I've heard arguments for and against it. I've never seen one done, have seen the devices at a trade show. I like what I've seen, trying to get some thoughts from someone who conducts inspections or has had one done for them.
The arguments I've heard against it is that you can adjust the sensitivity of the tool to show "some type" of problem or make a minor problem appear severe.
Very common in diagnosing the insulation of flat roofing. If the insulation is wet it should be replaced.. and determines the general area of a leak. If the insulation is wet it will show as a bright color in the scan.
Thunder, You have piqued my interest and as I woke up in 'slowmode', I decided to do some investigating. What I found is way kewl and something that even an old guy (me) could do.
I placed a call to FLIR and will get back to you when they return my call.
Do you have any other manufacturers names or sites? I recognized FLIR from the military.
Thunder, I spoke with Mr. Louh at FLIR. In answer to your last question, the answer is yes they can be adjusted to do about anything that you want them to do including scaring a customer into uneeded repairs.
I figured that they would be pricey and they are. They recommended a B1 model (B is for building) that sells for a mere $10K, If you want something a little more versitile the E4 is a steal at $20K.
I think that I would ensure that there is a market prior to spending that kind of money.
I visited the FLIR booth at an expo. a few months ago and also talked to a preventive maintenance company that uses infrared. They told me you can rent a hand held for $750 a week and that they charge $750 for a 1 day evaluation and report. I'm not sure about software costs.
It appears this type of non-intrusive testing is becoming popular and they are constantly finding new uses for it.
I found an article about a thermographer who was offering it as an inspection service for boat buyers.
there is definetly a market for ir scans in the commercial roofing industry. The IR scan has been part of every scope of work I have seen on commercial or large scale flat roofs when a tear off wasn't involved.
A sub priced a scan for me at $5,000 for 700 squares of roofing. I'd say the tool pays for it's self after a few scans.
There are other ways to "see" under the roof such as nuclear scans but I know nothing about these technologies.
I have a friend who does infrared scans. You guys are about right on pricing around here too. He does them at night, when the airs has cooled off. Very cool color printouts of the wet insulation areas. I used to have to take cuts every 10 sqs, sometimes more often, in the old days when I did flat industrial in LA. We had a 2 prong moisture meter that also worked (sometimes). I hated spending all day cutting and repairing the cuts. The new infrared cameras are great.
I guess that I should have said that the E4 model (E meaining electrical) will show wiring heating as well as mechanical friction in drive couplings and bearings. A body could make a decent living at this.
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