Mold Testing and Inspections San Diego
Facebook LinkedIn Twitter YouTube Google Plus Home

Emissivity: Misuse of Infrared Imaging for Detecting Moisture

Posted on: March 27th, 2014 by Peter Sierck No Comments

The Emissivity of a material is defined as the relative ability of its surface to emit energy by radiation. If three different materials such as the skin of a person, a wooden desk and a metal sheet that all have the same temperature will appear differently through infrared imaging. This is the reason for high mis-use of infrared imaging for detecting moisture in walls to determine the presence of mold growth. For example, there is a concern of possible mold growth inside a building’s walls and a hired professional uses infrared imaging solely. The infrared imager might show what looks to be moisture by the display of ‘cooler’ colors, but in reality cannot be definitive. There are too many variables that could lead to the misinterpretation; if the wall has metal inside, then that metal may reflect the temperature based on the time of the day being assessed. Instead, the most effective way to detect mold growth behind walls or beneath surfaces is by use of a moisture meter, which uses the conductivity of water ions to complete a circuit. Infrared imaging can still be used to determine temperature variations in building materials but should not be used as a sole method in moisture detection. The only thing worse than tearing down your wall to remediate mold is tearing down your wall and not finding any.




Leave a Reply

Find us on Google+

Questions? We're here to consult with you!
Please call us at 760-804-9400 or click here for a free consultation.