Need thermal inspection? Some helpful tips on choosing a resource

You’ve decided that it’s time to get a thermal inspection for that pesky flat roof or those “leaky” walls. So, now how do you decide which vendor is best? Here are some factors for you to consider.


1.      Thermal equipment

The range of thermal cameras in the market runs the gamut. The industry recommends employing radiometric cameras, which measures the temperature of a surface by interpreting the intensity of an infrared signal reaching the camera. Having radiometric functionality allows the operator to save the pictures for post-flight image analysis and accurately measure the temperatures of individual image pixels – the temperature data is captured in every pixel of an image, delivering quantifiable result with incredible accuracy.


Another consideration is the resolution. High-res infrared cameras can measure smaller targets from farther away and create sharper thermal images, both of which add up to more precise and reliable measurements. Providing more accurate quantitative results, higher resolution thermal imaging can be very effective in showing findings in finer detail to repair crews and insurance companies which can help move along the decision-making process for improvements and repairs.



2.      Certified thermography

Training is key, if you want to ensure that your inspection captured accurate results. At Drone Engineering Services, we are proud to state that our team has been trained with the Infrared Training Center (ITC) – the “gold-standard” qualification within the thermography industry. With the ITC certification, our thermographers can:

·        Operate an infrared camera

·        Collect quality data

·        Produce professional infrared inspection reports

·        Understand the techniques and limitations of infrared thermography for specific applications


As we addressed in a previous blog, the concept of thermography is easy to understand – essentially, thermal cameras record and show the heat discrepancy of the objects in the image. The trouble spots are glaringly apparent. Yet, ensuring that you get valid results depends on having correctly calibrated equipment and knowing the nuances of this science.



3.      To drone or not to drone …

Thermography inspection companies offer services that may or may not fit your needs … and based on the above, you’ve narrowed it down to only those with certifications (no need to risk getting a bad report from a lightweight vendor, right?).


The question then becomes – should the thermal images be gathered with handhelds or drones? Good news – that’s a relatively easy one to answer! The deciding factors are:


Exterior/façade/roof … Use a drone


Here’s why. A drone gets the job done by taking images at strategic angles and locations that cover the area and provide results. The drone pilot and observer stand on the ground, controlling and monitoring the drone. There is no need to have someone roaming around the roof, waving their device across narrow swaths of areas. And why have someone on an articulating lift or repelling along the side of the building? These options usually require a bigger crew.


There is a better way! Using a drone gets the job done quicker and at a significantly lower fee – less manpower and less time equals cost savings.


If you are searching for the source of your problems in the interior of a building, then handhelds are best. Unless the structure is a large warehouse with few interior walls, drones are just too cumbersome to effecti444vely fly inside a building.


These tips should help you make a more informed decision when purchasing thermal services, thereby ensuring that you get the best data and value.