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Is using a thermal camera an effective method to locate mold & moisture

Is using a thermal camera an effective method to locate mold & moisture


  #1  
Old 09-30-14, 09:22 PM
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Is using a thermal camera an effective method to locate mold & moisture

My basement is finished and there are signs that I have leaks or some mold behind the finished walls.
The smell is not very strong but I can feel it for the first few seconds when I enter the basement, after that it instantly disappears in the sense that I can not smell it anymore.

I am planning to rent a infrared thermal camera to see if this can help with locating the problem.
Is such a camera effective in these situations ?


PS: I have also seen some DIY or consumer grade cameras which can be attached to an android phone in order to get the infrared picture. Has anyone tested these ? Any links to what you tested would be much appreciated

I am planning to rent one of these: http://www.thermalcamerarentals.com/rental-cameras.html

Or I could buy this http://obtain.thermal.com/product-p/uw-aaa.htm
 
  #2  
Old 10-01-14, 02:17 AM
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Never tried the low cost ones, but comments from one energy auditor who tried one was, "toy". Yes it will see IR, but very low resolution and at least for what we need as auditors not useable.

As for seeing the moisture, the problem with a basement wall is the entire wall will be cool. IR cameras only see temperatures and moisture shows up because the evaporation cools that specific area. If you rent one, crank up the basement heat to increase the distinction between warm and cool spots. The FLIR cameras shown from that link are excellent and very sensitive.

While you have the camera, you might as well inspect the rest of the house. Turn on all exhaust appliances if it is cold out and search for that cold air leaking in. Basement rim joist is always a good place to check. Then warm up the house with those exhaust fans off or add a window fan blowing in (heat on), and inspect the attic. You will be looking for hot spots in the attic.

There is an earlier thread, 6 months or so, where the poster rented a camera and inspected the entire house.

Bud
 
  #3  
Old 10-01-14, 04:02 AM
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Excellent suggestion to warm up the room before using the camera.
The screen resolution of this camera that I am talking about is better than the resolution of the FIR camera. See this in depth review
The heat sensitivity is where this consumer camera is left behind. I guess this is because of the sensor used to build it.
Now, the point would be to localize the problems because I am trying to avoid ripping off the walls of rooms which have no problems or ripping off the drywall for walls that have no problems.
I expect that by using an USB HD inspection camera, with very good reviews on Amazon, to be able to verify the results obtained with the thermal camera.
 
 

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