Thermal Imaging Applications

  • Visually documenting water damaged building materials
  • Evaluation of building performance (air leakage, etc.)
  • Inspecting electrical and mechanical systems
  • Locating areas of moisture intrusion
  • Post Construction Thermal Imaging Inspections
  • Our Thermal Imaging Camera– IR-FusionTM

    Not all thermal imaging cameras are created equal!

    IAQ Diagnostics, Inc. uses an IR-FusionTM thermal imaging camera on applicable projects.  The IR-FusionTM offers the following advantages over many other thermal imaging cameras:

    Multiple view modes (Fusion)

    • Picture-in-picture:  infrared imaging overlaid onto a digital picture.  Benefit is that it more clearly depicts the area in question.
    • Full infrared:  useful when working in low light environments (can take infrared images in pitch black) or when looking for small temperature differences (more detail on larger picture)
    • Alpha blending:  reduce or increase the ratio between the digital picture and infrared picture.  Allows us to enhance the detail shown on each picture.
    • Alarm mode:  for viewing temperatures within a specific maximum or minimum range (example - set the minimum range to the dew point temperature for finding areas of condensation)
    • Full visible light:  to take digital pictures

    Fully radiometric
    Temperature readings are recorded across the entire infrared picture.  Most cameras can only record the temperature at the center-point, or have no radiometric capabilities.

    This feature allows long term management of electrical and mechanical systems.

    On screen annotation
    Allows us quick on-screen documentation for each individual picture’s specifics (i.e. floor, location, direction, solution, etc.), which decreases the chance for human error.

    5” LCD screen
    Currently the industries largest screen for unmatched image quality
    Multiple color palettes
    High contrast, grayscale, hot metal, iron bow, amber, blue red, etc.

    SmartView® software
    This powerful software allows graphing of temperature differentials, markers, annotation, etc.

    Laser pointer

    Thermal Imaging Applications

    Scroll down links at the top of the page with paragraphs below (Visually Document Water Damage Building Materials)(Locate Areas of Moisture Intrusion)(Evaluation of Building Performance)(Electrical & Mechanical Inspections)

    Visually Document Water Damaged Building Materials
    Thermal Imaging is a highly efficient way to visually document water damaged building materials after a structure has experience a water loss (i.e. pipe break, flood, etc.).

    Thermal imaging does not detect moisture; instead, it detects the temperature differential between wet and dry building materials.  That temperature difference is caused by evaporative cooling and the thermal capacitance (ability to hold heat) of water.  All suspect areas of moisture are confirmed to be wet with moisture meters.

    Benefits of using thermal imaging for water damaged buildings:

    • Visual documentation***
    • Decrease time needed to outline and monitor affected areas (decrease labor costs)
    • Provide closure documentation - ensure that the building has been completely and properly dried.

    Locate Areas of Moisture Intrusion

      There are countless ways that moisture can enter a building; however, locating that source of moisture intrusion is often difficult.

    Thermal imaging can locate the source of moisture intrusion by visually tracing the path of water back to the original leak

    Evaluation of Building Performance

    Thermal imaging can evaluate several aspects of building performance including: 

    • Air leakage (#1 cause of heat loss/gain)
    • Broken window seals
    • Missing or inadequate insulation
    • Moisture intrusion
    • Poor Construction

    Early detection and correction can save in energy costs, prevent structural damage, and help avoid mold growth.

    Electrical/Mechanical Inspections

    Electrical Inspections
    Thermal imaging has been used to detect excess heat during electrical inspections since the early 1960’s.

    Some of the reasons why electrical systems overheat include:

    • Poor connections (caused by vibration, thermal stress, human error, etc.)
    • Insulation failure (a wire’s insulation will inevitably degrade due to age, heat, and contamination )
    • Overloading (can cause fire if the over-current protection device [breaker, fuse, etc.] fails)
    • Wiring mistakes (human error)

    As a general rule of thumb, IAQ Diagnostics uses the temperature difference (ΔT) between an overheating component, and a correctly operating component, to determine the urgency of a possible electrical issue

    Interesting Statistics Related to Electrical Fires

    • The main cause of electrical fires is resistance heating
    • Annually, over 40,000 fires are attributed to electrical wiring. (
    • U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that electric receptacles are involved in 5,300 fires annually, which claim 40 lives and injure 110 consumers.

    The thermographers at IAQ Diagnostics are NOT experts in the field of diagnosing the cause of electrical problems.  IAQ Diagnostics will identify potential problem areas to be diagnosed by an expert of your choosing.

    Mechanical Inspections

    Mechanical systems are composed of assemblies of moving parts. As mechanical equipment begins to fail or operate in an undesirable fashion, there will usually be a change in the normal thermal pattern of the equipment as compared to the thermal pattern of a properly operating system. Over time, bearing wear, belt tension, and coupling misalignment will generate friction. Infrared thermal imaging provides valuable guidance for preventive/predictive maintenance teams servicing mechanical systems. The information provided by this type of imaging directs technicians where to focus during maintenance periods. There is a wide variety of equipment that can be included in an infrared mechanical inspection program, such as: motors, pumps, fans, bearings, shafts, drives, pulleys, gearboxes, generators, compressors, conveyer systems and robotic equipment.

    The thermographers at IAQ Diagnostics are NOT experts in the field of diagnosing the cause of mechanical problems.  IAQ Diagnostics will identify potential problem areas to be diagnosed by an expert of your choosing.

    Post Construction Thermal Imaging Inspections (PCTII)

    A Post-Construction Thermal Imaging Inspection (PCTII) is a specifically designed service for general contractors, builders, and their subcontractors.  The PCTII combines all available thermal imaging services (electrical, mechanical, moisture intrusion, and building performance) into one all-inclusive product.

    Benefits of a PCTII

    • Improve building performance
    • locate areas of heat/cold infiltration/exfiltration, areas with a lack of insulation, etc.
    • Locate areas of unwanted moisture intrusion
    • prevents structural deterioration
    • avoid mold growth
    • Find potential fire hazards (electrical/mechanical inspections)
    • Extend the life and improve the efficiency of mechanical systems
    • Locate areas of condensation