What is a Thermal Imaging Survey?


Thermal imaging otherwise known as thermography is a relatively new technique that is used in the building trade. Surveys on thermal imaging often involve the use of cameras to graphically portray temperatures on the surface of an object so as to identify any thermal related anomalies that could be an indication of defects.

Why are Thermographic Surveys Necessary

Thermography can be used in the commissioning of a new building to identify whether there are any potential malfunctions as early as possible so as to enable ample time for remedial works to be carried out before the building is officially handed over to the client.
It can be used as part and parcel of a predictive maintenance that can be used to identify any malfunctions well in advance so that remedial works can be done alongside business operations so as to avoid any unintended production downtime.

When is Thermal Imaging Useful?

Existing Building
One of the places where thermal imaging really comes in handy is in existing buildings in order to understand where and to what extent the loss of heat is occurring. This can be achieved by:

Understanding how air is moving through the building.
Examining just how effective the distribution of heat is.
Identifying where it is exactly that heat is being lost due to thermal bridging, faulty insulation, and natural ventilation.

New Building

Thermal imaging helps provide peace of mind during critical stages of building construction when there’s still time to take remedial action. This is achieved by:

Checking whether the insulation is being fitted in the correct manner.
Checking to see whether there is air tightness and identifying leaks.
It can also be used to troubleshoot by:

Locating where leaks are coming from.
Detecting mold and any areas that seem to be poorly insulated.
Detecting failures in construction.
Detecting faults in electricity.
Monitoring how buildings are drying.
How Long Does a Survey Take?

The length of time that the survey takes largely depends on the size of your home and just how involved you want to be. However, you could do yourself a favour and brace yourself for a minimum of one hour to about two and a half hours maximum.

What the Survey Looks For

There are about four major factors that are considered when conducting the survey. These include:

Insulation Problems

Insulation is one of the main barriers to heat loss. This means that if the insulation is faulty in any way, it could end up opening a doorway for heat loss. Studies done indicate that in the event that10% of insulation is missing, then there is a big possibility that it could drastically reduce that part of the building’s ability to retain heat by a staggering 50%.


Not only are draughts uncomfortable in every sense of the way, but they are also indicators of unnecessary heat loss.

Cold Air Infiltration

Cold air infiltrations happen to be a complete contrast to draughts because they end up cooling the rooms down as it moves through the void walls, above the ceilings, and below the floors.

Heating Problems

You will be surprised at just how many problems surveys uncover that have to do with the heating including air that which is trapped in the system and radiators that are not well balanced, leaking under floor heating and hemorrhaging of heat that comes from uninsulated pipe work hidden in voids.

Thermography is worth giving a shot if you want to salvage some of the common problems that people have to deal with years into having purchased and built their houses.


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