediate Superman S on their chest with the ability to clearly see inside walls. Instead, it identifies thermal differences.
SILVER BULLET – The infrared thermal imaging camera is NOT a silver bullet solution, but when it is used in conjunction with other technologies thermal imaging has helped us to identify issues that are rarely identified during the limited visual home inspection process.
RISK ELIMINATOR – The infrared thermal imaging camera does NOT completely remove the risks of concealed damage.
PLEASE NOTE: It is deceptive to claim that thermal imaging detects moisture because the best that it can do is detecting thermal differences. Using the infrared camera to help discover moisture issues are helpful because once the anomalies are identified then moisture meters and other diagnostic tools can be used to identify the source of the anomaly.
Moisture equals mold – Whenever a leak and moist conditions exists longer than 72 hours, then mold can form. This fact is a reality and the infrared camera can quickly, and in a non-invasive manner, help identify these issues. But remember, the infrared camera identifies the heat signatures and does not measure the moisture content.