This group is dedicated to knowledge sharing and discussion of infrared thermography for building sciences and energy applications.

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New building thermography 360 pages ebook - including blower door and heat flux meter !

Started by Davide Lanzoni. Last reply by Don Fitchett Jan 10, 2015. 3 Replies

Link to buying and pdf preview page: is a rich handbook (over 300 pages in original printed edition, much more in this ebook) about thermography applied…Continue

Tags: door, airtightness, blower, infrared, building

Expert Eye Needed

Started by Matthew P. Last reply by Ed Minch Nov 15, 2014. 17 Replies

Hi AllWanted to get the opinion of an expert.Attached is a photo of a customer's window.... as you can see there is a large cold spot above the window... Here's my I right?The large horizontal cold spot is thermal bridging from the…Continue

Tags: windows, ir

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Started by Joshua Knittel. Last reply by tedkidd May 31, 2013. 4 Replies

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Infrared Image - What is it?

Started by Fluke Thermal Imaging. Last reply by Dale Sherman Apr 26, 2012. 6 Replies

We thought it'd be fit to share this infrared image we received from group member, CK Ang, in New Zealand. Just wanted to spark some discussion here on what you guys think this image is of, and what the problem could be. A little background on the…Continue

Tags: Fluke, Ti55FT, telephoto, lens, Ang

Timber Home with no effective air barrier

Started by Davide Lanzoni. Last reply by Sean Lintow Sr Apr 11, 2012. 1 Reply

Hi folks,just another image of a brand new timber home without an effective air barrier, and without sealing tapes.…Continue

New article on infrared thermography

Started by John Snell. Last reply by Jim Klebes Nov 17, 2011. 1 Reply

The Journal of Light Construction has long been respected as a place where builders can educate themselves and share information. I was recently asked to write an article introducing their readers to thermography and how it can be used in the…Continue

Moisture detection, a fascinating thermal signature

Started by John Snell Sep 9, 2011. 0 Replies

I don't mean to derail folks from this website to ours (I often send folks here too!) but that is exactly what I'm going to do because has a fascinating discussion about thermal signatures of…Continue

New York first passivhaus ...

Started by Davide Lanzoni. Last reply by John Snell Aug 25, 2011. 4 Replies

... with windows with a better R-value than walls ?…Continue

Using thermal imagers in the summer

Started by John Snell. Last reply by Tyson Pischel Jul 7, 2011. 5 Replies

Too many thermographers leave their imagers in the case during the summer. This comes, in part, from the way we used to work when imagers were not nearly as sensitive and our understanding of how to use them was limited to winter work.Get the darned…Continue

IR and Moisture Meters

Started by Bret Monroe. Last reply by allen p tanner Jun 23, 2011. 12 Replies

As many of you know the new RESNET Guidelines are being worked on and I am advocating for the use of Moisture Meters to ensure potential serious moisture problems in sidewalls and building substrate material is not being overlooked when identified…Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Michael Stuart on November 10, 2010 at 12:33pm

Comment by Michael Stuart on November 10, 2010 at 12:31pm
Concrete masonry.
Comment by Rod Hoff on November 10, 2010 at 12:24pm
Are we looking at firred out sheetrock or masonry?
Comment by Michael Stuart on November 10, 2010 at 12:16pm
Thanks for jumping in, Rod! (I am glad that I am not the only one who asks lots of questions.) I believe that the wall is painted... but do not know how permeable the paint is.
Comment by Rod Hoff on November 10, 2010 at 10:19am
Thank you for the invite to join the discussion. If you have not heard of Restoration Consultants allow me please to introduce our company to you. It is owned by Jim Holland, who is well known in the water damage restoration industry. He has been a major player and influencer in the creation of the S500 (water damage restoration standards of practice) and S520 (mold remediation standards) Restoration Consultants Inc provides three services: (1) Environmental consulting, (2) training classes in water damage restoration and mold remediation plus a variety of other classes.. see (3) distributor of Fluke IR cameras and training in the use of thermography for moisture investigations and building envelope investigations. I teach a 2 day Applied Thermography Training class and a self paced onlline course covering basically the same information. see

Relative to the discussion about the anomaly on the masonry wall, temperature differentials, as you know, can be the result of a host of things. It can be a result of evaporative cooling or it can be heat transmission issues (gain/loss). Evaporative cooling happens under the right circumstances as a result of water intrusion that reaches the surface or condensation on the surface. Assuming that a moisture meter was used to verify the presence of moisture (forgive me if you have already answered these questions in your discussions) the big question is 'what's the source?'. In the process of investigating the issue it would be critical to know the make up of the wall. Like Michael said: Is the information board flush with the wall or attached to the wall with strips? Is the wall sheetrock that is firred out from the masonry? And if so, is it painted or covered with vinyl wall paper? It would be helpful to know the ambient temperature inside and outside, the relative humidity inside and outside and the dew point inside and outside. This information can help (using a psychrometric chart) us determine the humidity ratio (specific humidity) and thus the vapor pressure. If there is no vapor barrier and the vapor pressure is greater outside than inside then there will be moisture movement from outside to inside.

To find out if evaporative cooling is happening at the moment you can spray a little water on the wall and use the camera to see if a temperature drop occurs (3-5 degrees probably). If evaporative cooling is happening then the next question is 'Is the surface permeable?'. If, for example, the surface is vinyl wall paper or some non-permeable surface then we can assume that the drop in temperature is not the result of evaporative cooling due to water intrusion. The positive reading on the moisture meter under these circumstances is probably a result of evaporative cooling due to condensation.

Another question would be relative to the type of mechanical heating unit. Is it a water based system or electrical? Does it provide cooling in the summer?

Sorry for all of the questions but the more questions we can ask the more likely we can come to a conclusion.
Comment by Michael Stuart on November 9, 2010 at 10:32am
I'm going to also ask a friend of mine who is a thermographer/educator, specializing in "restoration and remediation" thermography down in Sacramento, to chime in. This is the kind of stuff where he excels.
Comment by Michael Stuart on November 9, 2010 at 10:23am
Interesting... One more question... Is the bulletin board mounted directly to the wall, or is it mounted on any kind of standoffs at all? In other words, is there any appreciable "breathing air" between the board and the wall? No air flow and a wall that does not breath well would possibly lead to condensation issues... but would not necessarily explain the area above the bulletin board.

I guess my biggest question is why would there be an area conducive to condensation at this spot, and nowhere else? Why is this area "cooler" than other areas on the same masonry wall so that condensation will occur when the humidity arises?

Thinking out loud: I am wondering if an initial leak into the wall allowed enough moisture to enter that it just cannot dry out sufficiently (even though the initial leak may have been repaired).

Anyone want to step in with other comments, questions, or hypotheses?


Comment by TJ Ewing on November 9, 2010 at 7:38am
Hi Stuart,
thanks for the group clarification. I am still learning to 'think thermally.'

As for my "wet wall", I am leaning to the problem being a condensation issue versus leak. However a HERS rater friend stated it could be moisture draw from the outside to the inside through the brick and block? Here are the answers to your questions.

- Hard to tell if the anomaly goes all the way to the floor due to the heating unit, but it does go at least to the bottom of the bulletin board, and seems to be more concentrated behind the bulletin board (see images below). We plan to take it off for inspection.
- I don’t have an image of the ceiling adjacent to the wall. I did scan and saw no anomaly.
- I did scan the outside of the wall but again found no anomalies.
- There is an external roof runoff drain to a downspout on the outside of the wall, but no other support structures, berms or other influences.
- I have no info on the type of thermal barrier or vapor barrier used in the wall.
- The delta T was only about 10 degrees, and I plan to return for a second scan now that colder weather has arrived.
- See roof pic and thermogram below.

Here is the church’s rep’s articulation of the problem:
The wall has been a problem for many years. Whether there was a leak or not I'm not sure. Given the constant peeling, it was ASSUMED we might have had a roof leak and that (and other leaks) resulted in a new roof several years ago. Unfortunately, roof replacement did not stop the wet wall problem. To the best of my knowledge, the wall drips with moisture only in the summer months, particularly on hot, humid days. It tends to be along the whole wall, with heavier concentrations in the center.

Comment by Michael Stuart on November 8, 2010 at 9:04pm

No... by all means... be as general or as specific as you would like. I don't know about the other members, but I find that both have a place in open discussion. I may have started this discussion forum, but I definitely do not propose to know everything about thermography or about buildings. We all have something to learn, and I just like to sit in the front row to be part of the discussion. That's the great thing about these forums! There is almost always a group of people that can complement each other in knowledge and experience.

All of the questions that I asked are actually questions that I would ask myself upon seeing an image like you presented on my imager. The thermal imager is nothing but a tool. Yes... it lets you see what you're eyes may not... but to gain the most from it, you still need to use your brain and ask a LOT of questions. (And on this forum, there are no "dumb questions".) To borrow a phrase from a colleague, you need to "Think Thermally", and try to understand all of the reasonable things that could be producing the thermal signature that you are seeing. Ask "Why?" always! Sometimes, you will be surprised that it may not have been what you had originally suspected. The more questions that you ask, the more confident you should be in your end analysis (in my opinion).

Does that make any sense? (or have I been drinking my own brand of infrared coolaid?) ;-)

With that being said, we should all probably refrain from listing specific addresses or buidling owners whenever possible. Other than that, I think that just about anything buildings and structures related is fair game. (...And probably the occasional "fun stuff" that comes with the territory.)

Any more details that you can provide about your wall? Go for it. (I'm sure that others may have questions too.)


Comment by TJ Ewing on November 8, 2010 at 8:01pm
Hi Stuart,
I hope I didn’t breach any etiquette by bringing up a specific case. If you would rather reserve comment space for general issues I understand. You may not have intended this group discussion to be so specific. I’ll message you directly and let you guide it from there.

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