Infrared Thermal Imaging
Infrared (IR) thermography is commonly referred to as IR thermal imaging. IR imaging senses temperature variations and is used in the detection of wetted construction materials and temperature extremes where condensation may occur. In a sense you can “look” into a wall if cold or hot is being conducted through a material such as a wooden wall stud onto drywall. Wet areas are the cool colors such as blue and purple or dark shades of grey for black & white thermal cameras and indicate colder temperatures. This is caused by evaporative cooling on the surface of a material or conduction via the water from a cold exterior.
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Expertise in IR Thermal Imaging
We are proud to announce our staff Environmental Scientist is the only Certified Environmental Thermography Consultant (CETC) in Chicago and Illinois, and the first in the tri-state area, as of April 2011. Extensive knowledge, experience, and training is required to achieve the CETC and the Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant (CIEC) designations. With these paired in our Environmental Scientist’s credentials a wealth of knowledge is available to you for field investigations performed for water intrusions involved in the building envelope. Thorough image and written documentation is provided for building forensic and litigation cases.
Why We Use IR
IR technology makes detection of wet materials and intrusion points so much easier during an investigation. Previously moisture meter scanning or pin-point probing was required and this left a lot of room for error. Often wet areas may be very small and easily missed unless exhaustive scanning coverage with a moisture meter was performed. Now the moisture meter is used to confirm IR survey observations for detection of wet materials. Often with the unaided eye only stains are visible, but with IR it is vividly clear that water is present as a temperature anomaly.
How We Use IR
Using an IR camera a survey of a room can be conducted merely by scanning walls, ceilings, and flooring. When temperature anomalies are observed closer investigation is performed. Use of an IR thermometer aids in determining actual temperature variances and this is particularly important when condensation issues may be occurring from HVAC ducts or other objects hidden in wall cavities.
For a multi-unit water release in a high-rise building, an IR survey was used for a client to aid their water restoration company in the placement of de-humidification equipment and fans. This allowed for quick drying in units (24 out of 34 surveyed with IR) resulting in a substantial reduction of mold growth and living space contamination as well as a reduction in wall material replacement.
IR surveys can also be used for exterior structural surveys to find wet areas and heat loss as well as detection of electrical overloading issues, rodent burrow detection in insulation, and termite detection. Since Clean Air Sciences, Inc. owns an IR camera, we have it available immediately for emergencies such as large scale water losses and can be available for after normal business hours and weekends. Our Certified Environmental Thermography Consultant (CETC) will help you find the source(s) of your water and mold problems so you can stop them as soon as possible and implement drying equipment. CETC link below for info.