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Thermal Imaging /Infrared Survey

By Jeff S. Barnes

Does your building feel drafty?  Is there a chill in the air of your rooms during the colder months?  Does your roof still leak after being “repaired” numerous times?

It could be something obvious such as an open window, or a hole in the roof causing these issues or it could be something concealed, such as a lack of insulation or faulty construction.

Thermal imaging can reveal what the eye cannot see; it can discover areas of heat loss around windows; it can discover areas of missing or insufficient insulation and it can discover areas of faulty construction.  Additionally, it can discover areas of moisture underneath roof membrane in an effort to trace the source of a leak.

Thermography/infrared light is: …the use of an infrared imaging and measurement camera to “see” and “measure” thermal energy emitted from an object.  Thermal, or infrared energy, is light that is not visible because its wavelength is too long to be detected by the human eye; it’s the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we perceive as heat.  Unlike visible light, in the infrared world, everything with a temperature above absolute zero emits heat.  Even very cold objects, like ice cubes, emit infrared.”  (www.flir.com/thermography)

Being able to find the source of the heat loss or leak allows the Owner to focus repairs in a particular location without having to “throw good money after bad” by addressing what the Owner thinks, not knows, is the problem and hoping the problem gets resolved.  Unfortunately, this occurs all too often as the majority of building Owners believe that thermal imaging is not within their budget.

Depending on the scope of the area to be surveyed, thermal Imagining can be very cost effective in that it helps focus the inspector’s attention and allows more time to properly diagnose the areas with energy loss, subsequently resulting in a more defined repair scope.

So the next time you feel a chill in the air in your favorite room, or a roof leak that continues after numerous repair attempts, consider uncovering the unseen possibilities that could be contributing to it.