When your house is being assessed for damage after an accident, much of it is obvious on sight. Some damage, though, is hidden and may only start causing problems long after your claim is settled, such as water damage in walls, or wet insulation. The only way to find these by conventional means is often quite destructive in itself.
Thermography is a non-invasive technique that allows many hidden defects to be found before they become problems — not to mention before your insurance claim goes through.
What Is Thermography?
Thermography is a type of infra-red imaging that allows a very accurate picture to be built up on the basis of slight differences in heat. Its uses range from medical diagnosis to military surveillance, but it’s increasingly used in the construction industry, and by extension for assessing insurance claims.
Infra-red, the energy beyond the visible spectrum that’s experienced as heat, is emitted by all objects, the strength varying according to temperature. The precise frequency also varies for different substances, in much the same way that visible light shows things as different colours.
This makes it possible to build up a detailed image of the fluctuations in heat, either directly viewed or recorded as a photo, which can reveal otherwise unseen faults.
What Can Thermography Detect?
The list is extensive, but the main uses include:
- Energy loss — thermography can identify places, such as doors and windows, that allow heat or energy to escape, which will be adding to your bills.
- Refrigerant leaks — these are hard to detect, but thermography can allow them to be found and sealed.
- Electrical hot spots — identifying places where electrical components may be damaged or about to fail.
- Insulation problems — thermography can identify insulation that’s wet or missing, either of which is both a hazard and a waste of energy.
- Detecting water damage in walls or moisture and mould — these issues can spread unseen to the point where dealing with them is expensive (and may not be covered by your insurance at that point).
- Locating underfloor heating pipes — without having to tear up the entire floor to find them.
- Businesses utilising machinery and equipment – thermography can detect faulty parts, such as bearings or loose connections, without having to dismantle the equipment. This can avoid lengthy breakdowns, which would lead to costly downtime, by taking preventative action.
Will Thermography Have Any Effect on the Property?
Though some kinds of thermography (to create night vision, for instance) involve sending out infra-red illumination before making the scan, the type used in assessing damage is an entirely non-invasive process that will have no more impact than taking a photograph. But it can save you a great deal more money than any photo.
Contact Allied Claims to find out how thermography could help you.