The thermal imaging camera detects the infrared energy emitted by all surfaces, converts this into temperature and lays the colour coded distribution of the values into a frame – also overlaid onto a digital image.
The most useful applications of thermography in existing buildings are:
- To determine positions of concealed structural arrangements (timber frame behind a render or joists above a ceiling for example),
- To record distribution of heat variation for environmental studies.
The evaporation of water from a surface will produce a cooling effect which can be detected by infrared analysis. As such, a thermal imaging camera can ‘occasionally’ be useful in the diagnosis of damp.