Moisture detection can be observed by IRT via three physical mechanisms; latent heat absorption or release during phase change; a change in conductive heat transfer; and a change in thermal capacitance. Complicating the three methodologies is the factor of variable temperature differentials and variable mass air flow on, through and around surfaces being inspected. Building enclosures come in variable assembly types and are designed to perform differently in different environmental regions. Sources for moisture accumulation will vary for different environmental conditions. Detection methodologies will change for each assembly type in different ambient environments.
This paper will look at the issue of the methodologies for detection of the presence of moisture and determination of the various sources from which it accumulates in building assemblies. The end objective for IRT based moisture detection inspections is not to just identify that moisture is present but to determine its extent and source. Accurate assessment of the source(s) and root cause of the moisture is critical to the development of a permanent solution to the problem.