Clif Cockburn of Correctionville often thought that his carpentry work, especially the remodeling or repairing end of it, could benefit greatly if he could just see inside a wall. To his astonishment, that is exactly what he is now capable of doing. His first glimpse of this technology occurred six years ago, and Clif has been following the advances in technology ever since. After a lot of internet searching, and looking at the potential of what could be accomplished by informing home owners and businesses of the money saved and the value of their physical investments preserved and increased, Clif was ready to move forward into the future.
Six months ago, Clif used 'on-line' training in the use of his emerging business. He decided to purchase a thermal imaging machine a few months ago, and is now offering his ISEE (Infrared Search, Explore, Expose) services to anyone who is interested in making their homes and/or businesses more energy efficient, creating a healthier environment, or finding hidden problems and saving money in the process.
He says that infrared imaging gives one a road map of what they can do to make things better by providing good, accurate knowledge because the machine is able to see what the human eye cannot.
Clif emphasizes that he is not using the device to generate carpentry business. He wants to use it to be beneficial to people.
"I will be happy to take the pictures," he says," and I always take a second one with a digital camera to make it clear just where we are in a building or house. The side- by- side pictures of the imaging and the digital camera photo give people a lot of information about what is going on, and they can then decide what - if anything - they want to do about it."
A DVD is also given to the customer for their use in the future. The digital image will have the colors you see every day, while the imaging will have streaks of red, yellow, orange, white, green, black, in various shades. An explanation of their meaning is provided and is easily understood.
Energy loss is one obvious outcome that can be seen with the infrared imaging. Windows, doors, and walls are three of the main sites of energy loss, with air leaks and intrusions accounting for an even larger percentage.
The imaging can also point out water leakage, which often results in mold growing undetected in the home. Pipes that are leaking or sweating and insulation that draws moisture to carpeting in the bathroom are two problem areas that need to be remedied before mold growth can be permanently addressed.
The imager works by detecting heat and energy, and nesting animals, such as termites and bats, can be discovered with the technology. Clif was even able to find his son's hamster, which had escaped from his cage and was roaming around the house, as the heat from the animal stayed there long enough to follow it with the imager.
Electrical inspections are also possible with the technology - not by looking at the wires themselves, but by detecting the 'hot spots' along the circuitry.
For the best imaging results, says Cockburn, there should be a 10-20 degree difference between the inside and outside temperatures, and it doesn't matter whether it is warmer or colder inside or out, and thus works in both summer and winter. Lighting is not needed to do the imaging.
Cockburn points out, "Thermography is entirely non-invasive. I don't need to hammer through your walls. It cannot see through clothing, walls, or glass, so your privacy is not at risk."
It is interesting to note that this technology was developed by the military during the Desert Storm conflict. A secondary application moved the technology into areas such as its use by fire departments to detect where the heat is centralized in a burning building, and the medical field is now looking for ways to use the technology for diagnostic purposes. The agricultural field is also looking at using it to detect diseases on crop plants like soybeans.
Cockburn is interested in all of the applications that may be discovered in the future, and is excited to be working in the field of Thermographic Imaging.
"One small hand-held machine can do so much to benefit people, the environment, and the economy," he says.
Cockburn can be reached at 712-870-2059.