All over the world building issues can lead to court cases and the greatest challenge in finding out the truth is to acquire solid facts. In cases related to building issues, thermal imaging cameras from FLIR Infrared Cameras & Thermal Imaging can help to provide exactly the kind of information required to determine the right conclusions.

A recent example was an Italian court case about moisture ingress and mold formation in a new apartment complex. Inhabitants claimed that the building construction was flawed, while the building contractor claimed that the inhabitants were to blame because they did not heat and ventilate the apartments properly. Inspections using FLIR thermal imaging cameras helped to bring the matter to a close.

The case went to court in Vicenza, however, due to a lack of reliable information the technical consultant of the Vicenza court hired the services of the thermal imaging experts of Multites Srl. This thermal imaging consultancy specialises in thermographic analysis and water infiltration research.

Eviana Faccin, thermography consultant at Multites explained that the company inspected the disputed apartments with thermal imaging cameras from both from the outside and the inside and that they found significant heat leakage and several thermal bridges during the inspections.

Further inspection showed that there was a direct link between mold formation and the thermal bridges. “The occurrence of the mold coincided perfectly with the thermal bridges. Every spot of mold was located on a piece of wall that showed up as a thermal bridge in the thermal images.”

Temperature differences between colder and warmer patches of wall ranged from 2° C to 5 ° C, however, it should be noted that the difference between inside and outside temperatures was lower than recommend.

“Even if you consider the possibility that the tenants of the apartments made the situation worse by creating moist conditions on purpose, the existence of these thermal bridges clearly indicated that the damage in the apartments considered should be charged to the manufacturer,” said Faccin.

Faccin used a FLIR B335 thermal imaging camera with a 45° lens for this assignment, “I used this camera because it produces really good quality thermal images, but the fact that it has exchangeable lenses was very important as well. When you’re inspecting buildings you often don’t have the room to move away far enough to capture the part of the building you want to inspect in one thermal image. In that case the 45° wide angle lens comes in really handy.”

FLIR B335 thermal imaging cameras have been specifically designed for the building industry and FLIR has also translated user feedback on comfort and clarity into a series of thermal imaging cameras that have comprehensive and innovative features that have been specially designed for building environments.

Faccin continued to explain that thermal imaging technology is a great addition to the tools available for building diagnostics, “In court cases such as this one they can provide crucial data.”

FLIR provides training in co-operation with the Infrared Training Center (ITC), an educational and training resource for thermal imaging professionals. The ITC offers high-quality interactive thermography training from qualified international thermography instructors. They offer training courses in nearly 50 countries and in more than 20 languages.

More information on thermal imaging cameras is available from FLIR Infrared Cameras & Thermal Imaging.