Thermal Imaging - Using Different Palettes Can Lend More Information

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723
https://activerain.com/droplet/4tnV

When doing reports for thermal imaging - using different palettes can lend more information.

A palette is defined as the board which an artist uses to lay and mix colors.  Thermal imaging programs come with a variety of color palettes which a thermographer can choose from.

When doing thermal imaging reports, I like to use the palette that demonstrates warmer temperatures with orange and yellow and cooler temperatures with lavender, blue and purple.

To me this palette seems logical, as it would to the recipient of the report who has little experience with thermal imaging technology.

For instance, a client calls to say that a room is particularly cold.

When doing a thermal image sweep of the room and you see this pattern all along a high, large, exterior wall, and can show them that the purple spots are 38 degrees Fahrenheit and the orange 69F, the image gives a pretty good indication that the insulation has slipped inside the wall.

It is hard to argue that part of the wall is warm and part is cool because the insulation is not slipping or poorly placed.

When on a one-year warranty inspection and a client has this image (along with others) to show to a builder, the builder knows exactly what the problem is.  This palette is logical, and all understand.

However, when looking at the siding on the outside of a condo building, where there are also general complaints of cold rooms, without even going inside it is possible to see heat loss.

In this case the palette on the far right is understandable.  The warm areas are evident.

But look how the red/green palette lends more information!  It looks as if the heat is dripping out and downward from between the siding strips.  That is an insulation problem!

While first introduced to thermal imaging, the red/green palette may not be so logical, or understandable, but when coupled with the other image it becomes very instructive.

Surprisingly, the black/white palette is very good to use with water leaks.

This leak is very easy to see, in each palette.

But some are not.  The black/white palette is very revealing for smaller leaks, or to find trails.

A friend of mine, who is one of the original thermographers in the country, and now runs a training institute, says that it is his opinion that the black/white palette is the best to use for water leak discovery.  And particularly with windows!

I use this palette all the time when doing my research and report compilation.  But it isn't very sexy to give black and white images to clients on their reports!  So I stick to the more colorful palette.

And of course, everyone knows how well ghosts can be shown in thermal images.  I saw this guy sitting on a roof right behind me, holding his hands out asking for ghost treats.  He was reflected in the window.  You can almost look into his head through those dark, empty eyes!  Let this be a lesson to all to paint their front porch ceilings haint blue!*

My recommendation:  thermal imaging is a great way to "see" things inside and outside the house!  Heat loss, water leaks, air infiltration, electrical issues, equipment performance, even equine injuries - there are a variety contexts that thermal imaging excels.  My thermal camera, Mighty Mo, is the sharpest arrow in my quiver.  And certainly, for my business, a Best Practice.  And remember, all thermographers are really cute.

* Okay, that's Virginia folklore people!  If you Google "haint"  you get 361,000 hits!

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lenn Harley 01/28/2014 08:26 PM
Topic:
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Location:
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Tags:
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Ambassador
2,758,520
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Good morning, Jay. I really find that thermal imaging is a very interesting process. It sure lends itself to a lot more ways to discover problems.

Jan 28, 2014 06:25 PM #1
Rainmaker
1,843,715
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Discover and identify where Michael.  Sometimes roof leaks aren't where they manifest on the ceiling.

Jan 28, 2014 06:27 PM #2
Ambassador
2,758,520
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 That is so true. They are also good for finding leaks around windows. Not to mention the myriad of other things.  I hope you stay warm today. It is brutal here.

Jan 28, 2014 06:29 PM #3
Rainmaker
1,843,715
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

So said in the post Michael.  It is 11F right now, and supposedly going to 4F tonight.  We had an inch of snow overnight too, and, of course, the news reminds us that it might be slippery.  You think?

Jan 28, 2014 06:34 PM #4
Rainmaker
2,666,854
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Yes, Mighty Mo has many uses and that's great that you can play around with the color palette pending the need. It can make a big difference.

Jan 28, 2014 07:37 PM #5
Rainmaker
694,615
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Jay,

The Thermal imaging process when inspecting is the rage of the age I don't think will fade any time soon. I just need more clients wanting the service.

It was only 11 degrees F here in Carlsbad when I got up this morning. Colder than all get out.

Have a good day in Bristow.

Best, Clint McKie

 

Jan 28, 2014 08:22 PM #6
Rainmaker
3,797,811
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Jay,

I just read Lenn's re-blog on this post. I agree with Lenn buyers and agents do feel empowered when they can see through walls! Best explanation I've read on how Thermal Imagin works!

Jan 28, 2014 08:39 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,843,715
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I do so at times to be instructive Debbie.

Clint - it has been around longer than most people realize.  I don't know if it's a rage yet.  People certainly don't have it come to mind when they have a leak or a cold room.  When people google "cold room" thermal imaging info comes up.  Around here, that's me!

It really sees thermal differences Dorie.  As such, it can determine a specific densities and temperatures, which lends the appearance that it sees inside things.  But it really doesn't.

Jan 28, 2014 08:48 PM #8
Rainmaker
1,251,856
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning Jay,

Thank you for the tips.

Make yourself a great day.

Jan 28, 2014 09:42 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,843,715
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

You're welcome as always Raymond.  You too...

Jan 28, 2014 09:45 PM #10
Rainer
78,096
Bill Saunders, Realtor®
Meyers Realty - Hot Springs, AR
www.BillSellsHotSprings.com

Good morning, Jay.

Thermal Imaging is an awesome tool. The inspectors that I favor let me "play" with their camera on one inspection. I have to admit that it was a tad embarrassing when they had to come find me in the house to get it back for their work. Such an amazing tool.

Jan 28, 2014 09:54 PM #11
Rainer
78,096
Bill Saunders, Realtor®
Meyers Realty - Hot Springs, AR
www.BillSellsHotSprings.com

But no ghosts....

Jan 28, 2014 09:54 PM #12
Rainer
355,882
Tom White
Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

Jay, thanks for the brief tutorial on the coolest (and hottest) arrow in your quiver! I love what these things can do.

Jan 28, 2014 09:57 PM #13
Rainmaker
2,704,764
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Hello Jay,

As cold as it was overnight here in Dallas, I think the imaging would be blue all over as I believe my house froze!  LOL

Jan 28, 2014 11:36 PM #14
Rainmaker
1,843,715
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It can be fun Bill, but it's a serious tool.

And the ghosts are fun!

Small, but hopefully useful Tom.  Thanks.

We got down to 9F last night Lisa and they say below 5F tonight perhaps.

Jan 29, 2014 07:52 AM #15
Rainmaker
430,656
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Jay, thanks for the education. I do not know how many inspectors around here use them but I intend to find out.

Jan 29, 2014 10:22 AM #16
Rainmaker
1,843,715
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Well, hopefully there are some Tom.  They are great tools, for sure.

Jan 29, 2014 10:39 AM #17
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Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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