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Jan

Infrared Leak Inspection

Inspecting your home or building on a regular basis is one of the most important things you can do in order to prevent costly and dangerous problems. Professional inspections will help you to discover any potential issues with your building, allowing you to make repairs before those issues get worse. They can also help to improve the efficiency of your building, thereby helping you to save on the costs of energy use over the long term. One of the most successful methods for a building inspection is through the use of infrared inspection.

What is infrared inspection?

Infrared_Camera

Infrared inspection is a process in which the surface temperatures of a building are read using a combination of infrared video and still cameras. This allows for a detailed view of the building’s different temperatures. This is helpful because it allows the inspector to see where the building may be leaking energy. For example, warmer temperatures are indicated by a range of brighter colors. If these colors appear nearby windows, there’s a good chance that energy is leaking outside. Once an infrared inspection is done, the professional inspector can make recommendations to the owner on how to improve the efficiency of the building.

What are the benefits of an infrared inspection?

There are a number of issues that can be discovered via the use of an infrared inspection. The following are some of the more common things that professional technicians look for when making use of infrared:

    • 3282654458_c82fc7f530_nPoor Insulation – The use of infrared video allows an inspector to spot any damages in a building’s insulation. For example, during the winter, if there is a brighter colored visual cue located in the ceiling, then there’s a good chance that there might be a hole in the insulation in this area. By using infrared video, the inspector will be able to either locate damaged insulation or make recommendations for installing insulation in areas that need it. By repairing your insulation or adding insulation where there is none, you’ll help to keep the air produced by your heating and cooling systems from escaping your home, while at the same time helping prevent air from outside from leaking in.
    • Air Leaks – Insulation isn’t the only thing that prevents air from coming in and leaving the building. Sometimes there are air leaks throughout the building, especially older buildings, that cause a loss of energy. It doesn’t matter how small they may be, an air leak can still affect how much energy you are using. If you are losing warm air through an air leak, then your heating system is having to work even harder to replace it. Not only is it using more energy to do so, but it is also causing more wear and tear to your HVAC system, which can result in a shorter lifespan or the need for more repairs. Air leaks often occur around windows, doors, outlets and more and can be difficult to detect without infrared video.
    • Water Leaks – Infrared inspection can also be used in order to detect water leaks as well as issues with the building’s pipes, from erosion to deteriorated insulation. The inspector will be able to pinpoint these issues if there is a temperature difference within the pipes. These issues need to be fixed due to the fact that they can worsen over time, making repairing the problem a more costly expenditure. Not to mention that leaks can affect your water bills as well as your energy bills, since you are using energy to heat up your water. In addition to those issues, a water leak can result in water damage to the area, including the spread of mildew or mold throughout the building.

How to Prepare for an Infrared Inspection

4211232628_99e3e83fa5_nThe building must be prepared for an infrared inspection in the proper way for the inspection to be effective. This includes making sure that all of the building’s doors and windows are shut tightly in order to get a better reading of any present air leaks. Additionally, the readings work much better if there is a large temperature difference between the interior and exterior of the home. This means that if it is cold out, the heat should be on, and if it is warm out, then the air conditioner should be on. Other things you will have to do in order to prepare for an infrared inspection includes removing the drapes from your windows and clearing any furniture from your walls.

Having an infrared inspection conducted on your building is a great way to spot any issues that need to be repaired, help prevent further damage and reduce your energy use and costs. For questions about scheduling an infrared inspection to help detect water leaks, contact us at Leak Masters today.

 Image Credits: Camera by Minea Petratos (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons; Insulation by Flickr User mjtmail, Window by Flickr User Liz West