Commissioning an infrared thermographic (IRT) survey is easy. We tell you here what you can expect during the survey process so that you have a stress-free IRT survey.
Reasons for commissioning an IRT survey
We have already pointed to a few strategic reasons why you would commission an infrared survey. We have been providing infrared services to the construction professional sector in the UK for 15 years and the reasons are wide and varied but can be distilled down into 3 main headings.
- You have a problem and nothing else seems to be helping resolve it.
- You are not sure if you have a problem and want an expert opinion.
- You definitely have building issues and no-one can agree who is to blame.
More often than not you are seeking a reactive survey to a problem which manifests itself in a new building or refurbishment project. IRT surveys is often called upon as a “silver bullet” solution.
Managing your expectations as a client is part of what’s involved in the process. Most of our clients have little technological knowledge of IRT. They rightly rely on us to know what we are doing and wrongly do sometimes ask impossible things. No, we cannot find a leak on a roof from a satellite in space. You need a thermal imaging camera mounted on a drone and a thermographer for that.
The technology has its limitations. But you will be blown away by just how useful a tool IRT is for the maintenance of your site. Here are the 4 common expectations from our clients that we systematically need to address if we want you to have a stress-free IRT survey.
'My thermal pictures will be really sharp.'
We have already discussed the technology and science behind IRT. Today’s cameras are digital, radiometric (every pixel has a value), portable, un-cooled and affordable. They fit in our pocket and can be bought for less than £500. That alone is great news for us all.
Don't expect great resolution as this is still way behind that of your average smartphone though, but that will change. Fast forward 10 years and they will be embedded in every smart phone.
We use FLIR cameras with a minimum resolution of 320x240px specific for building surveys. These ensure that images taken are clear and focussed.
'The survey will be conducted as soon as I submit the purchase order'.
How do we take an image properly, i.e. an image you can rely upon to make an investment-grade decision?
Once you have established your need to get a survey done and contacted us to describe your problem to one of our team members, you decide to proceed. Your deadline will be our major hurdle.
The weather is the biggest challenge we have. We need the right conditions to carry out a successful survey. No point promising you that it will be on your desk tomorrow if it is raining today and is too windy the next day. We need cool, dark, dry evenings to take thermal images. This means that you will have to wait until the weather conditions are correct.
'You can come and survey at anytime.'
The shape and height of your buildings are not a problem: with our fleet of drones we can survey flat roofs quickly and efficiently. We even take care of the civil aviation and insurance bureaucracy.
Access to your premises may be a problem though. We need to be able to see the entire fabric externally, internally, in daytime and again at night time. Sometimes special entry permission are required as invariably there will be out-of-hours access required. You need to make sure that security personnel has been informed, that someone is available to open and close the doors, that required authorisation has been given and recorded. We can't enter premises without this, and will have to come back if we can't get access, hence delaying the survey and the reporting.
'I'll get the report the day after the survey is done.'
Once thermal images of your building have been captured, depending on the size of your project, there is in general up to 5 days worth of skillful analysis to be conducted. We don't take this lightly and do make recommendations based on the findings so that you can target repairs or refurbishment. This is what your infrared survey report is here to deliver: visual results and impartial advice so that you can make informed decisions.
Managing your expectations for a stress-free IRT survey report
With trouble-free access, the right weather and up-to-date equipment, we stand an excellent chance of successfully meeting your objectives. If you are contemplating stripping off a flat roof on the advice of your flat roof leak survey report you are paying for, you best make sure you can trust the company providing that advice.
Used properly, IRT is an amazing technology which can save you thousands of pounds on your maintenance budget. By knowing what makes a valuable survey and its subsequent report, you are guaranteed a stress-free IRT survey experience.
Are you looking to refurbish your buildings and don't know where to start? We will be happy to advise you. Please contact us for your free no-obligation quote by clicking on the button below.