Thermal Imaging (Thermology) Basics
Although you are probably somewhat familiar with infrared light, you likely are not familiar with how it can be used to help you as a homeowner/business/marine vessel owner.
Infrared Thermography is the use of an infrared imaging and measurement camera to "see" and "measure" thermal energy emitted from an object. Thermal, or infrared energy, is light that is not visible because its wavelength is too long to be detected by the human eye. Unlike visible light, in the infrared world, everything with a temperature above absolute zero emits heat. Even very cold objects, like ice cubes, emit infrared heat. A specialized infrared camera takes advantage of these heat patterns and allows you to virtually "see" previously unseeable problem areas behind walls, beneath the floor, or above the ceiling including; moisture, water damage, mold, roof leaks, plumbing leaks, energy loss from ducts, doors and windows, missing or damaged insulation, and bad electrical connections, to name a few. If you own a marine vessel, an infrared camera can detect serious faults such as hull and superstructure defects, damaged fiberglass gel coat, water leaks, loose electrical connectors, faulty electrical systems, and failing engine components.
The primary advantage of Infrared thermal imaging is that it provides a real-time, non-contact, non-destructive way to efficiently and effectively identify, analyze and prioritize problem areas at a fraction of the cost and disruption of other methods. Early detection of problems can facilitate correction of issues before they become worse, cause collateral damage, or fail causing unscheduled outages and potential property or marine vessel damage.
Thermal imaging inspections should be done by a certified thermographer who is a person that successfully completes a recognized infrared certification course. Certification verifies the thermographer’s ability to operate an infrared camera, collect quality data, produce professional infrared inspection reports, and understand the techniques and limitations of infrared thermography for specific applications. Anyone can buy an infrared camera and offer thermography services; however, these cameras are difficult to use and the thermographic images are difficult to interpret without proper training.