When doing reports for thermal imaging - using different palettes can lend more information.
A palette is defined as the board which an artist uses to lay and mix colors. Thermal imaging programs come with a variety of color palettes which a thermographer can choose from.
When doing thermal imaging reports, I like to use the palette that demonstrates warmer temperatures with orange and yellow and cooler temperatures with lavender, blue and purple.
To me this palette seems logical, as it would to the recipient of the report who has little experience with thermal imaging technology.
For instance, a client calls to say that a room is particularly cold.
When doing a thermal image sweep of the room and you see this pattern all along a high, large, exterior wall, and can show them that the purple spots are 38 degrees Fahrenheit and the orange 69F, the image gives a pretty good indication that the insulation has slipped inside the wall.
It is hard to argue that part of the wall is warm and part is cool because the insulation is not slipping or poorly placed.
When on a one-year warranty inspection and a client has this image (along with others) to show to a builder, the builder knows exactly what the problem is. This palette is logical, and all understand.
However, when looking at the siding on the outside of a condo building, where there are also general complaints of cold rooms, without even going inside it is possible to see heat loss.
In this case the palette on the far right is understandable. The warm areas are evident.
But look how the red/green palette lends more information! It looks as if the heat is dripping out and downward from between the siding strips. That is an insulation problem!
While first introduced to thermal imaging, the red/green palette may not be so logical, or understandable, but when coupled with the other image it becomes very instructive.
Surprisingly, the black/white palette is very good to use with water leaks.
This leak is very easy to see, in each palette.
But some are not. The black/white palette is very revealing for smaller leaks, or to find trails.
A friend of mine, who is one of the original thermographers in the country, and now runs a training institute, says that it is his opinion that the black/white palette is the best to use for water leak discovery. And particularly with windows!
I use this palette all the time when doing my research and report compilation. But it isn't very sexy to give black and white images to clients on their reports! So I stick to the more colorful palette.
And of course, everyone knows how well ghosts can be shown in thermal images. I saw this guy sitting on a roof right behind me, holding his hands out asking for ghost treats. He was reflected in the window. You can almost look into his head through those dark, empty eyes! Let this be a lesson to all to paint their front porch ceilings haint blue!*
My recommendation: thermal imaging is a great way to "see" things inside and outside the house! Heat loss, water leaks, air infiltration, electrical issues, equipment performance, even equine injuries - there are a variety contexts that thermal imaging excels. My thermal camera, Mighty Mo, is the sharpest arrow in my quiver. And certainly, for my business, a Best Practice. And remember, all thermographers are really cute.
* Okay, that's Virginia folklore people! If you Google "haint" you get 361,000 hits!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560