Infrared thermography can be used to evaluate the performance of building components and systems including, but not limited to insulation, roofing, moisture intrusion, HVAC and plumbing. Infrared thermography can also be used to locate structural components within walls and ceilings and evaluate the performance of in-floor heating systems.
Missing, damaged, or inadequate insulation, building envelope air leaks, moisture intrusion, and substandard work are costly to residential and commercial building owners. Thermal imaging can help you quickly target the source of the problem so you can help customers make informed decisions on repairs.
Water leaks and moisture infiltration can cause serious damage to a house or building and can be difficult to detect until it’s already too late. Using a thermal imaging camera and under the right circumstances, it’s possible to find hidden water and moisture issues without resorting to destructive testing.
There are many sources of building moisture, including humidity (during any season), condensation, pipe leaks, rain and snow, and even people and animals breathing. Usually a low level of moisture is fine, but leaks or heavy condensation can cause serious problems. A thermal imaging camera cannot “see” moisture in walls, but it can detect subtle temperature differences and patterns that reveal the existence of water. A moisture meter is used in conjunction with the Infrared Camera to verify the presence of damp building materials.
Infrared thermography can open your eyes to a new world of data that’s always been around you, but you’ve never been aware of because you couldn’t see it without a thermal camera.
The general advantages of Infrared Thermography are the following:
- non-contact technology; the devices do not to be in contact with the sources of heat creating a safer work environment.
- creates a two-dimensional thermal image that allows for comparisons with visible light cameras
- works in real-time, allowing high-speed scanning of images
- safe and effective
- non-invasive and will not disturb or affect the target area
Infrared Thermography had widespread use as a military technology in the 1970’s but found itself in commercial use soon after. Today the technology is employed in various fields including medicine, surveillance, engineering, and building diagnostics, which includes home inspections. For home inspectors, knowledge of training of Infrared Thermography can help diagnose defects that may not have been apparent in a routine inspection, reveal further defects and underlying causes, and can make the job safer.