Enhancing Your Infrared (Thermal) Imaging Scan

Wouldn't it be nice to have all your sites fully prepared for you before you arrive for an infrared scan? It can be possible if you politely ask your clients to have the home (or job site) prepared for you in order to alleviate any issues during the thermal scan. With the many unprepared infrared scans that I have completed, I have come up with a list in order for you to achieve the maximum benefit of your infrared inspections....

 

• Plan optimal times of day for your infrared inspection — dawn and dusk. Example...If you're inspecting a flat roof (in the summer months), the added heat from the strong sun beaming onto any flat roof surface will reduce the effectiveness of your thermal scan. If you do not mind early evening or early morning inspections, planning them accordingly (in this particular situation) will give you much better infrared results.

 

• Ask your clients to clear all of the outermost exterior walls of any large pictures, wall hangings, and furniture and appliances that are up against these outer walls. Also, have them remove or raise any drapes if possible. Do not be concerned with any interior walls (of your home) as these walls are of no concern for thermal efficiency.

Ask them to open their closet doors and condition their closet space before you arrive. It will assist in identifying any exterior wall defects within the closets. Simply let them know that you are unable to move personal belongings due to liability reasons, so please make sure that the majority of your closet walls are clearly visible to the IR camera. Any blocked areas could conceal hidden issues.

 

• IMPORTANT: Please (Do yourself a favor) do not wait until you arrive at a home before you decide to move furniture and bedding away from the walls. Ask your clients to get every portion of their walls conditioned for at least one hour, in order locate any concealed defects. Having furniture up against the wall will not allow the entire wall to be conditioned and the infrared readings will be affected. Unconditioned portions of the walls (where the furniture was placed) will always appear to be defective. Conditioned air will not pass through furniture.

EXAMPLE

IF YOU PULL FURNITURE AWAY FROM THE WALL, ONCE YOU ARRIVE, YOU SEE THIS

 

EXAMPLE

YOU SEE THIS, WHEN YOU REMOVE PICTURES FROM YOUR WALL UPON ARRIVAL.

This is what an infrared camera will detect when pictures are removed during the thermal scan. All pictures must be removed one hour prior to arriving.

 

• Always verify Delta-T. Indoor and outdoor temperatures must vary by at least fifteen to twenty degrees Fahrenheit for optimum infrared results.

 

• It's crucial to obtain adequate temperature differentials (Delta T) between the outside and inside temperatures, in order to obtain a perfect environment for infrared imaging. Ask your clients to make sure that every window and door is completely closed several hours before the infrared inspection takes place.

If the temperature differential is not adequate, this may require you to turn "UP" the heat (in the winter months) or to turn "ON" the A/C in the summer months. If your client does not have A/C (in the summer months), I suggest you schedule the thermal scan for a cool early morning. It's much cooler in the morning than it is during a hot summer day. If you are unable to obtain the adequate temperature differential inside a building, I suggest you re-schedule the infrared inspection accordingly.

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Tags: (Thermal), Enhancing, Imaging, Infrared, Scan, Your, massachusetts

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Comment by David Valley on January 2, 2011 at 5:02am

John,

 

Good point John, but in my experience... it is a rare occasion to detect excessive anomalies on any interior walls. Also, any/all interior walls will be at room temperature (on both sides) with insufficient Delta-T in order to thermally detect anomalies that do exist. That being said, it gives my clients a place to temporarily store items if they do decide to move their belongings away from exterior walls that will have a sufficient Delta-T for infrared imaging.

Comment by John Snell on January 1, 2011 at 9:36am

"Do not be concerned with any interior walls (of your home) as these walls are of no concern for thermal efficiency."

Thanks for your post Dave. I agree with much of it but suggest the interior walls are often an integral part of the big picture. It is very common to find them as part of the air leakage pathway from either basement or attic or kneewall. 

The attached shows a "fresh air" duct on an interior dining room wall that went directly from the attic to the basement. Needless to say this sort of thing is not recommended!

Practically I also do not remove all pictures and furniture, despite what the standards call for, unless I encounter issues or am doing work that might end up in court. It is just too much to deal with in most cases, although, again, I respect the importance of it in many situations.


Thermally yours,

John Snell

www.thesnellgroup.com

www.IRTalk.com

800-636-9820

 

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