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Thermal Imaging

 

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Thermographic or Infrared imaging is used during the inspection to help identify areas of heat loss or gain, water infiltration through foundations, roof and wall leaks, plumbing leaks, and electrical overheating.  A thermographic image is an image showing the different temperatures of the surface it is pointed at.  This can be used to identify cold areas in exterior walls and ceilings.  Missing insulation, poor weatherstripping, thermal breaks, overheating wires and other problems become apparent when viewed with a thermographic camera. Heating ducts, studs, headers, joists and rafters can often be located with amazing accuracy inside walls. 

Of course, thermographic imaging has its limitations as well.  In order for heat loss to show up, the temperature outside must be considerably different from the interior temperature.  For this reason, it is best to look for cold spots in the building in the winter.  Water infiltration through a foundation will not show up in the dead of winter because there is no free water at the exterior of the building.  Plumbing leaks that are hidden behind drywall can be detected if the wall is wet at the time of the inspection.  An electrical wire or a breaker will show as hot only if it is carrying enough current at the time of observation.  Furniture will block the view of walls and prohibit observation of many surfaces.

The images generated by the thermographic camera will be included in the report.  If a problem area is noted, the thermographic image will be accompanied by a digital photo to provide context and to make it easy to locate the area of concern.  A thermographic image can also be embedded inside a digital photo as well to help the client track down the problem when the time comes to make repairs.

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 This thermographic image shows nailing patterns in the underlay beneath the vinyl flooring.  In order to get the nails to show up we raised the temperature of the basement a few degrees relative to the main level.

 

 

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Wall and roof framing as seen via thermographic imaging.  If you get up a little closer your can see every screw in the drywall as well.

 

 

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Warm breakers under load can be seen in the panel.  In this case these were Ark fault breakers.

 

 

 

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Heat ducts are easily located in floors and walls.

 

 

 

 

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This is a photo of a bare concrete wall in a basement.  When this photo was taken it was -20 degrees outside.  The number in the upper left corner is the temperature of the inside surface.

 

 

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This is a photo of an attic hatch.  Cold air can be seen on the left side of the hatch.  Of more interest is the small cold spot beside the hatch.  It turned out to be caused by a small amount of snow that had been blown in through a turbine roof vent.  The small amount of dnow had melted and then cooled the ceilng surface.  The bright spot at the lower left is heat passing through the chimney chase and into the room.

 

Heat can be seen leaking out from the ceiling of an attached garage.

 

No insulation in the bottom half of the basement wall.

The sun is warming the east wall of a poorly insulated old house.

We ran the water in the house to cool the concrete floor through which it flowed.  The dark line is the water supply entering under the house and leading to the isolation valve in the furnace room.

This is an old breaker overheating.  Even the attached wire is getting hot.

 

This hot spot in hte attic is missing insulation.  The reason it is reading hot instead of cold is it was taken on a very warm spring day and the attic was getting hot.

 

Warm smoke detector.  This is common with hard wired detectors.

Technologic Inspections Inc.
10526-71 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T6E 0X1
Telephone: 780-499-7672
Fax: 780-439-5679
Email: Scoutersteve@shaw.ca