Infrared Thermography is a specific skill. A good thermographer can find things other inspectors will miss, like cold and hot spots and problems with your mechanical systems.
So, what is IR thermography?
Thermography is the use of an infrared imaging and measurement device to “see” and “measure thermal energy emitted from an object.
Infrared thermographic cameras produce images of invisible infrared radiation or “heat signatures”, they also provide pictures using non-contact temperature measurement. Thermal or infrared energy is light which is not visible because its wavelength is too long to be detected by the human eye. Unlike visible light, in the infrared world, everything with a temperature above absolute zero (minus 459 degrees F) emits heat.
Cold objects, like a snowbank or ice cubes emit infrared. The higher the object’s temperature, the more infrared energy is emitted. The use of an infrared camera will show an objects heat emittance, the thermal energy radiated from the object.
How infrared inspections can help you.
Infrared testing is a non-invasive, non-destructive inspection process that uses thermography cameras. These devices gather temperature signatures that lie beyond the range of visible light. Silvertree Inspections will use this data to help us detect problems before they become serious and cause costly issues. As a home buyer or real estate investor infrared testing adds a valuable element to help you know if the property your buying needs maintenance or repairs.
Infrared testing with a published report is a powerful tool in determining just how efficient and sound your home is.
So what’s involved in being a thermographer?
Not everyone with a fancy camera knows how to use it. A certified thermographer is someone who has taken the time and effort to study this complex science. All thermographers must study to pass a proctored examination given at a verified testing facility. A minimum test score of 80 is required to recieve a passing grade and then the thermographer must show proficiency with the tools of their trade.
Schooling to become a thermographer is costly and a professional grade camera will cost from $5000 on up to $100,000 plus. So you see, a person who practices the science of thermaography will have a lot of time and money into his profession. Someone waving a cheap IR camera around a property and showing rainbow colored pictures may be amusing but they are not practicing thermography.
Paul Lesieur is a Level 1 Certified Themographer from the prestigious Infraspection Institute, America’s most highly regarded thermography school. If you want real infrared reporting you will want a real thermographer.