Finding and identifying the cause of water damage can be complicated. Water travels the path of least resistance, so water leaking from an upstairs bathroom could pop-up along a can light in your Kitchen. If there is a roof leak, the water reaching your ceiling and will travel to the lowest point, often a ceiling fixture or pooling in an area near the wall. These will often be seen in drywall tape joints.
Thermal imaging using infrared cameras can detect wet spots in floors, ceilings, and walls. It can also help professionals discover the source of the leak, making it quicker to solve water damage issues. IR cameras are remarkable tools that can spot concealed water leakage before extensive damage occurs.
How does IR work?
Infrared cameras capture temperature differentials and thermal patterns. The highlighted images cannot only help identify cold spots due to poor insulation, but can also detect moisture as well. Moisture often cools the surface of nearby materials, so water spots are frequently seen as blue spots on IR cameras.
Moisture trapped near the roof of a home can show as a warmer area, as heat from the sun beaming on the roof causes the temperature of the water to rise. Due to the number of variables involved, only a professional thermal imaging technician should use and interpret the images from an IR camera.
Should IR cameras be used in your home?
We should use IR cameras to try and detect moisture issues before physical damage or mold is apparent. IR cameras can also determine the degree of damage by finding moisture compartments in drywall, ceilings, flooring, and other building materials. Technicians can then track the moisture back to the source of the water. An IR camera is an effective tool for discovering areas of water damage rapidly without destroying the home.
While IR cameras are valuable for finding concealed compartments of moisture in your home, it is just one of many tools a performance contracting professional can use. Moisture meters should always be used in combination with IR cameras to prove the existence of water.
Using IR to locate water damage
IR cameras do not directly detect moisture, but they do measure temperate disparities that might be the consequence of water damage. Using an IR camera speeds up the drying process and reduces the overall loss in your home. Post water damage, an IR camera will identify all of the affected zones. This enables cleanup and drying efforts to be precise. This means water removal and the cleaning process can begin sooner, reducing the likelihood for mold development. The quicker that cleanup and drying occurs, the less the damage to the home.