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How Do Water Damage Restorers Use Infrared Cameras?

Infrared (IR) cameras, like infrared thermometers, are used to detect surface temperature differences in your home. Here's how they help The Clean Trust-Certified experts ensure your home is dry after a flood or other water intrusion. [Note: Ad or content links featured on this page are not necessarily affiliated with The Clean Trust and should not be considered a recommendation or endorsement by The Clean Trust.]


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An infrared camera produces a thermal image of a material that can provide quick identification of potentially moist areas by showing temperature variations on surfaces. While these devices do not detect moisture or measure moisture directly, they show warmer and cooler zones which may (or may not) indicate moist materials; e.g., warm areas show as red, while cold areas show as blue on the device's LCD display.

Infrared cameras can be a valuable tool for quickly scanning large areas of a home or other building. Materials that appear cooler to the IR camera typically are due to: an evaporative cooling effect on the material's surface, cooler temperatures inside walls being conducted to the surface, thermal bridging where heat or cold are transferred from one area to another via an object or material, or reflected heat or cold from another source.

Cooler temperatures might not be associated with evaporation and moisture. In some cases the temperature difference can be the result of other situations, such as cooler air striking the surface from an air conditioning supply, a lack of insulation in a wall cavity, or a cold water line running through the area. Non-porous materials that do not allow evaporation and reflective materials that do not allow accurate temperature information to be transmitted to the camera can result in misinterpretation of the data. Areas identified with the camera as suspect for being wet are verified by further testing with a moisture meter (see article: How Moisture Meters Can Help After Flooding).

Restorers using infrared thermography equipment in surveying homes for moisture damage should receive proper training on its use. To locate a qualified Clean Trust-Certified service professional for water damage or restoration work, visit

Source: The Clean Trust Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (The Clean Trust S500)


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How Do Water Damage Restorers Use Infrared Cameras?:  Created on January 4th, 2011.  Last Modified on January 30th, 2012


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About The Clean Trust

The Clean Trust

The Clean Trust, formerly known as The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), is an ANSI-accredited standards setting body for the flooring inspection, floor covering and specialized fabric cleaning and disaster restoration industries. Organized in 1972, The Clean Trust currently represents more than 5,700 Certified Firms and 54,000 Certified Technicians in 22 countries. The Clean Trust, with participation from the entire industry, sets standards for inspection, cleaning and disaster restoration. The Clean Trust does not own schools, employ instructors, produce training materials, or promote specific product brands, cleaning methods or systems. It approves schools and instructors that meet the criteria established by The Clean Trust. The Clean Trust also serves as a consumer referral source for Certified Firms and Inspectors. Visit



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