What Is Thermal Imaging?
Thermal Imaging uses infrared technology to detect minute differences in temperature. Every material has a unique thermal signature and when moisture, heat, cold or pests are introduced the thermal signature changes. The changes can be subtle or dramatic but with a trained inspector and this incredible technology they are detectable where they wouldn't be able to be seen with the naked eye. This is not the "magic bullet" but is used in conjunction with other technology and experience to help identify issues and concerns during the inspection process.
How Does It Work?
Thermal, or infrared energy is light that we cannot see because its wavelength is too long to be detected by the human eye. It's part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we perceive as heat. Everything with a temperature above absolute zero (-459.67°F) emits heat. The higher the object's temperature, the greater the infrared radiation that is emitted. Infrared cameras produce images of invisible infrared or "heat" radiation that provides precise non-contact temperature measurement capabilities.
What Are The Uses For Thermal Scans?
To Find Moisture Intrusion: Often time’s moisture is concealed, sometimes deliberately, in an attempt to cover up moisture intrusion. A thermal scan can quickly, accurately and non-destructively, locating thermal patterns that can be associated with moisture intrusion.
To detect missing, damaged or wet insulation: As energy costs increase, so does the demand for increased energy efficiency. Thermal imaging can be used to detect missing or displaced insulation with ease and accuracy, resulting in lower utility bills and added comfort within the home.
The primary diagnostic procedure for determining the thermal performance of a building envelope is infrared thermography. It can be used to identify heating and cooling loss due to poor construction, missing or inadequate insulation and moisture intrusion. Correcting the defects plays a significant role in increasing building efficiency and structural integrity.
Thermography can identify surface temperature variations of the building envelope, which relates to problems in the structure, thermal bridging, moisture content and air leakage.
How We Use Energy In Our Homes
The first step to taking a whole house energy efficiency approach is to find out which parts of your house use the most energy. A home energy audit will pinpoint those areas and suggest the most effective measures for cutting your energy costs. You can conduct a simple home energy audit yourself, you can contact your local utility, or you can call an independent energy auditor for a more comprehensive examination.
Energy Audits: Heat loss and/or cold air influx can be detected to help improve the energy efficiency of residential and commercial structures. Minor changes can make a difference in energy consumption which means less money out of pocket.
Heat Loss From A House
A picture is worth...in this case, lost heating dollars. This thermal photograph shows heat leaking from a house during those expensive winter heating months. The white, yellow, and red colors show heat escaping. The red represents the area of the greatest heat loss.
Electrical Inspections: Loose electrical connections and other electrical problems can cause power outages and possible fires. We can inspect the electrical panels and wiring connections to detect concerns 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 concern.
Commonly Inspected Components
Moisture Detection in Walls and Ceilings: Water leaks from the plumbing system often leak undetected until major damage has occurred. Now, we can scan in, under, and around plumbing fixtures in the home to determine if there is active leaking going on.
Electrical Inspections: Thermal scanning can detect hot spots in the electrical system not visible to the naked eye (i.e. overheating circuit breakers, or circuits), which may be a precursor to a larger issue. The thermal images allow licensed electricians to quickly identify the problem areas and make repairs, which saves your clients money.
Plumbing Inspections: Thermal scanning can be used to detect the precise location of flat roof leaks. The affected areas can then be marked so that repairs can be made to only the leaking areas. This obviously is much cheaper than replacing the entire roof. Of course, complete replacement is always recommended when the roof is old.
Flat Roof Inspections: Thermal scanning can be used to detect the precise location of flat roof leaks. The affected areas can then be marked so that repairs can be made to only the leaking areas. This obviously is much cheaper than replacing the entire roof. Of course, complete replacement is always recommended when the roof is old.
Stucco & EIFS Inspections: While we do not perform stucco / EIFS moisture tests, we can now scan these materials and look for problems in areas where we suspect damage may
We will be glad to assist you in your preventive maintenance program or to help you detect moisture. Please contact Michael Hoff from A Ok Simplex Inspections at 936-436-9381 to set up an appointment or to obtain additional information.