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  #1  
Old 1/19/19, 4:46 PM
Dan Bowers, CMI, ACI's Avatar
Dan Bowers, CMI, ACI Dan Bowers, CMI, ACI is online now
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Default Tell Me What You See!

The house is 30 yrs old and has hard coat conventional stucco on all 4 sides.


The buyers had a home inspection prior to your inspection. Their inspector was on the roof and told them the house had no kickout flashings at 5-6 areas, and improper flashings at several other areas. Several signs present of prior drywall patches and some moisture stains at ceilings or walls.


Your lady buyer is concerned about this + maybe mold in the walls. So she orders moisture probing of stucco outside and Infrared testing inside.


Before your inspection you get 10" of snow and temps in the 20's, and it will be that way for say several weeks. The roof is totally snow covered and you can't see flashings OR do the stucco moisture testing, only the IR.




Look at the following Pics and tell us what you think. Hint ..... Both IR shots are at the 2nd floor of house. The 1st 2 Pics are in a bedroom on outside wall adjacent to a gable where the home inspector said a kickout flashing was missing at the sloped composition roofing.


The 2nd 2 Pics are in a large bathroom with a metal barrel roll roof over it and are adjacent to where the rolled barrel roof meets the sloped comp roof and home inspector said it had a flat metal flashing rusting and sloped back to the interior of the house walls.


????? Moisture / Air Leakage / Bad Insulation ???? You can't see the roof, flashings, etc ............ So play with it.
Attached Thumbnails
Tell Me What You See!-flir0553-jpg   Tell Me What You See!-flir0554-jpg   Tell Me What You See!-flir0561-jpg   Tell Me What You See!-flir0562-jpg  



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  #2  
Old 1/19/19, 4:59 PM
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Default Re: Tell Me What You See!

Same house as in the 1st Post.



1st 2 Pics are of a 2nd floor tiled shower. Signs of drywall repair at ceiling below this. The tile at the drain is cracked and patched with plain caulking. The home is vacant and shower has not been used since owners moved 1 week ago.


2nd 2 Pics are of ceiling below shower.


???? Wet / Dry ?????
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Tell Me What You See!-flir0557-jpg   Tell Me What You See!-flir0558-jpg   Tell Me What You See!-flir0565-jpg   Tell Me What You See!-flir0566-jpg  



Dan Bowers, CMI
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Certified IAQ2 Mold Inspector
Licensed HVAC Service Technician
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  #3  
Old 1/19/19, 5:21 PM
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Default Re: Tell Me What You See!

In all of the photos I see areas that are cooler than their surroundings. It's hard to say just how much cooler for lack of spot readings at the cool spots and the warmer areas nearby.

The isolated cool patch outside the shower makes me wonder if there had been a bathmat laying on that area before the photo was taken.

Were moisture levels in these areas measured? If so, what were the results of those tests?




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  #4  
Old 1/19/19, 6:20 PM
Dan Bowers, CMI, ACI's Avatar
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Default Re: Tell Me What You See!

William .............


I'm gonna give them a few days for peoples thoughts then I'll post again. The 1 temp at upper left of the IR Pics is at the spot bullseye



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  #5  
Old 1/19/19, 8:38 PM
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Default Re: Tell Me What You See!

Dan,

Perhaps I should have read between the lines better and instead of telling you what I see (which is what the title of your post asked for), told you what I think might be going on.

I know how the spot function works, but thanks for that bit of clarification. Knowing what the temperatures of the areas near them would have been nice, but no more conclusive in any case, so never mind.

As you allude to in your post, cooler areas could be caused by any number of things including moisture, air leakage, and bad insulation. So, the logical approach would be to employ a process of elimination.

Taking them one at a time:

Moisture - Since we have no moisture meter readings to help us (correct?), we are left to look for visual clues like discoloration. In the first pair of photos, it is impossible to tell whether there is any due to uneven lighting. In the second set, there appears to be some slight discoloration, but it is not consistent with other moisture stains I have seen, and is well above the coolest area in the IR photo. In the third set, I see no discoloration. In the fourth set, I can see a slightly cooler area that coincides with the ceiling repair, but it's pretty amorphous. I would say of all of the images, that one would be least likely to be associated with moisture, but that is just a guess.

Air leakage - With the first two sets of photos, we cannot eliminate air leakage, because either the areas behind these walls were inaccessible thus un-inspected, or they were inspected and that information is being withheld to test our deductive reasoning capabilities. In the third and fourth sets, these areas are not near exterior walls, and I see no trail leading to them, so I'm thinking not.

Bad insulation - It's a very sad thing when Good Insulation goes Bad, thus tempting to lay blame at its door (or wall or ceiling or whatever). However, of the three suspects, this is the least likely. Thermal patterns I have seen from missing or sparse insulation tend to run joist-to-joist or stud-to-stud, giving sharp, straight-edged patterns where the structural members are and less-well-defined edges between them. Not seeing that here. Space between first and second floors are not typically insulated, so unlikely to be the culprit in the third and fourth sets of photos.

So...

Moisture - Possible (given the information provided) in all three locations depicted.
Air Leakage - Possible in the first two locations. If you put a gun to my head and said "guess", this is what I would guess, but not so much in the third location. That would be "Moisture"
Bad Insulation - Possible in the first two locations, but not as likely as our other choices, and highly unlikely in the third location since there would be no insulation there to go bad.

It will be interesting to see what others have to say.




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Last edited by wogletree; 1/19/19 at 8:44 PM..
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  #6  
Old 1/19/19, 8:58 PM
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Default Re: Tell Me What You See!

What device are you using Dan?




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  #7  
Old 1/19/19, 11:48 PM
Dominic DAgostino, CMI HI3957 Dominic DAgostino, CMI HI3957 is offline
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Default Re: Tell Me What You See!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfetty View Post
What device are you using Dan?
Looks like an E8.



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  #8  
Old 1/20/19, 1:26 AM
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Default Re: Tell Me What You See!

Like Dominic guessed ....... Flir E8



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  #9  
Old 1/20/19, 1:28 AM
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Default Re: Tell Me What You See!

William ............... In the 4th Set of Pics there is a bathroom above it with signs of homeowner type repaired tiles.



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Certified IAQ2 Mold Inspector
Licensed HVAC Service Technician
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Certified Commercial Building Inspector
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  #10  
Old 1/20/19, 12:15 PM
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Default Re: Tell Me What You See!

I like the one of the cool tile outside the shower where you pulled the wet shower mat back to take the image (they have a tendency to get wet when someone steps out of the shower). It's reminiscent of Condom Bob's "leaking shower gasket".

Personally, I wouldn't be trying to draw conclusions from any of those images other than to say some areas are emitting less infrared radiation than others and if the inspector suspects that they may be related to moisture, should be testing using a more definitive method...



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  #11  
Old 1/20/19, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: Tell Me What You See!

Chuck made a good point ....................


There was a bath mat there that I turned up. There was signs of prior moisture stains and patching at the living room ceiling below this area??



The tile at the bath drain is cracked and patched with plain caulking. The home is vacant and I'm told the shower has not been used since owners moved 1 week ago ????



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  #12  
Old 1/20/19, 11:35 PM
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Default Re: Tell Me What You See!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbowers View Post
Chuck made a good point ....................


There was a bath mat there that I turned up. There was signs of prior moisture stains and patching at the living room ceiling below this area??



The tile at the bath drain is cracked and patched with plain caulking. The home is vacant and I'm told the shower has not been used since owners moved 1 week ago ????
Maybe they have squatters because you can see the wet mat at the bottom right corner of the image.

Your observation of the ceiling and description of the history serve to highlight that infrared is not a stand-alone, point and shoot building diagnostic tool (that's why it's so hard to accurately analyze someone else's images captured under unknown conditions). To use IR imaging effectively, the operator needs to be observant with his own eyes, understand areas which are most likely to exhibit thermal exceptions and what characteristics the thermal patterns different types of exceptions display. It's also important to control the environment to increase the likelihood of finding exceptions. I would have run quite a bit of water and manipulated the interior temperature hours before I broke out the imager to look for exceptions.



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  #13  
Old 1/21/19, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: Tell Me What You See!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cevans View Post
Maybe they have squatters because you can see the wet mat at the bottom right corner of the image..

No the mat that was pulled back did not have to be wet to leave the pattern that was shown. I see that all the time when I check shower pans. Simply put the floor beneath the mat was protected from the same temp that the rest of the floor was exposed to.

Another example of this is when there is a closet door that is partially open toward the wall before a image is taken you can see two different temp patterns up on closing the door. Basic stuff



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  #14  
Old 1/21/19, 11:38 AM
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Default Re: Tell Me What You See!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbowers View Post
William ............... In the 4th Set of Pics there is a bathroom above it with signs of homeowner type repaired tiles.
Yes, I understood that, thanks. I rated Air Leakage and Bad Insulation as least likely in that area, but would not conclude that that signature indicated a leak from overhead in the absence of moisture meter readings supporting that hyphothesis.




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  #15  
Old 1/21/19, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: Tell Me What You See!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbowers View Post
There was a bath mat there that I turned up.
I guess you missed my comment in my first response: "The isolated cool patch outside the shower makes me wonder if there had been a bathmat laying on that area before the photo was taken."

Chuck and Charley have eloquently stated the problems that I alluded to in my initial response. Infrared images by themselves are seldom sufficient to draw any actionable conclusions, but as a Level I thermographer, I am sure you are aware of this. Perhaps that was the point of this exercise?

I ran into this problem a few weeks back when I saw a stray warm spot in a downstairs bathroom ceiling. Air leakage from the nearby vent fan, electrical wire in contact with the drywall, and warm water leaking from upstairs plumbing were all suspects, but moisture levels were even and my inductive current detector offered no additional information. I explained to my client why I was unable to draw any helpful conclusions, but he thanked me for telling him about it just the same.




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Last edited by wogletree; 1/21/19 at 11:55 AM..
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