You have years of experience, education, good work ethics, and have gone through rigorous training; however, as a thermal imager, ultimately, it’s the report you prepare that counts. Hence, how you present the report, the language you use, the formatting, the graphics, and the software used decide what kind of an impression you make- positive or negative. A well-prepared, easy-to-understand report builds confidence in your client.
Thermal imaging is an advanced non-invasive technology of testing, which reveals things that other conventional tools often cannot. The ancillary inspection reports you create and present are no less important than the primary report generated from the infrared images captured. As thermal imaging is a very specialized form of testing, the report you prepare must be well understood by your client. He’s given meaningful information based on which he can take necessary action.
Communicating with the Client
- You’ve got to communicate with your clients. Make it clear that thermal imaging can’t foresee future conditions. However, that doesn’t take away the fact that thermal imaging can, for example, detect moisture intrusion through a roof, helping you make timely repairs to avoid serious structural issues in the days ahead.
- Highlight benefits of thermal imaging: That’ll make your clients realize how the technology can benefit them. This involves a bit of marketing. We hope you have the necessary marketing tools to give your clients a peek into what conditions thermal imaging can detect that other conventional testing methods cannot. Infrared testing helps locate moisture intrusion, unexpected hotspots, and energy loss and prepare relevant documents.
Now that we have told you how to communicate with your clients, here are the technicalities involved in presenting thermography results.
Adjust the span and the level
The hot and cold spots displayed by thermal imaging may or may not cause problems. Thermal imaging software allows you to make adjustments in the mid-point (the level) and the temperature range between the maximum and the minimum (the span), enabling you to locate the areas of concern and highlight them.
Choose the right color palette.
When you are testing the equipment, we advise you to set the blend at 100% thermal if the imager comes with a built-in digital camera. The digital camera will capture all visible images present in the background. To highlight any anomalies you have noticed, combine the software’s infrared and digital images.
The Report You Prepare
The report you prepare should include how you interpret the results apart from the basics of the information. This allows your clients to decide what they should do next to take corrective action.
Technical and Factual Data
Your report should include identifying details concerning the camera you’ve used and the settings at the time of testing. You should also include a checklist with details of the weather and other conditions prevailing when the test was done. This will help you compare existing data with the data you get in any future inspections to see how effective any modifications or repairs have been. The conditions existing during the follow-up inspection should be comparable to the conditions during the initial inspection. Therefore, avoid carrying out tests during extreme or unusual weather.
Interpreting the data
The most critical part of presenting the test results is how you interpret the data factors like the limitations of thermal imaging, experience, and knowledge influence the interpretations. You can alert your client about an urgent repair like an electrical hot spot or draw attention to something that needs to be controlled, like adding an extra layer of insulation. All of this depends on the IR readings at the established baseline and the image locations. Your client’s safety is paramount.
Immediate Repairs: Short-Term and Long-Term
Prepare a checklist of repairs. Not every repair can be performed at the same time, and you’ll have to set priorities. Some need immediate attention, while some can be put off until later. To cite an example, electrical hot spots should be attended to immediately as these can cause a fire. Moisture intrusion comes next. To fix these issues, drainage obstacles need immediate removal, and any wet insulation has to be replaced with new ones. You should explain to your client that while new insulation might prevent mold growth and help dry spots, any long-term solution needs identification of the source of moisture intrusion and its repair.
In DIY situations, make sure that you tell your clients about the necessity of wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) for their health and safety. Some clients want to be more involved in the repairs themselves. It’s your responsibility to tell them when the work needs to be performed only by professionals.
Address your client’s concerns
We feel you would do well to begin your report with a brief on the reasons behind the test and objectives. Give due heed to seemingly insignificant inputs from the client. During a home inspection, your client might point out how certain spots in a room’s corner are colder than the rest of the room. This input may be an indication of a severe fault in the insulation. Don’t ignore any information the client shares.
How you present the findings of a thermal inspection determines how effectively the results can be implemented. Your presentation should combine both digital and infrared images giving the client a proper insight into the problem. Interpret the data well to create compelling reports, which will give your client an idea of which issue needs immediate attention. Make sure that you have a long discussion with your client. It’ll help you know what you are expected to deliver. The thermal inspection involves the health and safety of your client. How you present the inspection results makes or breaks how effective you are as thermal imaging professional.