IR Case Studies

Leaky Office Windows

EHSI was asked to do an IR inspection on the top 2 stories of a 3 story office building in the Philadelphia area. Large windows surrounding both floors leaked water badly creating water damage, peeling wallpaper and mold growth. However, the extent of damage was hidden inside the walls. The landlord received remediation estimates over $45,000 just to remove and replace all perimeter interior wallboard after the windows were repaired. In only a few hours, EHSI reduced the scope of work to about $15,000 (a 67% reduction) by precisely identifying the areas of wetted and potentially moldy wallboard. This also saved time and disruption of the office's workers.

Mold Growth in Municipal Building

A NJ municipal building was plagued by air quality complaints from city workers. Cracked ceiling plaster and several water leaks were noticed in a few areas. IR thermography determined that the cracked paint harbored hidden water damage and mold growth. Furthermore, IR inspections identified other areas where no cracking or water staining were observed from water leaks linked to major roof flashing problems. The pictures told a 1,000 words. The municipality was able to recover the cost of repairs from a roofer who had recently finished work there using substandard methods.

Infrared Thermography

Infrared Thermal Imaging ("thermography") is an important technology in diagnosing the condition of buildings. Common uses of infrared inspection include:

Advantages of Infrared Building Inspection

  • Fast, non-invasive, safe - minimizes the need for destructive investigation
  • Find wet building materials, air leaks and insulation problems quickly with pinpoint accuracy.
  • Can dramatically reduce water damage restoration and environmental / mold sampling costs. e.g., Remediation areas can be targeted to the affected materials rather than guessing or doing mass demolition.
  • Protect yourself against frivolous complaints by providing visual evidence of conditions.
  • Minimizes disturbance to your employees, your family and other commercial operations.
  • Document as-built or post-repair / remediation conditions. Remediation contractors can now photographically document corrective actions.
  • Examples of Infrared Thermography uses:

    Dark (purple and blue) colors shown in these examples are indicative of cool temperatures and water leaks.

    Water Leak Diagnosis


    Wet and moist building materials can destroy their structural integrity as well as create hidden mold growth. However, locating the exact source of leaks can be difficult to find without demolition. Infrared thermography offers a means to instantly show where materials are wet without having to demolish or disturb the structure. As a result, using IR frequently results in lower repair and reconstruction costs by targetting the precise problem area.

    leaky skylight wet flooring ceiling leak
    Leaky skylight - pinpoint the exact location of the leak.
    Wet subflooring below floorboards
    Leaky ceiling under a poorly flashed roof deck.

    Weatherization & Insulation

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    As the cost of energy and concerns about global warming increase, improving the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses becomes even more important. Thermal imaging provides a valuable tool to locate hidden building defects, such as missing insulation and air leaks, that rob buildings of conditioned air and ultimately $$$. All these conditions represent money being wasted to literally heat or cool the outdoors, not to mention discomfort to building occupants. These situations would be virtually undetectable without infrared thermography.

    Missing Insulation -    
    missing insulation missing insulation ext heat ducts
    Large area of uninsulated wall
    Scattered missing insulation throughout the house.
    Uninsulated heating ducts (yellow) in an exterior wall.
    Air Leaks -    
    air leaks leaky attic hatch leaky wall joints
    Combination of missing insulation and air leaks throughout the wall and ceiling.
    Leaky attic hatch
    Common air leaks in wall-ceiling joints

    Ask for a Comprehensive Home Performance Audit using Blower Door Testing.

    Construction Defects

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    Thermal imaging also allows the diagnosis of building and construction defects. Our experts are Certified Building Science Thermographers (CBST), Certified Environmental Thermography Consultants (CETC) and BPI certified Building Analyst/Building Envelope Professionals, who are capable and experienced at offering expert witness services after diagnosing improper construction.

    radiant floor deadspots roof leaks radiant floor tubes
    Improperly laid electric radiant floor heating with large cold area under a tile floor.
    Roof leaks (yellow areas) around vent pipes
    Locate broken or crimped hydronic tubes underneath flooring.



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    The only third party accredited infrared thermography certifications.2011 Infrared Professional Member