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.
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.