Mold Detection With Thermal Imaging for Water Damage Prevention
When severe weather hits your home, leaving water damage, flooding, and mold growth behind, it becomes extra important for restoration companies to detect if and where you have moisture. There may be some pockets of moisture left behind in the walls,ceiling, or floor. Its possible even after water is cleaned up within the home!
New tools, like water alarm detectors, have been created to detect moisture faster and with more accuracy. Thermal imaging is one of those technologies. Using an infrared camera as the main tool to detect moisture is very common among insurance companies and inspectors.
How do infrared cameras work?
An infrared camera takes a picture, converting any heat it detects into an electronic signal that becomes a thermal image on a video monitor. From there, experts can perform temperature calculations. In the past, these thermal imaging cameras have been able to detect moisture in the roof of a home. This was because it wasn’t visible to the naked eye or detectable by other technologies. This not only saved the roof from further structural damage and mold growth, but also saved the homeowners a lot of money and stress.
Thermal Imaging Moisture Detection: When to Use It
It is best to use thermal imaging and infrared camera technology when you suspect you have defects in your roof (especially if it is a low, sloped roof), electrical issues, plumbing, or HVAC problems, insulation issues that have caused frozen pipes, or water damage from leaking appliances.
How to Conduct a Thermal Imaging Home Inspection
Ideally, your reconstruction company will conduct a thermal imaging investigation during the cleaning phase. However, if you are suspecting that you have moisture buildup in your home after the affected areas have been fixed, then it would benefit you to call in an expert just to be sure. Mold and mildew in a home can start off small and lead to much bigger issues (both health and to your house) in the long run.
If it has been a while, be prepared to answer the following questions:
- When did you first notice the problem? Was it after a rainstorm or after a leaky pipe was found? Do you only see the problem after rain falls?
- Where do you think the moisture is located?
- If you’re finding water stains on the exterior part of your house, does your landscaping slope toward the foundation?
- Is the water collecting directly below or next to a bathroom or kitchen?
- Are you in a multi-story unit? Could the leak coming from a unit above you?
In order to get a good image, you may need to reintroduce water to the suspected area. This will help to find the precise area of the leak. After you add some water to an area, take a photo with the infrared camera, noting what’s seen. Keep adding water in different areas until you feel you have located the exact spot where the water pools. This step can take up to 45 minutes to complete. Pro tip: for clearer results, make sure the temperature inside your house is in contrast to the outside temperature to give the thermal images a more accurate read. So, if it’s cold outside, make sure you heater is cranked up a little higher than normal.
Count on Restoration Experts
Even after you locate a point of water damage and moisture buildup, don’t be afraid to rely on the thermal imaging experts. Construction professionals can help fix the source of your water issues, prevent damage and mold growth.