Infrared Thermography (Thermal Imaging) is a non-invasive method used to reveal potential problems that wouldn't be seen using conventional methods. Thermal imaging detects infrared energy emitted from an object and converts it into a temperature. It’s used in the medical industry to detect body temperatures, by firefighters to see through smoke, and by law enforcement for search and rescue.
Thermal Imaging is used to detect:
Moisture intrusion around foundation walls and floors
Overheated electrical equipment
Energy efficiency problems
Energy loss around door, windows and walls
Drafts or openings in HVAC ductwork
All reports are easy to read with clear descriptions of the problem or anomaly. Pictures are provided with both a standard photo for reference and an infrared photo showing the anomaly. This provides a point of reference for the client and helps them when it comes time to address the situation.
Reading the Data
Thermal Imaging is one of the greatest tools in an inspectors arsenal. However, it requires training to be able to accurately interpret the data. Inspectors need to take into account various factors to include their surroundings along with the reflectivity and emmisivity of the items their imaging. Without that knowledge what may be a simple reflection could be mistaken for a major problem, or worse, what may be deemed a bad reflection could actually be a major problem.
Thermal imaging equipment is expensive. While not every inspector offers this service, those that do consider it one of the best options for detecting hidden problems.