How Infrared Cameras Work for Mold and Water Damage Detection

It is very difficult for a Houston mold inspection services company to verify hidden water damage or mold with the naked eye. That is why you should have your property inspected with infrared thermogrophy (IT).

IT, also known as thermal imaging, uses a thermographic camera to visually display the thermal condition of an area based on how much infrared energy an object reflects, emits and transmits. IT is an important tool used while conducting a residential or Houston commercial property inspection to search for cold or hot spots that would be nearly impossible to find otherwise.

How Infrared Cameras Detect Moisture

A standard infrared camera works like a camcorder to create a series of images or a real-time video image. The two main parts of an IT system are the high-resolution camera and a laptop computer armed with a digital recording system and the corresponding software. The T620 infrared camera generates 307,200 picture elements in each image with a 640-by-480 pixel array.

Together, this system detects light rays that the eyes cannot see because the wavelengths are too long. The best cameras also measure the temperature of the space being examined during a Houston residential property inspection. The colors in the images allow a quick analysis of the thermal condition behind a wall or elsewhere. Hotter areas emit more infrared or heat radiation. A random cold spot can indicate an area where moisture is building up or has already accumulated. Once a cold spot is discovered, a moisture meter can be used to determine if the area is wet and how much moisture has accumulated behind the wall. If water is detected, it has to be remedied immediately because mold can start growing in 24 hours.

How Infrared Cameras Save Money

Since infrared cameras can pinpoint the exact location of cold spots, any necessary repairs can be localized, which prevents having to tear out an entire wall to find a small leak. Ridding your home of hidden pockets of moisture also prevents structural decay and maintains the integrity of the structure.

A variation in temperature could also imply that the insulation behind the wall has shifted or was never put in place originally. Replacing or repairing the insulation will save you money on your power bills throughout the year. IT is a valuable resource when you are searching for ways to control your expenses. It is also effective for spotting the source of drafts or leaks in your building’s ductwork.

An infrared camera can provide evidence of a faulty electrical outlet or an overloaded circuit breaker. Any of those conditions can result in a fire or damage to your HVAC system or major appliances. Even vermin cannot hide from thermal imaging. Their body heat can easily be detected with IT.

Here is a list of situations where infrared cameras can be effectively employed.

  • If you notice musty odors when looking at a property you intend to purchase
  • When a home inspector cannot verify whether there is a leak behind a finished wall
  • If the warranty on a new building is nearing the expiration date
  • When searching for plugged drains, ice dams or standing water on the roof
  • If you suspect a door or window is leaking air
  • After repairing the damage from a roof leak, equipment failure, broken water line or flood
  • If you think the plumbing or waste lines are leaking
  • When searching for moisture in a crawlspace

Able Inspections & Infrared Services can answer any questions you may have concerning the use of infrared technology. All our technicians use the most modern equipment and have been trained and certified in Building Science by the Infrared Training Center. Contact us at 713-465-0000 to schedule an inspection for property you own or plan to purchase.



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