Can you afford not to have this added benefit ? Not in our Opinion. It is simply amazing the frequency that faults such as leaks, that would otherwise have gone undetected visually are readily observed thermally, even in new buildings or units in multistorey structures. By using Thermal Imaging we can often observe concealed building faults, concealed termite damage, points of condensation that inturn indicate decay or potential for mould growth and poor structural framing that would otherwise not be possible by normal human vision. Having used thermal imaging since 1978, constantly in buildings since 1995, we believe that Steve Koelewyn has developed a much broader knowledge of a buildings environment simply by the frequency of use and the experience gained by using the thermal technology for a long time.AUSINSPECT has replaced the aged Inframetrics 600 thermal camera purchased in April 1995 with a new E series, Flir THERMAcam purchased July 2002. Again Ausinspect purchases a new Flir Thermal Camera in February 2008, Ausinspect is committed to keeping thermal equipment up to date.
AUSINSPECT has been continually aiming to provide Thermal Imaging in day to day inspections, this was not previously possible with the first thermal camera purchased as it was bulky with three pieces of equipment and therefore it was extremely difficult to take it into areas like roof voids, sub floors and around many buildings. The first camera was primarily used for specialist inspections and our own R&D.
Our new camera is compact and has the ease of use that makes it a convenient tool for our day to day inspections.
AUSINSPECT now carries a thermal camera for thermal scan to all Pre-Purchase Inspections.
A thermal camera is only an inspection tool, like all tools there are limitations and there are advantages, a thermal camera is not a magic wand and will not expose all defects and/or all termite workings but combined with other inspection techniques & inspection tools will provide a broader, more comprehensive assessment of the condition of the inspected item/s.
Human vision detects a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum, a thermal camera provides additional vision within the infrared spectrum therefore broadening the vision of objects viewed. In simple terms a thermal camera will visualise the variations in thermal temperature of objects observed.
In the past we have been reluctant to provide thermal imaging services for the detection of termite infestations and/or termite damage in buildings for the simple reason that it is successful in detection of termites where the termite activity and/or damage is extensive but it will not necessarily detect small termite mud trails or limited termite workings. I have always claimed that the thermal camera is a valuable tool in termite detection but is absolutely useless unless other inspection tools and techniques are used in combination with this tool.
Due to the fact that the thermal camera has enormous advantages in some situations we have endeavoured to make it possible to add thermal imaging to the majority of inspections carried out by AUSINSPECT
Thermal imaging assists in detecting many items that may be of concern that are concealed by wall linings, these include termite damage or termite sub-nests, moisture damage and many other building issues. Although the thermal imaging may have indicated a possible problem, further investigation is often needed to determine the possible causes of the area of concern, if a termites sub-nest is located then the combination of a moisture meter + Term-a-Trac + hearing devices + borescopes + fibre-optics + CCTV are commonly used to determine concealed termite activity etc'. Some of these tools can only be used while performing a more invasive inspection rather than the non-destructive inspection carried out in a pre-purchase situation.
We wish to emphasise the fact that thermal imaging is not a stand alone tool used for the detection of termites as has been the conception provided to the general public by some other companies - thermal imaging when used with the expertise gained from years of termite, inspection and building experience by the operator, together with other advance technology tools, will provide valuable information that can not be gained in any other manner. Therefore it is prudent to have a property scanned with a thermal imaging camera.
Stephen Koelewyn carries the thermal imaging camera on his belt during all inspections and therefore has the camera handy at all times. Due to the ease of use and short start up time the camera can be used instantly when needed.
We endeavour to provide our clients with the most advanced technology available when we become aware of it and/or when we can afford to do so while maintaining a competitive price structure for the services we provide.
Picture above shows damp spots in ceiling and wall linings due to leaking around screw hole of metal skillion roofing above - the location of the leak could not have been identified by other means without removing or damaging linings.
Thermal inconsistencies to base of wall in brick veneered dwelling caused by overflowing guttering above, the moisture in this area could attract termite damage, the moisture to wall cavities has potential to provide conditions for toxic moulds and other bacteria to multiply, moulds and bacteria could present a health hazard.
Thermal inconsistencies to flooring that has been exposed to localised flooding.
Thermal inconsistencies observed to raked ceiling under metal skillion roofing can be observed thermally, this image clearly indicates moisture pooling as a result of excessive condensation to the underside of the metal roofing as a result of high humidity levels that have multiplied over time within this section of the dwelling, moisture of this type in this type of roofing detail often attracts termites and/or causes decay to concealed timbers.
Thermal inconsistencies are indicative of the moisture passage down wall cavities where blocked downpipes have caused moisture to overflow from guttering into the wall cavities of the dwelling, the repetitive exposure to this type of moisture egress after periods of heavy rainfall will likely cause significant structural damage and damage to exposed building materials over time, the source of this type of moisture would not have been able to have been readily determined under conventional methods of inspection or by visual inspection, simple alterations to the guttering and downpipe details of this property will minimise the risk of sick building syndrome and/or termite damage and/or concealed decay.
Thermal imaging identifies condensation to masonry wall above door opening, to the southern side of the dwelling, this condensation in this localised area caused mould growth to surfaces, a small alteration to this detail will minimise the accumulation of humidity and subsequent condensation, once the moisture source has been resolved the conditions for mould multiplication will no longer exist.
Thermal inconsistencies reveal moisture pentration through the interface of a metal skillion roof and the external upper level wall of the double storey dwelling, the source of the moisture egress can be accurately identified and appropriate repairs carried out, the cost of repairs were reduced significantly due to the accurate identification of the moisture source.
Condensation over the top plate of the wall under low side of a skillion roof can be clearly viewed thermally, this condensation provides ideal conditions to attract termites. It is common for termite damage to be found in the wall under the low side of skillion roofs, this type of termite damage is more often than not directly related to condensation forming to the underside of metal roofing.
Timber framing can be viewed thermally, the temperatures within a dwelling will often influence the clarity of a thermal image with regard to the likes of timber framing as the thermal camera brings into a visual image differences in surface heat, if all surfaces are could or of a similar temperature no differences will be observed.
Thermal inconsistencies observed over the header of a window raise concern of potential concealed termite damage, this area had no other indicator identifying a concealed fault.
Leaks to bathroom of upper level could be viewed thermally from within the lower level below the bathroom, as the moisture had not caused surface stains and the area of the cornice is not readily accessible for testing with moisture meter, these faults would have gone undetected had thermal technology not been used.
Leaks over ceiling due to damage hip mortar to tiled roof as observed thermally.
Thermal inconsistencies raise concern of concealed termite damage to a wall frame, we carried out further invasive inspection in this location based on this information to expose the wall frame, the invasive inspection revealed extensive termite damage. No higher than normal moisture readings or any other indicators of possible concealed termite damage were observed at the time of the inspection, without thermal technology this termite activity would have gone undetected.
Significant leaks observed thermally to ceiling of lower level in a double storey dwelling, no bathroom or other wet area was located above this detail, further invasive inspection revealed a separated joint in a plastic drain pipe running over this ceiling area.
Thermal image reveals a thermal inconsistency in the middle of a wall within a brick veneered dwelling, this area would not have been observed had it not been for the use of thermal imaging, this particular house had significant termite damage to the majority of the timber framing and had been treated some years ago, the reinfestation of active termites would have gone completely undetected had it not been for the use of the thermal imaging camera at the time of the inspection.
To order an Inspection please print a Pre Inspection Agreement form and fax it to our office or, preferably, fill in the electronic form & submit online.
I would love to hear from you. Call Steve
Telephone: - 0418 274 099
63 Tivoli Esplanade, COMO 2226
No longer a Member of AEPMA Association or Institute of Building Consultants
This site has been designed & created by Stephen Koelewyn
AUSINSPECT is well equipped to carry out specialised building works, termite treatments, termite nest location, termite nest eradication, effective repairs to buildings and property maintenance. We own our own machinery and truck for efficient, cost effective undertaking of works, our specialty is the repair of termite damaged and decayed structures.