Detection of water leaks using thermal imaging

The Problem

The source of water leaks can be difficult to detect without intrusive (and expensive) methods and can cause long term damages to buildings as well as posing a health hazard to occupants through mould growth.

The Solution

A thermal camera inspection is a non-contact, non-invasive and visual way to show water leaks and moisture ingress within the built environment and often the source of the leak is not where the water appears. The colder a wall, roof or floor is, the more moisture is present. A thermal camera can detect the heat difference between the temperatures of different materials. Water leaks cool walls and floors through evaporation, making them cooler than areas not affected by water. It is this temperature difference than can be seen by using a thermal camera.

Thermal cameras can detect water leakage without any moisture being directly visible on a wall or other surface and can be used to detect the source of the leak.

Examples of Water Leak Detection using Thermal Imaging

 

Apartment Kitchen – Subiaco, Perth

Kitchen Ceiling Moisture Damage

Water leaking into the apartment kitchen can be seen coming from the roof, likely from the apartment above. Even with only a 3C temperature difference, the leak can clearly be seen.

Gym – East Fremantle, Perth

No visible water marks can be seen but the water leaking inside of the wall has cooled the wall surface and is easily detectable using a thermal camera as it is about 5C cooler than where there is no leak. The water leak is located on the floor above the gym.

Leaking drain pipe on external wall – Mt Lawley, Perth

External Wall Pipe Damage

A leaking drainpipe is the source of water damage inside the building and can easily be seen as the source of moisture due to the 7C cooling of the external wall.

Apartment Bedroom – Subiaco, Perth

Apartment-Moisture-Damage

A leak from the apartment above has caused water damage to the wall and potential mould growth areas (dark blue and circled in yellow) which are not visible to the naked eye.