Hugh Cairns:Thermal imaging is the difference

January 16, 2015 8:02 pm

(Photo: Hugh Cairns)

Thermal imaging can evaluate the condition of residential and commercial structures with a rapid diagnosis. Thermal imaging cameras can quickly scan large areas like ceilings and walls to discern suspect areas that can reveal issues that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Hugh Cairns: Thermal imaging is the difference

Okanagan Valley homes may not be susceptible to dry rot thanks to our drier weather, but fungal rot caused by water infiltration is a different story.

When out inspecting homes, inspectors in our area are sharp to seek out moisture related concerns. Excessive moisture in homes is often due to leaking roofs and gutters, poorly installed downspouts, and faulty plumbing issues. Homeowners, who are planning to sell their homes, often are not aware of the damage that moisture can create.

When it comes to moisture concerns home inspectors cannot tear open walls to look for problems like some televised home inspection programs. Home inspectors can accentuate their training and experience though when looking for water damage. That is where thermal imaging can make a huge difference.

You can tell a lot from an examination of the outside of a house and a close examination of a crawl space. Checking under sinks and a trip into an attic always provides valuable information too. When your home inspector uses thermal imagining technology during an inspection it adds a value added layer of information about the performance of the home.

Although only a handful of Kelowna home inspectors that use thermal imaging cameras during their inspections, they are gaining popularity in the field of professional home inspections. Thermal imaging cameras are not a mandatory requirement, and the cost of acquisition for a decent thermal camera runs into the thousands of dollars, making them discretionary for most inspectors.

In a nutshell, thermal imaging uses infrared technology to read the surface temperature and the difference of temperature of the surface of a material. Thermal light is not visible to the naked eye, but it is part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we perceive as heat.

Each material has a unique thermal signature. When moisture, heat, cold or wood-destroying organisms are introduced to the structure, the surface thermal signature changes. Thermographers interpret temperature variations to evaluate thermal imaging results.

Thermal imaging can evaluate the condition of residential and commercial structures with a rapid diagnosis. Thermal imaging cameras can quickly scan large areas like ceilings and walls to discern suspect areas that can reveal issues that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

 

 

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