FEATURE Insurance Verification

Another advantage of working with a thermal camera is the ability to record and share the thermal images. Damage from a flood or extreme weather event can be extensive and extremely costly; the more proof a customer can provide through proper photo documentation, the more likely insurance companies will be to accept the claim. Thermal images can both document and verify water-related damage, providing the type of evidence insurance companies need to determine an appropriate payout. These images not only help customers and insurance companies comprehend the extent of the damage and speed

up the claim process, but also help both parties understand, for example, why an entire water- damaged wall must be replaced. Tracking down a leak for insurance purposes is a joint effort. When inspectors pair a thermal imaging camera with a moisture meter they can pinpoint cold spots (due to the evaporative cooling process of water) with the thermal camera and then confirm that moisture is indeed present with the meter. This useful combination prompted FLIR to create the MR176 Infrared Guided Measurement (IGM™) moisture meter, an all-in-one moisture meter and thermal imager. The FLIR MR176 is especially useful for insurance claims during the initial property inspection, as it helps the inspector identify the cold spots that indicate moisture, and then immediately quantify the extent of the damage.

In one instance, a customer – finding water on the floor – assumed that water was leaking through the nearby window. The customer hired a company to seal the windows, but then discovered more water on the floor after the next storm. Finally, the customer contacted their insurance company, and soon a moisture remediation team arrived with a thermal imager. With this technology, the remediation team easily saw that moisture was coming from the vaulted ceiling around the fireplace, not the window. Rather than ripping out the entire wall, they only needed

to replace the roof flashing around the fireplace, saving money and labour costs.

The Case for the Moisture Meter

Mistakes can still occur when relying solely on thermal imaging. This type of imaging doesn’t distinguish what’s causing a cold spot: air leaking in from outside or from an HVAC vent can look the same as evaporative cooling to the untrained eye, leading the user to assume the area is wet. This kind of error can lead contractors to remove sheetrock incorrectly identified as wet, simply because the thermal camera detected cold areas. Only the addition of a moisture meter can verify if colder areas are indeed wet.

Combined Tools for Efficiency and Verification

FLIR always suggests using a thermal imager in conjunction with a moisture meter for verification to ensure efficient remediation. A thermal imager and moisture meter combined in one device, such as the FLIR MR176 moisture meter with IGM, gets both jobs done with just one piece of equipment. It does offer an integrated pinless sensor and an external pin probe that provide the flexibility to take either

intrusive or non-intrusive measurements.

A second method for ensuring efficient water remediation is using a thermal camera and a separate moisture meter. Combining a camera such as the FLIR E5-XT with a non-IGM moisture meter such as the FLIR MR77 offers dual verification of water- affected areas.

For large contractors, FLIR recommends the best of both options – the FLIR MR176-KIT6. This package includes the flexible MR176 moisture meter, the professional MR08 moisture meter probe kit, and the FLIR E6, which is an ideal tool for building, electrical, and mechanical applications. Knowing where to look for moisture is half the battle, but this adaptable combination provides a competitive edge.

After Water Damage, Peace of Mind is Possible

Combining the benefits of thermal imaging cameras and moisture meters ensures no water damage is left undetected. With both systems in play, rapid source detection and damage determination become easily reachable remediation goals. Together, these tools improve remediation effectiveness, ensure savings, and help customers and contractors alike feel peace of mind that water damage can be reliably located and treated.


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