Thermal Imaging

"A picture is worth a thousand words"

A very suspicious pattern on a ceiling.
The thermal pattern here is consistent with the presence of moisture on the plaster ceiling.
Water Ingress onto plaster ceiling.
Water from an overflowing box gutter had leaked into the building.
No visible evidence at all of the water problem but eventually the water damage will reveal iteself - perhaps with a collapsed ceiling - and most likely be costlier to repair.
Accessing the ceiling space revealed an extensive amount of water present - all of the PURPLE areas in the prior image. The water was drained and the plaster managed to dry out without any damage becoming apparent. The drainage issue was rectified.

Thermograph       (ie. Infrared image, IR image)
  • Is not like an X Ray - it is not a view of the the inside of an object, nor of what is behind an object. It is a representation of the temperatures across the surface of an object, and those surface temperatures can be influenced by various factors. eg. by what hot/cold source is behind or in front, moisture evaporation, differing densities, insect nests, ..etc. Some surfaces can be more accurately or more easily interpreted than others.

  • Is an excellent, non invasive, non destructive, fast, convenient, safe, and wide ranging "tool of discovery" for identifying items that warrant further investigation.

How do we use thermography during air leakage testing?

To test a building for air permeability, special fans mounted in Fan Door frames are used to create an exaggerated air flow into, or out of, the building. During this operation we use Infrared camera equipment to scan and take images throughout the inside, and sometimes the outside, of the building.

Where there are cracks, gaps, seams or penetrations (eg. for plumbing, wiring, structure,..etc), the images can highlight changes in heat patterns across surfaces cause by air movement to help identify specifically where airs leaks are occurring.

How do we use thermography for general building inspections?
Moving through a building with an infrared camera and scanning all building surfaces - walls, ceilings, doorways, cupboards, fittings, window frames, seams between different materials,...etc -  can help to identify structural and build features or potential issues that might be present such as:
  • Missing or poorly fitted insulation in walls and ceilings
  • Water ingress
  • Mould
  • Roofing and flashing leaks
  • Locate framing behind plaster.
  • Locate services eg. hot water pipes, in-slab heating elements (electrical or hydronic).
  • Check switchboard heat patterns for signs of localised or excessive heat which can highlight where attention is needed.
  • Air infiltration/leakage.

From an inspection of a property after heavy rains - This ceiling has no visible signs at all of the rainwater water that has leaked onto it. Refer to the next image...

This Infrared image (corresponding to the previous photograph) clearly shows a thermal pattern consistent with moisture ingress. The owner can now arrange repairs BEFORE the situation worsens and the ceiling possibly caves in. Potentially repairs could be made to the roofing before any internal damage is recognised.

Thermography for Industrial and Commercial plant, equipment and assets

In the search for potential equipment issues, the advantage of infrared imaging is that items are typically able to be inspected in-situ, whilst running and without negative impact.

  • Inspection of electrical equipment. eg. switchboards, circuit boards, power wiring, power distribution cabling and switches, motor wiring,…
  • Inspection of mechanical equipment. eg. bearings, belt drives and pulleys, pumps, couplings,...
  • Inspection of solar panels. eg. to identify potentially faulty cells.
  • Inspection of large oil filled transformers. eg. checking oil levels.
  • Heat leakage in lagging.

Observing your site specific safety requirements, we approach the items to be imaged as close as practical whilst they are operating and take images without disturbing the operation of the equipment. Sometimes it is useful or necessary to temporarily remove covers (eg. for switchboards). Sometimes it is necessary for you to provide a guide or assistant. (eg. hazardous sites.)

We provide you with a report that includes the images taken highlighting the items that present unusual heat patterns, and our impressions of the potential issues.

Thermography will not necessarily tell you everything, but it can provide you with additional information to make better judgments on servicing and repair priorities.

Many companies have regular thermography inspections as part of an overall maintenance program to help keep tabs on important plant and gather information on its performance and deterioration over time.

What Else?
Infrared images can show in a non-disruptive and clear way many issues that create even very slight temperature differences across a surface, and which might not be as easily detectable by other means. Wherever heat patterns on surfaces are present, there is potential to gain additional information with thermography.

Storage tanks showing liquid levels - are gauges / instruments indicating correctly?

Thermography Inspection services:

This thermal pattern suggests a problem exists.
Investigation determined that Air Leakage was occuring between the plaster and architrave of the external doorway.

image-317296-Electrical 2.jpg?1429927357317
One fan in a Fan Door.
Special fans fitted into variable size door frames are placed in appropriate doorways.

In Slab hydronic heating operation

image-317296-Electrical 2.jpg?1429927357317
Electrical panel.
Elevated temperatures are indicated on some conductors.
Localised heat or uneven temperature patterns needs further investigation.

Condition monitoring
Inspecting temperature patterns of an electric motor - looking for anomalies.

Our lead Thermography staff are Level 1 trained and accredited to Infraspection Institute standards.

Solar panel inspection.
Suspect or failed cells are indicated.
Electrical Systems
  • Circuit breakers
  • Contactors
  • Capacitor banks
  • Buss Bar connections
  • Motors / Generators
  • Transformers
Mechanical Systems
  • Motors and Generators
  • Rolling element bearings
  • Belts
  • Gearboxes
  • Air Leakage
  • Roof leakage
  • In-floor heating
  • Insulation - missing or damaged
  • Water Intrusion
  • Locate hot services
  • mould
  • pre-purchase
  • post repair
  • Pipework,
  • Holding tanks, vessels,...
  • lagging / insulation leaks