Thermal imaging surveys are a non-destructive form of assessment which are used to identify hidden problems during, and after construction of a building. Thermal imaging surveys also prove a useful tool in existing buildings, as the survey can identify weak points in insulation and areas of moisture damage. The assessment can be used to identify heat loss, assess insulation problems, and locate moisture and air infiltration.
What can thermal imaging be used for?
- Assessing the continuity of insulation
- Identifying unintended air leakage paths
- Achieving BREEAM credits
- Locating areas at risk of mould and condensation
- Locating leaks in the building fabric
- Locating problems with underfloor heating loops or heating pipework
Achieving the best results
There are two key requirements for a successful survey of a building to be undertaken.
- A temperature difference of 10°C between the internal building temperature and external air temperature.
- The survey to be carried out at a time of low solar activity – this is to reduce the effect of the sun on the building surface, which can cause false readings.
Rainfall and wind speed can also impact on the survey results, therefore it is key to ensure the weather conditions are monitored prior to the survey visit.
Thermal Imaging and Air Tightness Testing
Thermal imaging and the blower door (the equipment used to determine air tightness in a building) are both used to determine areas of heat loss. That is why they are a great combination when used together.
In the image to the right we ran the blower door while taking thermal images on a project in Cheshire – this captured the air leakage between the dot and dabbed plasterboard on the external walls, a common problem in cavity wall construction.
See here for more details on air tightness.
Frequently Asked Questions
This will vary significantly depending on the size of the building, the detail required and the detail of post site reporting. Prices start at around £200 for a small dwelling up to £3000+ for a large and complex commercial property
Potentially yes. We will keep a close eye on what the weather is doing and should we feel it will be detrimental to the results we will call you to discuss rescheduling. Wind will tend to chill surfaces while rain leads to evaporative cooling on the external surfaces which will confuse the results.
The temperature inside needs to be even and steady. This means that if you switch the heating on an hour before we arrive then all we will see are plumes of heat above radiators. When the temperature has levelled out and the building is suitably heated then it becomes clear where the weak/damaged points are in the buildings insulation. We suggest the building should be heated for at least 24 hours prior to arrival