The Truth about Thermal Imaging
There are many misconceptions about the use of thermal imaging and so I wanted to give you an overview of what thermal imaging actually is. What it isn’t and how it can provide value if the thermal scan is performed accurately.
Thermal imaging is one of THE BEST ways to detect the number one cause of damage to a property – which is water. Water damage unattended can result in structural problems, mould, and more; leaving you with an unplanned costly repair. It is vital to detect any potential water problems as early as possible.
What is Thermal Imaging and How Does it Work?
Thermal imaging is the use of a thermal camera to capture images which show differences in surface temperatures. These differences are shown by different colours on a colour scale. Any small differences in temperature can be the indication of moisture levels. It’s a good idea to have all areas such as walls or ceilings near plumbing fixtures and areas around appliances scanned at a minimum. When a difference is detected, it can be measured with a moisture meter to see if there is moisture present.
Thermal imaging is not an invasive test, and does not allow you to see through walls. Since it only detects differences in temperature, it isn’t detecting moisture directly—which is why it’s necessary to further investigate differences with a moisture meter. Also, it is not useful for measuring insulation problems because the indoor and outdoor temperatures may be very similar. For example, if the temperature indoors and outdoors is -10 Celsius, it will not pick up any insulation problems because there is no temperature in-difference.
Question to ask your inspector:
Are they FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) trained? FLIR is the world leader in Thermal training; secondly FLIR has come out with new technology that will visually detect moisture/coolness spots. The FLIR (MR 160) device has means for probes that can check for moisture underneath baseboards and walls without causing any damage.
In a recent study 75% of inspectors own thermal equipment; however, only 50% of inspectors use their thermal cameras on inspections performed and ONLY 5% of inspectors polled by CAPHI (Canadian Association Property Home Inspectors) were confident they were providing accurate information to their clients.
Wow! I was surprised to read those stats.
Choosing the right inspector will save you money!!