Thermography for air infiltration and water infiltration

Our Thermal Imaging Inspections ensure that your building and operations are operating as they should be. Using thermal imaging or thermographic inspection you can find all the hidden defects in a building structure that includes air infiltration and water infiltration. Thermal imaging can be used in both commercials as well as in residential properties. This technology helps you find issues in a building that are not possible to achieve using other inspection methods. IR thermography is a non-destructive technique that measures temperature variations in a component as heat. Thermal radiations are proportional to temperature changes which means that when the temperature of a component varies, so does the amount of radiation released. Components must be studied using infrared cameras since this type of radiation is a form of electromagnetic waves that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

How does Thermography work for air infiltration?

It is important that any building either commercial or residential should be properly insulated. When the building is properly insulated, it can significantly reduce energy consumption while maintaining comfort inside. When there is any insulation problem within a building it can leak excessive air, usually three or more times than normal. Excessive air leakage from the building can lead to moisture problems that can further lead to mold issues in a building.

We can see the airflow pathways through and through the building envelope using thermography. The IR camera reads infrared radiation to express heat differences and temperature signatures. The camera captures light that falls within the heat spectrum. The camera captures light that falls within the heat spectrum. Differing heat signatures are reflected as a gradient color scheme in the camera’s viewfinder, with hotter areas being brighter colored and cooler areas being darker colored. With the help of a thermal camera, the inspection team catches digital infrared images that are being used to make observations and find defects. From the images, they can get an idea about the hottest and coldest areas of the building envelope. Problems such as minor wall cracks, poor ductwork, bad insulation, damaged window or door sealant can all be detected using thermal inspection.

How does the air leak out from a building?

It is the stack effect that makes buildings behave like a chimney under natural conditions. The stack effect or chimney effect is the movement of air into and out of buildings. This movement of air is caused by thermal differences. As we all know that higher-temperature air is less dense than cooler air, so when the warmer air rises, it creates a pressure difference, with lower pressure below and higher pressure above. Generally, during the winters we will see that the lower pressure allows cooler air from outside to move into the basement of a building.

As the temperature of the colder air rises, the cycle continues. The stack effect is reversed during the summer or in warmer climates. In this case, the hot air from the outside environment will enter the inside of the building.

Common Air Leaks Found with an Infrared Camera

To obtain the most reliable result, an inspector will likely turn off your home’s heating or cooling system and ensure that all windows and doors are locked. Here are some of the most popular locations in your home where an infrared camera can detect air leaks.

Attics

In a building, attics are a popular place for air to enter and exit. These air leaks can be detected using an infrared camera, allowing the homeowner to solve the problem as soon as possible.

Windows and Doors

Windows and doors often allow heat to leak outside. When the sealants are damaged they allow the air to pass through them.  An infrared camera will confirm and locate the issue, allowing you to fix problems and prevent energy loss.

Basements

Like attics, basements are also the popular entry point for air. The thermographic inspection makes it easy to detect any leakage point in the basement.

Thermography also helps with the detection of water infiltration

Just like air leakage, we can also use the thermographic inspection to detect water infiltration. Roof leaks and water pipe leaks in a building are popular water sources that can lead to mold growth. Water leakage and moisture penetration can cause significant damage to a home or building, and they are often difficult to detect until it is too late. It’s possible to identify secret water and moisture problems without resorting to destructive surveys by using a thermographic inspection.

Thermography cameras can detect hidden water leaks and locate problem areas that are not visible to the naked eye. Not only can the infrared inspection camera detect secret water leaks and their source, but it can also detect hidden moisture in the building. Infrared energy is a form of light that we can’t see but can feel as heat. Water is detected with a thermal imager due to temperature differences caused by evaporation, capacitance, or conduction. Thermal imaging cameras detect minute temperature variations on the surface of a building, revealing the dry and wet surface areas and indicating the source of the leak. Leak detection is more efficient and easy with thermal imaging, particularly when the search area is hidden. Thus, breaking open walls and floors “on suspicion” becomes unnecessary when you use thermographic inspection.

Locating hidden water leak with thermal imaging

When water leaks into the area as a crack occur in a buried piping system, it will gather around and will form moistures there. Because of the moisture around, temperature changes take place underground in the areas surrounding the leak. When thermal images are captured and analyzed, it will be easier for an experienced thermal inspector to find the leak area after analyzing the images.

Advantages of using infrared imaging to locate leaks

The biggest advantage of this inspection is that it is a non-destructive technique that helps you find leaks even if they are hidden inside a wall or floor. Even if the pipes are buried inside the wall, you can detect any leakage in them with the thermographic inspection without cutting your walls to find any fault. The inspection process is fast, and it accurately helps you find the leakage area. The earlier these leaks are discovered and fixed, the better it is for you to save money from expensive repairs.

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