Thermal imaging cameras are handheld instruments that measure the heat differential of objects in the view of the camera. Like most technology, capabilities are getting better and better, as well as more affordable than ever, like the pocket sized smart phone attachment, the FLIR One, which we wrote about recently. Thermal imagers have many great applications in the construction industry, which not only help you determine the quality of your build, but also can greatly assist in preventative maintenance. Contractors provide warranties for their work, so it could save a lot of time and money if problems were caught before a catastrophic failure happened.
Below is a list of ways to use thermal imaging cameras on the construction job site:
Improper electrical installation can cause extremely costly repairs later on, but with a thermal imaging camera, a contractor can detect problem areas in an electrical panel before they cause issues. As highlighted in the video below, by Keysight General Purpose Instruments the camera points out hot spots in the panel, which could be caused by overloading the circuit or loose or damaged wires.
Heat Loss/Air Infiltration
Energy efficiency is all the rage in the construction world and nothing hampers energy savings more than heat loss and air infiltration in a building. With the use of a thermal imager, contractors can detect areas where insulation and seals have been missed, which could otherwise cost them a ton of time or money trying to diagnose issues without the technology. The beginning of the video below, by Arkansas Living, shows how to determine if an area is missing insulation.
Roof Leak Detection
Roof leaks are extremely difficult to find and cause a lot of heart ache to the building owner. The video below, by AM Leak Detection in Ireland, explains that water retains heat much longer than surrounding surfaces, making it much easier to see where moisture has collected and which areas to attack first.
Most plumbing issues develop over time and can cause very costly repairs. Drains are a quick and easy way to get rid of job site debris and trash, but that causes major blockage in plumbing lines. The video below, by FLIR one, shows how running hot water through the drain lines can show you exactly where the blockage is occurring.