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Using Infrared to Find Water Damage

on Tuesday, 08 April 2014. Posted in Blog, Residential, Water Damage

Imagine having the ability to see through walls, up into ceilings, beneath wall-to-wall carpeting and all the way to the base floor for water damage. While nobody has yet developed a superhero's X-ray vision, a thermal imaging camera can provide you with a glimpse inside the walls of your home, where unsuspected and expensive water leaks may be developing.

What is Thermal Imaging?

Every object gives off infrared radiation. From a hot stove to an ice cube, all matter radiates thermal energy. We humans have exquisite vision in a very small part of the spectrum, visible light. Just beneath our vision is the world of infrared—thermal energy. Cameras can be built to “see” this part of the spectrum, and these cameras can “see” hot and cold objects with marvelous precision. The cameras provide thermal imaging—pictures of infrared radiation.

What Does Thermal Imaging Do?

In the hands of a trained professional, a thermal imaging (infrared) camera can detect hot spots, such as electrical hazards in your home’s walls, or cold spots. Cold spots can come from poor insulation (such as gaps around windows and doors, or missing insulation in attics), or they can come from water leaks.

I Would See a Water Leak!

By the time you detect a small water leak that has penetrated an interior wall’s layers of drywall and paint, a lot of damage has occurred. Using the thermal imaging camera, a qualified operator can see tiny leaks inside walls, under floors, or in ceilings. Suppose just a few drops of water fall through the roof into your attic and on the floor due to water damage during rainstorms. Those drops are enough to form an oasis for mold, which will spread unchecked as long as moisture is available. The thermal imaging camera can see extremely small amounts of moisture (because its temperature will be slightly cooler than the surrounding dry material) long before you see visible damage inside your home.

Save Money

A full-house thermal imaging survey can identify tiny water leaks that lead to mold, the source of larger leaks, and inefficiencies caused by poor insulation. The survey can help you decide what professional services you need, such as mitigation or an insurance claim.

The survey is also invaluable if you are a prospective home buyer. Being able to pinpoint problem areas can avoid nasty surprises and give a buyer leverage during price negotiations.

For more guidance on the many benefits of thermal imaging for your Missouri home, contact us at Claria.