Thermal imaging report guide

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Thermal imaging

Thermal imaging has been used for some time to give a non-invasive ‘window’ at various stages of construction. It can show the thermal performance of the external walls, roofs and internal services.

NHBC Foundation’s latest guide, prepared in collaboration with BSRIA, looks at this increasingly useful technology. It identifies what a good thermographic survey should include, gives advice on good practice when preparing for and carrying out a survey and highlights what makes a successful report.

The guide gives examples of typical thermal imagery and identifies the most common issues that can affect the accuracy of a thermal imaging report if the survey isn’t interpreted correctly. These include:

Using a specialist thermal camera

This detects infrared radiation which is electromagnetic radiation (EMR) with longer wavelengths than those of visible light and therefore, generally invisible to the human eye. The correct settings of this specialist camera are crucial for an accurate survey.

Using a qualified thermographer

The interpretation of a report is key, it is recommended that the person carrying out a thermal imaging survey is suitably qualified, these experts are referred to as thermographers.

Suitable weather conditions

At the time of the survey are vital in achieving an accurate picture of the thermal performance and, ideally, there should be no significant changes in external temperature during the 24 hours before the survey, nor should it be raining or windy during the survey. Additionally, the survey should only be conducted when there is an adequate temperature difference between inside and outside of the property.  

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