Thermal imaging uses infrared technology to detect very small differences in temperature. Every material has a unique thermal signature and when moisture, heat, cold, or wood-destroying insects are introduced into the structure the thermal signature changes. The changes can be subtle or dramatic but with this incredible thermal image scanning technology, the thermal signatures are detectable where they wouldn’t be able to be seen with the naked eye.
Thermal image scanning technology is now being used to evaluate residential and commercial structures. As a non-invasive testing tool, it can quickly help discern where there are suspected issues. This can help to limit the areas where time-consuming further evaluation and destructive discovery is needed.
Moisture Equals MOLD!
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 help to identify these issues. But remember, the infrared camera identifies the heat signatures and does not measure the moisture content.
The Photo to the right is of a brick area above a mantle where there is a water leak on the roof at the area of the chimney. This goes undetected with the naked eye however was picked up using Thermal Imaging.
When moisture intrusion is located and corrected then further structure deterioration and widespread growth of mold can also be stopped. Thermal Imaging can greatly help in the detection of structural damaging leaks. Please remember that every day that a leak goes undetected the damage is increased. When detected early the structural repairs and any needed mold remediation are significantly less costly.
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 visual inspection. It is also great at identifying areas where the insulation contractor failed to insulate adequately.
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.
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 forgo 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.
Water leaks from the plumbing system often leak undetected until major damage has occurred. We can scan in, under, and around plumbing fixtures in the home to determine if there is active leaking going on. Since this tool is not a moisture meter we 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. We are often hired to help our clients with preventive maintenance programs or to pinpoint leaks in homes and businesses. To request a thermal image scan and/or moisture intrusion inspection please fill out our specialty inspection request form. Adding this service during the normal home inspection saves 40-50% off the normal stand alone thermal image scanning fee
Below is a standard digital photo on the left of a cathedral ceiling area and an Infrared Image on the right of the same area showing missing row of insulation detected by Thermal Imaging (Infrared Scan).
Standard Digital Photo