Thermal Imaging Cameras in Restorations
When it comes to building restorations, infrared thermal imaging cameras are the way to go. Detecting temperature differences behind walls and flooring can save a lot of money and time by avoiding invasive tear-down, and allowing technicians to identify problem areas from the get-go.
Ben Loucks has been working with thermal imaging for nearly a decade and is certified with the ITF (Infrared Training Center), the official provider of infrared technology licensing. Loucks insists thermal cameras have improved the restoration industry and believes in using thermal cameras on every assessment.
“We can minimize costs with non-destructive testing, which makes our clients happy, and we can isolate areas quickly, which makes the job easier for our technicians,” Loucks said.
So, what can you use thermal cameras for?
Targeting Energy Loss in Buildings
While undetectable to the naked eye, infrared technology can reveal energy loss through windows, doors and other areas of a property.
“A client had unreasonable heating bills and was frustrated with the high costs. We performed an infrared assessment at night and revealed hot spots on windows where much of the heat was being allowed to filter out through the glass,” illustrated Loucks. Using infrared cameras can be a big cost saver when targeting energy loss in your home or business.
Inspecting Building Moisture
“Moisture can hide anywhere. It can hide in insulation, behind kickboards or as condensation on pipes,” says Loucks. It is very important to use the thermal camera to examine all these areas that may otherwise go undetected.
Many companies will perform repairs of the carpet or drywall after water damage. However, without the proper use of infrared cameras, minor moisture can lead to more extensive damages down the road and the growth of contaminants. It’s very important to find trapped moisture in buildings as soon as water damage is suspected.
Detecting Toxic Mold
When moisture is trapped in drywall, flooring or a ceiling and the temperature is just right, the growth of toxic mold can occur. Loucks states, “infrared cameras can detect this excess moisture and target areas that are prime spots for mold growth.”
Know Your Technicians
Reading thermal imaging cameras may seem easy, but thermographers receive extensive training to read and operate the technology effectively.
“When choosing a restoration company, make sure that your technicians are certified users of thermal equipment,” Loucks insists. Technicians should be fully licensed and equipped to use the cameras and should have a full understanding of what they are reading.
“Be careful about working with any technician who insists on using a smartphone or app to mimic thermal imaging technology,” says Loucks. These programs are attractive camera filters and do not offer any tangible truth when examining a room for damages.
You can save big on future damage and repairs by securing an experienced technician. If problem areas aren’t treated quickly or properly and are left to worsen, you could be left with outrageous heating/cooling bills, mold growth, or moisture damage (learn more about certified technicians).
Understand the Results
Many property owners think that infrared imaging is the simple solution to their repairs. The reality is there are many factors that contribute to a job well done.
During an assessment, infrared cameras can help find problem areas without tearing down the walls or lifting flooring. They can also be useful in investigating hard to reach areas. However, relying solely on the results of a thermal imaging camera is the sign of an inexperienced technician.
The Cost of Thermal Imaging
Although thermal cameras are more readily used in restorations, they are an expensive technology. Many companies haven’t adopted the use of them because of the high upfront costs. Other companies provide thermal imaging services but may not offer restoration services, so you’re stuck managing different trades for your initial assessment and repairs.
Working with a restoration company that owns their own thermal equipment is a great way to receive reliable results. Technicians who are familiar with the effects and service needs of water damage, mold remediation, and building science will give you accurate readings and quotes.
Why pay extra for thermal imaging services? Alliance Restorations uses infrared cameras on all assessments at no extra charge. Contact us.