Thermal imaging has numerous uses and benefits many different trades. It does everything from surveillance and industrial maintenance to checking someone’s temperature. For this post, I’ll discuss interpreting images in the residential construction field. And because it’s important to have at least a basic understanding of how the camera works and adjustments that can be made to the different camera settings, I’ll start by briefly discuss a few of them.
Newer thermal imaging cameras have similar settings, regardless of the manufacturer. Because I submit the photos I take to a homeowner or other interested party, I want the image to be easily interpreted. I always set the camera to overlay the digital photo on the thermal image. This setting is called MSX in Flir’s cameras and Hikmicro calls it Fusion. This process can be manipulated in software provided by the manufacturers. If not using the software, you’ll want to take the photo with this option selected in the camera’s settings menu.
The added details of the photo can help the thermographer and homeowner more easily identify the locations of problem areas in the image. In the example photos above, we know the problem areas are above the curtain, but this isn’t obvious without the digital photo overlay.
I use the iron (flir) or ironbow (Hicmicro) color palette; it shows the purples and blacks as cold areas and yellows and white as warm areas, which in my option, is easiest for a homeowner to understand.
The images above show the iron or ironbow palette compared to the rainbow palette. Whichever is chosen, you want to make sure the customer understands what the different colors mean.
When starting a thermal imaging scan, I show clients the handprint-on-the-wall trick. By placing my hand…
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