Infrared Testing Illuminates
A police chase at night ends safely
because a helicopter with forward-
looking infrared imaging system
tracks the fleeing vehicle. Military
forces use night-vision gear to
see in the dark. Investigators at
Find evidence of leaky pipes inside
a building’s wall. All these
scenarios are linked by the technology
of Infrared imaging (IR), or thermal
Originally developed for night
vision and other military uses,
thermal imaging technology recently
has become a standard in the Water
damage restoration field.
To understand the techniques of
thermography, it is useful t understand
how light and electromagnetic energy
travels. The great 17th century
physicist, Isaac Newton, used a
prism to split a beam of light into
a rainbow, demonstrating that light
is made up of individual colors,
or wavelengths, of energy, known
as the spectrum. When you see a
rainbow, you see those individual
colors: red, orange, yellow, green,
and blue, indigo, violet.
Part of the spectrum are invisible
to the human eye, however, such
as wavelengths shorter than violet
light ultraviolet (above violet)
that cause sunburns. The part of
the spectrum with a wavelength longer
than red is the infrared (below
red) light that thermal imaging
Every object radiates infrared
light in proportion to its temperature.
Hot objects radiate more infrared
light than cold objects, but human
cannot see in those wavelengths.
A person in a completely dark room
containing a hot frying pan and
a glass of ice water could not see
either item. With a thermal imaging
camera, however, both can be made
to stand out from there surroundings
because of their heat signature.
Infrared cameras make temperature
differences visible, allowing observations
of areas that, otherwise, would
require more invasive and destructive
testing. For example, water intrusion
into the walls of a house can now
be detected by the IR signature,
without having to remove drywall
from the interior walls and without
having to make holes in the wall
for old moisture probing techniques.
The ability of the IR image to reveal
wet areas in buildings and structures
is a major help to investigators
and drying contractors.
The National Infrared inspection
is non-intrusive and requires no
demolition of walls or ceiling.
Using this report can reduce the
time and effort necessary to inspect
structures for water and mold damage.