Build IR Blog

Hidden Issues with Thermal Imaging During Building Survey

The landscape of building surveys has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, driven by the rapid evolution of thermal imaging technology. Previously, traditional inspection methods, while valuable, often had limitations and restrictions…mainly due to human error or oversight.

Standard thermal surveys could regularly miss hidden issues lurking beneath the surface, such as damp buildup within walls or even faulty electrical connections behind panels.

The emergence of thermal imaging during building surveys has revolutionised the way they are conducted, as the thermal camera equipment can detect variations in surface temperature, acting as a window into potential problems invisible to the naked eye. By incorporating thermal imaging into surveys, inspectors can now gain a deeper understanding of a building’s health.

The Revealing Nature Of Thermal Imaging During Building Surveys

By using thermal imaging during building surveys, it is possible to receive a comprehensive analysis of a building’s thermal envelope as opposed to a vague reading from previous methods.

Through the detection of infrared radiation, thermal imaging cameras are capable of revealing varying surface temperatures which are invisible to the naked eye. This non-destructive method is a valuable tool for identifying underlying issues that can impact a building’s energy efficiency and structural integrity.

It isn’t just hot and cold areas which our cameras can detect as they are also equipped to detect differences between wet and dry areas which will highlight possible leaks or moisture within your building.

Our thermal imaging cameras are the building inspectors of the future – there are no more wasted days waiting for inspectors to assess every square inch of your building and then take the notes away to create a report overseen by a Cat 3 PCN Qualified Thermographer.

Discovering Insulation Defects

One of the most enticing reasons to use thermal imaging during building surveys is due to its excellent availity to identify and analyse areas with defective insulation.
Poor insulation comes with a range of negatives including wasted energy, potentially inadequate living conditions, and higher energy bills. By utilising thermal imaging in any building survey, surveyors can pinpoint areas with irregular temperature patterns, therefore identifying potential gaps or defects in insulation materials in real time.

The practical impact of thermal imaging in addressing insulation concerns is evidently clear as a case study conducted in the UK documented a 17% reduction in energy consumption for residential buildings following the addition of thermal imaging surveys and subsequent targeted insulation improvements.

This finding underscores the significant contribution of thermal imaging in optimising building performance and providing the occupants with far better living conditions.

Thermal Imaging During Building Surveys

Diagnosing HVAC Systems

Thermal imaging has become an essential tool for diagnosing malfunctions within HVAC systems for our clients.

Using our thermal imaging cameras to diagnose your HVAC systems, we can identify the airflow from the air ducts and ensure that no air is leaking. This is particularly important since June 2022, when Part F was set out to support Schedule 1 of the Building Regulations 2010.

To ensure healthy and comfortable indoor environments, Part F of the Building Regulations sets specific requirements for ventilation in buildings. This regulation helps prevent moisture buildup and the growth of mould by promoting adequate air circulation.

Part F takes a comprehensive approach to ventilation, addressing fresh air supply, pollutant exhaust, and humidity control. It sets requirements for both new constructions and existing buildings undergoing substantial refurbishments or alterations. HVAC systems are of course one of the focal points to be evaluated and the most thorough method to inspect them is through thermal imaging equipment.

Using this state-of-the-art technology allows us to identify the varying temperatures between heating, ventilation, and air conditioning components. Through the identification of components, which are usually deemed hard to access, it is possible to pinpoint potential issues before they escalate into costly or detrimental faults.

Another great feature using our cameras for your HVAC, is being able to see how fuses and connections are performing whilst operating. Something which can not be done when viewing it with the naked eye. Witnessing faulty appliances and fuses will be a great step towards preventing fires!

It should come as no surprise that thermal inspections of HVAC systems are quickly becoming a norm due to their ability to significantly cut annual maintenance costs and the necessity for major repairs.

Exploring Real-Life functions for Thermal Imaging cameras

While thermal imaging’s effectiveness in identifying insulation defects and HVAC malfunctions has been firmly established, its applications extend far beyond these vital areas.

This diverse technology has become a vital tool for many building surveyors, enabling them to identify a wide range of issues which often end up remaining undetected until they come to the surface and become not only disastrous but financially damaging.

Water Damage Detection

Unless the water is physically leaking on the surface or spurting out, leaks can often go undetected for months or even years and by the time they are discovered the damage has already been caused.

Infrared imaging excels at detecting hidden water leaks within walls, ceilings, and floors before they cause major problems. Early detection with thermal imaging helps prevent a domino effect of costly consequences.

Firstly, by identifying leaks early on, you can minimise the extent of water damage, saving property owners significant repair costs. Secondly, thermal imaging helps prevent the growth of mould, which thrives in moist environments created by undetected leaks.

Mould exposure can lead to a range of health problems, from respiratory issues to allergic reactions. Early leak detection with thermal imaging safeguards the well-being of everyone in the building.

Thermal images can reveal the telltale patterns of water leaks, often appearing as downward streaks. Hot water leaks also have a distinct signature, showing up as glowing warm areas, and for ceiling leaks, thermal imaging displays them as dark, irregularly shaped areas on the image due to the temperature difference between the wet area and the surrounding dry ceiling.

By proactively identifying water leaks with thermal imaging, you can prevent costly repairs, safeguard the health of occupants, and ensure the long-term integrity of your building. It’s a preventative approach which offers significant benefits for both property owners and building occupants.

Electrical Fault Thermal Identification

As mentioned earlier thermal imaging identification can prevent the need to conduct time consuming and disruptive processes such as dismantling walls and panels.

By identifying potential electrical hazards before they escalate into fires or equipment failure, thermal imaging reduces the risk of property damage and safeguards the well-being of occupants.

Additionally, proactive identification of electrical issues reduces downtime associated with repairs, keeping your building operational and efficient.

From gaining the much sought after BREEAM Credit, to using our PSI-Value Calculation services to provide a comprehensive assessment of your buildings insulation and thermal efficiency – Build IR is the ideal thermal inspection partner for any and all property owners looking to find out all of the hidden issues of a building.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact Us

Below are our contact details, if you have any questions or would like to request a quote please email or call us.

2A Sopewell Road, Rotherham S61 2JL

Find us on Google Maps

Visit our LinkedIn

Building Thermal Imaging Surveys Accreditations
Constructionline-iATS-SSIP Accreditations