Log Home Thermal Imaging Information
Air leakage & insect intrusion
For many, living in a log home is a dream come true. Log home living offers serenity and peace of mind – and life just seems to be a bit better when you live in one. At some point reality sets in and log home repair issues arise and your dream home could turn into a nightmare if you don’t take the right preventative measures.
One of the more common issues that have to be dealt with in every log home is air leakage and bug intrusion. These two problems seem to go hand in hand. Infrared Thermal Imaging is the most valuable tool for finding air leakage and bug intrusion in any log home.
With this process, there needs to be an 18 to 20 degree temperature differential between inside and outside temperatures. Creating negative pressure (with a blower door system) that causes outside air to come inside through areas in the log home that have been compromised, the imager can detect areas of air leakage with a special infrared camera and produced reports that precisely pinpoint exactly where the air is coming into the home. This could be from checks in the logs or even cracks or holes in the chinking.
Logs tend to breath (expand & contract) with the warm and cold air that changes with the seasons. This is a process that you do not notice, but it is taking place right before your eyes. With this process come the issues of heat loss, black flies, stick bugs, and water intrusion into the log home. Checks in the logs are created by moisture evaporating out of the logs. These checks or cracks in the logs widen and become greater with the ever changing temperatures and moisture content of the logs.
Without infrared thermal imaging of a log home, there is no way to know if the check goes all the way through the log or not by just looking at them. Without that information, proper treatment and correction of the problem cannot be achieved.
There can be checks as small as one eight (1/8) inch in size that leak to the outside and are not visible to the human eye.
Only with infrared technology can this be diagnosed and treated. Black flies can get into a log home through a hole this size. Heating cost also increase as heat escapes to the outside of your home and cooler air comes in. After thermal imaging is done on your log home, there are reports that are generated from each individual finding. The home owner will receive a binder with copies of these reports. From that they will be able to see for themselves where much of their money is leaking right to the outside.
Infrared results from the photo above showing air leakage
Infrared thermal imaging technology is the best for diagnosing problems in log homes. The home owner will recoup the cost of the imaging usually within six months and will save up to 30% on their heating bill.
Homeowners also need to know that with their log home there is a chance that next year they will most likely have some of the same issues to deal with. This is due to the ever expanding and contracting of their home. The caulking that was applied could also tear in certain areas. Putting backer rod in the checks, as mentioned above, is crucial so that bugs will not be able to get into the home if the caulking fails.
The best way to keep the dream from becoming a nightmare is to have it inspected with thermal imaging annually and conduct proper routine log home repairs.
You’ll be glad you did.
Dramatic visual results
At left are two photos showing the same area of a log home.
The arrows show where the problems appear.
The vivid results of a thermal imaging. This home appears to have air leakage in multiple areas. There is a check in the log also leaking.