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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Can IR Cameras Detect Water Damage?

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

If you constantly experience water leakage, there is a good chance that your water pipes and structure may be faulty. Other reasons could also be due to heavy rain and snow, condensation, and humidity levels. Moisture infiltration and accumulation are very damaging for a house or building and promote mold growth. In the past to tackle water leakage, people had to resort to intrusive methods such as hacking down walls and pipes to identify the source of the leak and how far it had spread.

This wastes much more resources and is more expensive and time costly. With modern innovations such as IR cameras, inspectors can spot areas that are not visible to the naked eye, and which do not involve invasive methods. They are thus able to use the IR cameras for water damage inspection. This greatly increases efficiency and reduces time and cost as the leak can then be isolated. Here are some ways how IR cameras can detect water damage.

Infrared Thermography

IR cameras help consultants, remediators, and technicians pinpoint and eliminate mold infestations and water leakages through a technological tool known as thermography. It is a technique that produces an image of infrared lights which are not visible to the naked eye, and which are emitted by objects due to the heat or lack thereof in the objects ‘thermal condition’. IR cameras thus resemble a typical camera recorder and can provide live pictures of heat radiation. More sophisticated IR cameras can produce false-color images based on the temperatures of objects or surfaces in the picture which aids in the analysis of thermal patterns.

Because the IR cameras can produce images of heat radiation, they can provide precise temperature measurement capabilities. This is one of the reasons why moisture and mold can be detected on IR cameras before they are visible to the naked eye as moisture is much cooler than construction materials. IR cameras are also valuable and cost-effective diagnostic tools which are used in construction problems of mold growth and water problems, such as through the usage of thermal analysis. The temperature measurement incorporated by the IR cameras can allow professionals to make better judgments and analyses due to the valuable information provided.

Mold and Rot Prevention

IR cameras can detect moisture patterns in buildings and houses. This is because the temperature difference created by the presence of moisture on an inside surface of a wall differs greatly from its surroundings. Owners should be wary of leaks and mold under certain situations such as when suspected plumbing leaks have occurred from the waterline, after any water damage event such as floods, and locating wet areas in non-accessible spaces. Doing so quickly will prevent mold growth and rotting of the construction materials and wall lining. Under the right conditions, IR cameras can serve as an early warning for roofs and ceilings that tend to retain water long before water leakage. It is recommended to hire a professional as they will be able to cut core samples of walls and analyze them for traces of moisture and mold. They will also be better at interpreting the results and in fixing the cause of the problem. 

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