INFRARED TECHNOLOGY - It`s Use in Forensic Building Science to Solve Moisture Intrusion Problems

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This paper will focus discussion on the building envelope, the science behind the inspection, techniques for inspection, and verification of the findings. Because much of our work is pioneering, we will end by addressing the question 'Where do we go from here?'

WHY USE INFRARED
A picture says a thousand words; infrared thermography is the only diagnostic technology that lets you instantly visualize and verify thermal performance.
SCHEDULE
“You want it to rain the day before? And you would prefer it to be 92º F outside and 72º F inside?“
This is frequently the way our phone conversations goes with a client; YEP – It is V E R Y Important to have the right temperature difference, that sometime elusive Δ T = 20 º F. This usually breaks the ice, and allows me to explain the crucial importance of temperature, that the Thermal Imaging is measuring thermal gradients, and NOT moisture! Nor MOLD!
Saturating rains are ideal to challenge the building envelope, with Brick Veneer; it can rain up to and including the time of survey. The most important reason why this is fine is because we can not effectively survey the house from the exterior due to the air space in the wall cladding.
Other important factors are items such as Time of Day, especially if the IR is conducted externally of the building, due to the possible winds and sunshine, as that can cause false readings, not to mention how difficult it is to have the sunshine behind you, and not being able to see the image. An alternative in that instance is to use an umbrella to keep yourself in shade, so that you are actually able to see the image on your own screen. Always remember the emissivity factor and the reflection of the residence, especially if there are copper or other metals for decorative purposes.

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