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Blog #034 – Your THERMOGRAPHY COMFORT LEVEL – Water condensation – a temperature related phenomenon

As we have discussed, your thermal imaging camera is not a “moisture meter”.  We use the infrared camera to locate “areas of investigation”.  However, there is a condition where the infrared camera can possibly point to moisture issues.  I’m talking about condensation.  Condensation is a temperature related phenomenon.  This type of moisture issue occurs as  a result of a surface that drops below the dew point.  The dew point is a temperature at which water condenses on a surface and since radiometric IR cameras read surface temperatures it will help you locate moisture that is a result of condensation.  That being said, the identification of condensation hinges on the accuracy of the IR camera read out and the dew point found on your thermohygrometer.

The method used in the following example requires the ability to adjust your span bar and level in the camera.  I used the Fluke Ti32 thermal imager and the Fluke 971 thermal hygrometer.   The thermal hygrometer gave me a dew point reading of 43.0°F.  I’m going to use the “saturated” color in the gray scale palette, which is bright blue.  In other words, everything below the bottom of the span bar will be bright blue.  Using the gray scale palette I set the bottom of the span bar to 43.0°F.  By setting the bottom of the span bar to 43.0°F any surface that is below that temperature will show up in a bright blue against the gray background.

Taken with Fluke Ti32.  Blue saturated color highlights condensation issues.

Taken with Fluke Ti32. Blue saturated color highlights condensation issues.

In the next example I used the color alarm feature in the Fluke SmartView software to highlight only areas that were below the dew point of 64.0°F.

Taken with Fluke IR Fusion infrared camera.

Taken with Fluke IR Fusion infrared camera.

How’s your comfort level in thermography?
(The above comments represent my opinion).

Rod Hoff / Restoration Consultants Inc
Thermography Instructor / IR camera sales
3284 Ramos Circle, Sacramento CA 95827
toll free 888-617-3266 ext 301
fax 916-736-1134

Provider of Fluke TiS, TiR, TiR1, Ti, Ti25, TiR27, Ti27, TiR29, Ti29, TiR32, Ti32, TiR3, and TiR4 infrared cameras.


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About infrarod

Rod Hoff is a Thermographer and instructor with Restoration Consultants, Inc. He teaches a two-day IR class in moisture and building envelope investigations. A graduate from Florida State University, with a degree in education, he received his formal training in Thermography from Snell Infrared and Restoration Consultants, Inc.

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