Thermal Imagery

Front of semi-detached houseThermal imagery, also known as thermography is the photographing of an object (a building in our case) to view various temperatures in the building’s fabric. This enables us to detect a great deal of abnormalities and failures in the fabric of the building. Thermal imaging or infrared cameras are capable of photographing infrared radiation, which is invisible to the human eye. This radiation is then expressed instantly and clearly by means of colourful thermal images.

Thermography can show you heat losses on a large plane such as whole building elevation or it can isolate very specific locations, such as around doors or windows. 

 

Building Diagnostics

This advanced technology allows a competent assessor to complete a wide variety of tasks but we are most interested in building diagnostics. Thermography is a very reliable, non-destructive method of discovering construction failures in buildings. The technology allows us to clearly identify areas of heat loss, humidity and air leakage within a building’s fabric:

  • Comparsion between 2 housesInsulation weak points - where loft, floor or wall insulation has been disturbed, compromised or perhaps where it was never installed in the first place.
  • Sagging or missing cavity insulation - If your cavity wall insulation isn’t fitted properly or has failed, we can clearly identify weak points and where improvement is necessary.
  • Thermal bridging - areas where the outer surface is linked to the interior surface without a thermal break. This may be due to poor construction design or bad workmanship during construction. Thermal bridging often results in excessive condensation and mould growth on the building’s interior.
  • Air leakage detection - Thermal imagery is very effective at locating air leakage around windows, doors, skirting boards, electrical outlets, at ceiling joints and around vents, ducts and any other fabric protrusions.
  • Insulation/draught-proofing confirmation - If you have recently had insulation or draught-proofing works carried out on your home or business and wonder whether it was installed to a high standard, now you can easily check. We will photograph your building, prepare a report and you will then have evidence of the standard of installation you received.

 

Other uses

Thermal imagery is not limited to heat loss identification alone and has a host of other uses across a wide platform of sectors. There are also some other uses in the building/construction area including:

  • Internal wall image showing slumped cavity insulationLocating pipework - water pipes buried in concrete floors or walls can no longer hide. We can identify exactly where pipes are making it a simple process to intercept a pipe if required.
  • Locating leaks - a leak in a buried pipe can be very destructive and up to now very difficult to locate. Water can be leaking in one place but showing on the surface somewhere else entirely. Now we can pinpoint exactly where the leak is and avoid the unnecessary digging up of large areas of finished floors which result in high repair costs..
  • Humidity - High humidity levels can cause excessive condensation leading to mould growth and health issues for building occupants. Our infrared cameras can quickly identify these areas and where the problem is originating from.
  • Locating dampness - if you have damp patches in floors, walls or roofs, our thermography equipment can quickly identify and pinpoint the problem area, making it much easier and more cost effective to remedy.
  • Locating fire hazards - A thermal image can instantly identify an overheated area which may be a fire hazard eg. in a chimney stack

 

Conclusion

So, as you can see thermal imagery has a wide range of uses and benefits. For a relatively small cost, you could identify a host of problems that can now be solved in an isolated, controlled manner without huge disruption.

Our thermographer will bring all images back to our offices where they will be inputted to an advanced software program. We will then create a detailed report which will highlight any areas of concern and allow us to advise on remedial actions. Usually, these actions are very cost effective and offer very quick payback times.

 

 

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Ruth Moore, Claremorris

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