Hawaii Thermal Imaging Service
|Thermal Imaging - Hawaii|
|TRIsland Home Inspections is one of the only local
home inspections services that uses this technology
to evaluate properties.
|What is Thermal Imaging?
Thermography is the use of an infrared imaging and
measurement camera to "see" and "measure" thermal
energy emitted from an object (My dog Lucky was
good enough to model for a test shot). Thermal, or
infrared energy is light that is not visible because its
wavelength is too long to be detected by the human
eye; it's the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that
we perceive as heat. 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.
The higher the object's temperature, the greater the
IR radiation emitted. Infrared allows us to see what
our eyes cannot. Infrared thermography cameras
produce images of invisible infrared or "heat"
radiation and provide precise non-contact
temperature measurement capabilities.
Nearly everything gets hot before it fails, making
infrared cameras extremely cost-effective, valuable
diagnostic tools in many diverse applications. As
industry strives to improve manufacturing efficiencies,
manage energy, improve product quality, and
enhance worker safety, new applications for infrared
cameras continually emerge.
How Can This Technology Be Useful?
Moisture Detection in Walls and Ceilings - Thermal
imaging is a great tool that helps to identify water
damage in walls, floors, and ceilings. By detecting the
difference in temperature between a wet area and the
surrounding dry areas thermal imaging can help
detect moisture issues that would not be visible
during a limited visual home inspection. I follow up
any findings with moisture meters to confirm the FLIR
Camera readings. FLIR means Forward Looking
Electrical Inspections - Loose or dirty electrical
connections and other electrical anomalies can be
Thermal imaging can detect hot spots in the electrical
system not visible to the naked eye, which may be a
precursor to a larger issue. The resulting report can
be a great aid for the repair electrician hired to
address the identified issues.
Plumbing Inspections - Water leaks from the plumbing
system often leak undetected until major damage has
occurred. I can scan in, under, and around plumbing
fixtures in the home to determine if there is active
leaking going on. Since this tool is not a moisture
meter I will use it to find heat anomalies and then
pursue the issue further to attempt to determine the
source and cause of the leak. Thermal image
scanning can detect temperature anomalies in the
plumbing system not visible to the naked eye, which
may be a precursor to a larger issue. The resulting
Thermal Image Scan report can be a great aid for the
repair plumber hired to address the identified
Stucco & EIFS Inspections - Thermal image scanning
has greatly improved our ability to perform stucco and
EIFS moisture intrusion inspections. If there is rot
behind the stucco it is often visible with thermal
imaging in the form of heat anomalies. Thermal image
scanning also helps to quantify the affected areas of
Wood Destroying Insect Activity - Significant wood
destroying insect activity can, at times, be detected
using this technology due to the heat generated by
active infestations. That's right, active termite activity
produces a great deal of heat that is often visible to
the infrared camera. Minor activity may not be
detectable but areas not normally visible to the naked
eye can be identified, and then the appropriate
professional can carry out a more invasive and
technically exhaustive inspection.
Energy Audits - I do not currently specialize in
performing energy audits, but thermal imaging has
been a great tool to help homeowners save money,
especially now that energy rates are on the rise. Heat
loss and/or cold air influx can be detected and
corrective actions taken to help improve the energy
efficiency of residential and commercial structures.
Once the energy wasting areas are identified,
changes can be made to make a dramatic difference
in energy consumption which means lower cost of
What Thermal Imaging Is Not
A MOISTURE METER - The infrared thermal imaging
camera is NOT a moisture meter. It simply identifies
thermal anomalies. This device greatly aids in
identifying areas that require further investigation.
X-RAY VISION - The infrared thermal imaging camera
is NOT an X-ray vision scope. It does not provide the
user ability to see through walls. Instead, it identifies
thermal differences on a wall’s surface.
A SILVER BULLET - The infrared thermal imaging
camera is NOT a silver bullet solution, but when it is
used in conjunction with other diagnostic tools and
technologies thermal imaging has helped us to
identify issues that are rarely identified during the
limited visual home inspection process.
PLEASE NOTE: It is deceptive to claim that thermal
imaging detects moisture because the best that it can
do is detect thermal differences. Using the infrared
camera to help discover moisture issues can be
helpful because once the anomalies are identified,
then moisture meters and other diagnostic tools can
be used to identify the source of the anomaly.
Thermal Imaging Inspections is a service that is
separate and apart from our normal home inspection
service and is not included in the basic inspection
fee. I will gladly quote you on a combined basis (basic
inspection plus thermal imaging) or perform thermal
image scan only.
On the right is the FLIR BCAM SD which is the
camera I use. It represents the gold standard in
handheld thermal image cameras; manufactured by
the most respected company in the world for thermal
Visit FLIR’s website http://www.flir.com/