hausdok Posted March 4, 2005 Report Share Posted March 4, 2005 Infrared (IR) inspection is a powerful new non-invasive means for home inspectors to monitor and diagnose the condition of buildings and identify problems behind finished surfaces in areas that previously were impossible to inspect.id="left">Inspectors can immediately document those problems with full color thermal pictures that are downloaded into an easily understood thermal inspection report. Clients and customers immediately understand the value this adds to the report, so the IR camera is a great new tool that not only saves time and money, but elevates the inspector in the eyes of his customers from simple technician to a true technology professional. How It Works Thermography enables us to see and measure heat. All materials on earth emit heat energy in the infrared portion of the spectrum. Unfortunately, the unaided human eye cannot see in the infrared, so a thermal imaging device (camera) is necessary. Infrared images allow the camera user to see thermally, revealing temperature anomalies that indicate problems in buildings and components of electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and waterproofing systems. With todayÃ¢â¬â¢s lightweight and rugged infrared cameras one not only sees in real-time, but can also record infrared images and measure the temperatures of target objects quite accurately Ã¢â¬â to within +/-25°F or better. Points of possible concern show up clearly as either hot or cold in relation to their surroundings. Recorded thermal images can be easily inserted into reports, and e-mailed, greatly facilitating communications among trades, attorneys, and other professionals. These images can also serve as invaluable, rational, evidential data in controversial cases. How It's Being Used Missing or damaged insulation - An IR camera can quickly and non-destructively detect areas of missing, moisture-laden or otherwise damaged insulation in walls, crawlspaces and attics or around doors, windows, electrical outlets and other access plates. All of these problems can increase a buildingÃ¢â¬â¢s energy costs by facilitating a home's heat loss in the winter, and the reverse in the summer. IR can also identify poorly or uninsulated pipes, another source of costly heat loss. Faulty electrical mechanical systems- Infrared cameras are very effective at detecting overloaded circuits, faulty wiring, and loose electrical connections. These generate heat and can pose serious fire hazards. IR can detect thin spots in furnace heat exchangers and flues and mechanical problems such as worn, under-lubricated pumps, motors, and bearings in fans, compressors, and furnaces, as well as electrical faults, refrigerant leaks and blockages in HVAC components. Leaking roofs - Roof leaks can cause costly damage to a buildingÃ¢â¬â¢s contents and discomfort to its inhabitants. An infrared inspection can quickly identify missing or moisture-soaked insulation under a flat roof membrane roof where the insulation needs replacement, permitting the surgical repair of failed areas rather than the much more costly replacement of the entire roof. Construction defects - The increased use of EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems) and stone, stucco, brick veneers and siding as facades on residential as well as commercial buildings invites the possibility of water intrusion if they are not properly installed. IR can detect or verify moisture infiltration in these weatherproofing Ã¢â¬ËbarrierÃ¢â¬â¢ systems, usually the result of insufficient detailing such as inadequate or improperly applied flashing or sealants. Post-fire inspections - After fires, IR can quickly locate remnant hot spots, assuring the fire is completely extinguished and provide invaluable data for insurance companiesÃ¢â¬â¢ Cause and Origin investigations. The clear IR images of normally invisible diagnostic evidence can assist in the planning and execution of the restoration effort and in the settlement process. Even termites - Although considered cold-blooded creatures, termites are hosts to bacteria, which help break down and digest cellulose, the main ingredient of the wood they digest. The digestion process generates heat, and when large numbers of termites in nests congregate, a substantial amount of heat is concentrated in one area. As this heat moves through the walls or floor of a building, an IR camera can detect it on the surface. The Need For Training Regardless of how an IR camera is used, its effectiveness depends on the contractorÃ¢â¬â¢s skill in operating the camera, knowledge and understanding of the components being inspected and the science involved in the assessment of the thermal evidence. A properly trained and experienced thermographer knows that not every hot or cold spot represents a problem. In fact, many may reflect a componentÃ¢â¬â¢s normal operation, performance or location in a structure. A thermal image may show heat from sources other than the target that is reflected from or transmitted through the target material. ThatÃ¢â¬â¢s why itÃ¢â¬â¢s often said in the thermal imaging profession, Ã¢â¬ÅThere are IR camera operators, and then there are thermographers.Ã¢â¬ Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.