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Thermal imaging, finding hidden moisture that becomes mold.

Thermal imaging is a technology that aids in the detection of hidden moisture behind walls, ceilings and floors. It also helps diagnose a variety of other home-performance problems such as missing insulation, air leaks or thermal bridges. Infrared thermography is the art of transforming an infrared image into a radiometric one, which allows temperature values to be read from the image. Every pixel in the radiometric image is in fact a temperature measurement.

Let’s say a customer calls and is in a panic. They just arrived home from being gone a couple of days. A pipe cracked and due to a subsequent leak there is standing water in the family room at a depth of about 1 inch.

Step one is easy: extraction. But we cannot solve the remaining problems until we identify what is wet. The process of finding all areas with moisture issues can be a long and tedious task when using only a moisture meter. The thermal imaging camera quickly and accurately shows all relevant thermal differences. The investigation results in the preliminary determination of the problem. It might be moisture, it might be missing or compromised insulation on a cold day, or it might be air leakage on a cold day. All three of these issues can look the same on the thermal imaging camera when investigating the interior of the building on a cold day. So the IR camera needs to be used in conjunction with the moisture meter to quickly and accurately verify the presence or absence of moisture.

Once the moisture has been located and verified, the process of drying can begin or be modified. As drying proceeds, there is a need to monitor the drying process. There’s no better tool to monitor drying than an IR camera. The areas that are drying and those that are not are easily located; air movers can then be readjusted, and the drying process continues more efficiently.

Benefits of Thermal Imaging in the detection of:

• Water infiltration

• Cold air infiltration

• Excessive moisture in building materials

• Stud / Joist / Beam / Rafter placement and structure

• Insulation gaps, insufficient and unevenness

• Electrical drops, panels, breakers, switches and wire connections

• Heating and cooling duct placement, insulation, air leaks

• Pipe location

• Special Inspections

◦ Energy audits

◦ Insurance claims

 

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