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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Infrared Cameras Can Help Save Your Missouri Business

1/10/2022 (Permalink)

In the disaster restoration industry, change is continual and technology keeps evolving. Due to this, water disaster restoration professionals have greatly improved their drying efforts. One of the most useful pieces of equipment to have found a place in the disaster restoration industry are thermal, or infrared cameras. But what exactly are they and how do they work?

The first infrared camera was built in 1929. They have since been used in all sorts of applications, ranging from:

  • targeting systems in military planes
  • search and rescue operations
  • building inspections
  • medical diagnostics
  • security purposes

But they’ve also become increasingly prevalent for use in finding moisture.

Understanding the Technology

The first thing to realize concerning thermal cameras is they’re not x-ray machines and can’t see through people or objects. But they also don’t operate like regular cameras. Regular cameras and the human eye both work on the same basic principle: visible light energy hits an object, bounces off it, a sensor receives the reflected light, which then turns it into an image.

Thermal imagers make pictures from heat, not visible light. Heat (also called infrared or thermal energy) and light are both parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, but a camera that can detect visible light won’t see thermal energy, and vice versa. Thermal cameras capture infrared energy and use the data to create images through digital or analog video outputs.

Because humans can’t see heat energy, infrared imaging equipment converts the picture into a false-color image, where different temperature ranges are represented by certain colors. Typically, dark colors such as black and blue represent cool surfaces, and bright colors like yellow, red and white signify warm and hot areas.

How Infrared Can Rescue Your Business From Disaster

How does that help water damage restoration professionals save your Missouri home or business? The variations in temperatures detected by Infrared cameras may signal moisture problems. For instance, when wallboard or other structural elements of a building are wet, evaporative cooling occurs. As a result, those areas appear cooler than dry components of the same material and produce telltale cool areas on thermal images. That moisture can be hard to impossible to perceive with the naked eye, but thermal cameras can easily find them.

So, thermal cameras are beneficial in water damage restoration because they:

  • Locate hidden moisture and leaks in your business’s walls or structure
  • Determine whether building materials are dry after a water or mold* remediation project
  • Determine the extent of water damage from flooding or plumbing accidents

One thing these cameras aren’t able to do is reveal percentages or points of moisture levels – in other words, they can’t tell you how wet something is. That’s information restoration professionals also need to know in their drying processes. So along with the thermal camera, they likewise use moisture meters to acquire that vital data.

When it comes to water damage, a quick and accurate diagnosis is essential to successful remediation. To kick-start the process, SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County includes thermal imaging as part of our comprehensive emergency response and remediation services to help ensure your property is dried thoroughly.

*While infrared cameras don’t specifically detect the presence of mold, they do provide mold inspectors the opportunity to find wet areas that are prime spots for mold infestation.

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