Using Thermal Imaging Technology to Find and Fix Common Roof Problems PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 29 April 2009 15:28

Thermal imaging cameras, also known as infrared cameras, are well known for their applications in medical care, firefighting, and astronomy. However, these thermal imaging devices can also be used with great success by commercial roofing inspectors to identify leaks, defects, moisture, and mold. A trained thermographer will be able to interpret these infrared scans and suggest remedial action for these common roof problems.

Thermal imaging cameras, also known as infrared cameras, are well known for their applications in medical care, firefighting, and astronomy. However, these thermal imaging devices can also be used with great success by commercial roofing inspectors to identify leaks, defects, moisture, and mold. A trained thermographer will be able to interpret these infrared scans and suggest remedial action for these common roof problems.

Thermal imaging devices work by measuring the amount of thermal radiation emitted by objects into the atmosphere. The device will then represent these measurements graphically in the form of a colored image. Objects or parts of objects that are emitting more thermal radiation than others, and are thus warmer, will often appear as a bright yellow, red, or white on a thermal imaging camera. An area of an object that is emitting a low level of thermal radiation will often appear as a darker blue, purple, or green.This technology allows thermal imaging devices to provide a visual representation of heat and thermal energy. A thermographer can then examine this image to identify any problems that need to be fixed. For example, a pipe may be leaking an invisible gas into the atmosphere. A thermal imaging device could identify the heat pattern of the gas and visually pinpoint where the leak is originating.

In the same way, commercial roofing inspectors can use a thermal imaging camera to identify and fix problems with installed roofs. There are a variety of tasks that can be accomplished using these cameras. Moisture within the fabric of the roof or building can be identified using the thermal imaging device. The camera can also identify any air or heat leakage, due to holes or leaks in the roof. This sort of analysis can save money, as roof inspectors know where to patch the roof in order to prevent unnecessary heat loss, resulting in savings on energy bills.

Finally, the thermal imaging camera can verify that any leaks in the roof were repaired successfully, by comparing images taken before and after the repair by the roof inspector. Thermal imaging technology is quick and relatively inexpensive. Also, thermal technology provides the additional benefit of being non-intrusive: it can check for problems in a structure without requiring any sort of deconstruction. Through the use of a infrared camera or thermal imaging device, a commercial roofing inspector is able to easily identify and fix roof problems that, prior to the development of this technology, would have been costly and time-consuming to locate and repair.

by Mike D. Wittman

 

References:

1. "Thermographic Imaging." GreenerSmarter. Accessed 29 April 2009.

2. "Introduction - Thermal Imaging." Irisys. Accessed 29 April 2009.

 
Infrared Cameras