A New Dimension in Inspections

Q; "I've heard that Infrared Cameras can see through walls. Is this true?
A;  Not really!  Because of the display that an Infrared produces, it will often reveal some internal components of the building like wall studs that are not visible to the naked eye.  Due to the phenomena called"thermal bridging" that is happening the studs create a cooler area on the back of the wall covering (drywall or plaster) that makes the picture look like it is seeing through the wall.  It is only detecting the thermal difference on the surface of the wall.

Q; Can Thermal Infrared find steel bars or cables in my concrete slab?

A; Under most conditions, NO!  There needs to be a "thermal differential" (difference in temperature) for something to show up in a thermal scan.  There are special circumstances where this can be created artificially but there are better ways to do this than with Thermal Infrared such as using X-Ray.

Q; Why should I choose Thermal Infrared Scanning over other methods?

A; In a word - Speed.  Thermal Infrared Imaging or Scanning is very fast.  Example: To find moisture intrusion the normal way, an inspector would do a "visual" inspection and use a moisture meter to confirm or eliminate the presence of moisture.  Problem; Moisture DOES NOT ALWAYS PRESENT VISIBLE SIGNS so some areas could be missed. The normal way is slow. Running a moisture meter over all the walls, floors & ceilings takes a long time to cover the areas completely.  On the other hand, a Thermographer with a camera can cover the entire house, walls, ceilings & floors very quickly, often covering the entire house in an hour or less!  Plus, the operator can spot areas of moisture intrusion that have not become visible to the naked eye but WILL show up on a Thermal scan.
Q; I have a concrete block wall building. Can infrared Scanning determine if it is built properly?

A; Yes, due to a phenomena called "Thermal Capacitance" the cells in the block that should have grout in them but do not for some reason, will display a distinctive pattern. This eliminates the need for destructive investigation. Only the un-grouted areas need to be opened for repairs.

Q; How does Infrared work for finding flat roof leaks?
A; "Thermal Capacitance" is at play here too. It is sort of like thermal inertia. Heat always moves toward cold. Wet materials will hold the heat of the day much longer than the dry portions of  the roof.  Roof scans are done during the early evening hours, typically 1 to 2 hours after sunset on a clear night. Since the night sky offers a very strong "cold", the roof starts to give up its heat to the cold night sky.  Those areas that are saturated will hold the heat longer and show up on a thermal scan.
Q; You mentioned somewhere that you can find bees.  How is this possible?
A; A colony or hive of bees will often take up residence in the cavity between the studs on exterior wall. It only takes a very tiny gap or hole for them to gain entrance.  This is an ideal environment for them. it is a safe and dry location.  Once a scout bee, on the hunt for a new hive location locates a likely spot it will communicate this to the other bees in an existing hive.  They will begin to migrate to this new location and start constructing a new home. 
When a hive is established, the large mass of bees actually produce a significant amount of heat.  This "heat signature" is detectable by an infrared camera.  I have actually discovered a beehive inside and exterior wall when the owner had no idea that this was occurring. Upon further investigation it was discovered that the entire 14 inch wide, 4 inch deep stud space, from top to bottom contained a beehive, complete with a lot of honeycomb and honey!