The Conservation Surveyor now has a new tool to add to their armoury to help with the non invasive diagnosis of building defects.
Thermal Imaging has long been used in Industry to monitor electrical equipment to prevent fires and breakdowns.
Thermal Imaging cameras have now become much more compact and easy to use on site (originally thermal imaging cameras operators were subject to military licensing and the original cameras like the original computers needed a truck to move them !) to check many aspects of the hidden elements of buildings which would have previously needed exposure of the areas by invasive building works.
The camera can particularly help diagnose difficult areas in old stone conservation buildings namely:
Thermal Imaging also does what it “says on the tin” and is obviously utilised to check areas of insulation where missing in walls or on ceilings which if not rectified can lead to condensation and mould growth in voids out of view.
Checking cavity wall insulation is correctly installed, much is now believed to be poorly installed and leading to cold pockets in walls causing condensation and penetrating dampness.
A surveyor suitably qualified on using the Thermal Imaging Camera and their other equipment, in unison can save considerable time to create a holistic report on the property and avoid invasive costly investigation allowing contractors to zero in onto the area requiring exposure to cure the problem
Locating problems at an early stage and dealing with their repair will enable timely maintenance to prevent small faults becoming larger problems (before they normally become apparent) and make them more economic to repair and ensure that damage to the fabric of the building is minimised as part of a sensible maintenance regime.
This is particularly important in period properties with stone solid walls etc as if damaged with dampness the fabric of the building walls timbers etc will degenerate rapidly and take much longer to dry out to a satisfactory safe condition if faults are left undetected.