Montag, 3. März 2014

Thermal Imaging for your Home

Thermography has a long history, although its use has increased dramatically with the commercial and industrial applications of the past fifty years. Government and airport personnel used thermography to detect suspected swine flu cases during the 2009 pandemic. Firefighters use thermography to see through smoke, to find persons, and to localize the base of a fire. Maintenance technicians use thermography to locate overheating joints and sections of power lines, which are a tell-tale sign of impending failure. Building construction technicians can see thermal signatures that indicate heat leaks in faulty thermal insulation and can use the results to improve the efficiency of heating and air-conditioning units. Some physiological changes in human beings and other warm-blooded animals can also be monitored with thermal imaging during clinical diagnostics.

Home owners now understand the importance of infrared home inspection. From seeing what you are getting in a new home purchase, pre-post renovations, to finding current home problems in making corrective action determinations and cost decisions, to knowing how and where you need to make improvements in cutting down your energy bills making your home as efficient as possible. Realizing that infrared can do this for you and show you the actual images of exactly where you need to spend money and resources make an infrared home inspection very appealing to knowledgeable home owners

Emissivity is a term representing a material's ability to emit thermal radiation. Each material has a different emissivity, and it can be quite a task to determine the appropriate emissivity for a subject. A material's emissivity can range from a theoretical 0.00 (completely not-emitting) to an equally-theoretical 1.00 (completely emitting); the emissivity often varies with temperature. An example of a substance with low emissivity would be silver, with an emissivity coefficient of .02. An example of a substance with high emissivity would be asphalt, with an emissivity coefficient of .98.

A black body is a theoretical object which will radiate infrared radiation at its contact temperature. If a thermocouple on a black body radiator reads 50 C, the radiation the black body will give up will also be 50 C. Therefore a true black body will have an emissivity of 1. Thermogram of a snake held by a human. Since there is no such thing as a perfect black body, the infrared radiation of normal objects will appear to be less than the contact temperature. The rate (percentage) of emission of infrared radiation will thus be a fraction of the true contact temperature. This fraction is called emissivity.

The infrared thermal imaging camera is NOT an X-ray vision scope. It does not provide the user with an immediate Superman S on their chest with the ability to clearly see inside walls. Instead, it identifies thermal differences. It is deceptive to claim that thermal imaging detects moisture because the best that it can do is detect thermal differences. Using the infrared camera to help discover moisture issues is helpful because once the anomalies are identified then moisture meters and other diagnostic tools can be used to identify the source of the anomaly.

Water leaks from the plumbing system often leak undetected until major damage has occurred. Using a Thermal Imaging camera we can scan in, under, and around plumbing fixtures in the home to determine if there is active leaking going on. Since this tool is not a moisture meter we will use it to find heat anomalies and then pursue the issue further to attempt to determine the source and cause of the leak. Thermal image scanning can detect temperature anomalies in the plumbing system not visible to the naked eye which may be a precursor to a larger issue. The resulting Thermal Image Scan report can be a great aid for the repair plumber hired to address the identified issues.

The Barrie Home Inspector was the first Professional Home Inspector in Simcoe County to offer Free Thermal Imaging Inspections to both residential and commercial real estate clients. This tool has proven itself over and over to be paramount in detecting and finding otherwise hidden deficiencies in both residential and commercial building inspections.

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