Thermal Imaging


Thermal cameras use non-intrusive imaging to detect heat sources, which give off infrared energy. In much the same way that a regular camera uses natural or visible light to capture an image, a thermal camera uses increased sensitivity to pick up invisible wavelengths of light. The thermal camera then converts these invisible wavelengths into a visual image.
How do thermal cameras help detect building pests?

The Vital team of qualified and experience building and pest inspectors is skilled in the art of using thermal imaging to quickly and easily detect the presence of insect and rodent nests in walls and other hidden or relatively inaccessible areas of a building.

When insects and rodents make a nest within a wall cavity, their continued presence and activity generates heat within the nest, which causes the external surface of the wall to warm up and emit infrared radiation. Our thermal camera technology allows our building and pest inspectors to detect temperature differences on the surfaces of building walls, which can indicate the presence of a nest behind the wall.

Thermal imaging also allows our practiced inspectors to identify irregular heat patterns that may indicate the presence of moisture or other kinds of damage that may signal the presence of pests or identify their entry point. 

For example, mice or rats may chew holes in walls or insulation, allowing cold air and moisture from outside the building to enter the wall cavity; termites construct mud tube tunnels within walls, floors, and ceilings, which retain a high moisture content. In both these instances a sensitive thermal camera and practiced technician may be able to detect these subtle irregularities in expected heat patterns. Where there is evidence of pest activity, and it is suspected there may be nests or damage hidden within walls, floors, ceilings or other hidden or hard to access areas of a building, we can use thermal imaging technology to confirm the presence of pests and pinpoint their location. The accuracy with which thermal imaging can detect the presence of pests and their nests enables targeted action and minimises the amount of disruption required to eradicate them. Minimal disruption is particularly important when dealing with termites, as they tend to disperse when nests are disturbed, which can actually cause the pests to spread and make them harder to eradicate.

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Pre-Purchase Building Inspections from Vital How do thermal cameras help detect structural defects?

Thermal cameras are able to assist in the detection of heat loss, moisture, lack of airtightness, faulty thermal insulation, heat bridges and structural damage.

Thermal imaging may be able to pinpoint the origin of water leakage or the location of damage to plumbing pipes, if there are suspected issues with ruptured pipes that are otherwise inaccessible.

Thermal cameras are also able to identify heat and moisture patterns that may indicate problems with:

  • Rising damp, caused by blocked drains and insufficient seepage
  • Penetrating water, from improperly installed or leaking roofing or guttering
  • Thermal bridges, which may result in the formation of condensation that can lead to mould formation
imaging technology

Our inspectors use a Testo 868 Thermal Imager, which boasts the best thermal image quality in its class, with excellent resolution and over 19,000 temperature measuring points for incredibly precise thermography.

The Testo 868 thermal imager automatically detects hot and cold spots and allows the user to visualise a temperature difference of 0.10 degree Celsius. The integrated digital camera displays the real image next to the thermal image, to make it easier to locate the focal point or position of the lens. An instantaneous field of view (IFOV) warner calculates the distance from the thermal imager to the precise spot being measured, and shows the spot on the thermal image, helping to avoid measurement errors.

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