What is Thermal Imaging?

Mid-South Roof Systems thermal imaging
Mid-South Roof Systems thermal imaging

It’s a well-known fact that moisture can lead to damage of materials. However, those in the roofing industry can take advantage of technology designed to detect moisture in spots that can’t easily be seen, allowing for damaged areas to be found more quickly and repaired. This technology is called thermal imaging.

A thermal imaging camera works by emitting an infrared light over all objects in its view. The focused light is scanned by an array of infrared-detector elements. The detector elements create a detailed temperature pattern called a thermogram.

The thermogram will show a multi-colored picture that clearly demonstrates where temperatures in a given area differ, perhaps due to moisture. When used on a roof surface, the thermogram may show a solid patch of red amid a vast area of another color, say blue. The red patch then serves as an indication that there may be moisture below the surface.

One of the nicest things about thermal imaging is it’s a non-destructive testing method; that means it allows a roofer to investigate possible water intrusion without doing having to immediately open up the roof. It also helps pinpoint problem areas that can then be focused on to determine the source or entry point of the moisture.

It’s also cost-effective for the building owner. An infrared roof inspection costs only a fraction of the amount of a roof replacement. If most of the roof is in good condition, the affected areas can be repaired before it gets to that. For this reason, it’s a good idea for building owners to have their roofs inspected using thermal imaging prior to making serious repairs or doing a roof replacement.

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