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Dan Bowers Company
Commercial Building Inspector


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thermal camera How does a thermal camera work?

Thermal imaging cameras work by capturing the Infrared (IR) energy transfer from an object to its environment and produce real-time images in a color palette where hotter objects are brighter and cooler objects look darker. They work better with a larger temperature differential.

Thermal Imaging Camera Applications and Uses

Sometimes thermal imaging cameras can be used where the identification of thermal anomalies can be used to find an issue or diagnose a condition, such as overloaded electrical circuits, moisture damage or active leaks in a building. Some examples of thermal imaging camera applications are / but not limited to:

  • Electrical inspections/Scans
  • Thermal heat loss in homes/buildings
  • Locate radiant heating wires or pipes
  • Locate potential areas for moisture leaks
  • Flat-roof leak detection for buildings
  • Detect thermal patterns on boiler tubes
  • Mechanical inspections / hot or cold spots
  • Detect insulation leaks in refrigeration equipment

Thermal Imaging Camera Limitations

Because thermal energy can be reflected off shiny surfaces, thermal imaging cameras can NOT see through glass. If you stand in front of a window while looking at a thermal imaging camera, you will see yourself in the window because of the thermal energy reflecting off the glass. Thermal imaging cameras can NOT see through walls and its NOT x-ray vision! It is also important to know that thermal imaging cameras should NOT be used as the sole deciding factor that a problem exists. Other inspection equipment such as our eyes or a moisture meter should always be used to confirm the problem. This is where training and experience are crucial for the inspector using the equipment to interpret the images.


Commonly Asked Questions

Q. Can thermal imaging cameras see through walls?

No! While hi-resolution and hi-sensitivity cameras can create the appearance of seeing through walls, what you are actually seeing is transmitted thermal energy. For example, if you look at the interior walls of a home when it is cold outside, you will likely see the studs in the wall. What is showing on the surface is cold transmitted from the outside, through the studs, to the surface of the drywall. It appears that you can see into the wall, but you are actually only seeing the different temperatures on the surface.

Q. Can thermal imaging cameras detect plumbing leaks?

Yes. Thermal cameras can often help locate an active plumbing leak. Most cameras have a temperature difference sensitivity of .10 degree Centigrade or better. So IF the leak is active it should not take a big temperature difference for the camera to see the leak. The issue is allowing that thermal energy difference enough time to transfer through the flooring to the surface.

Q. Can thermal imaging cameras detect air leaks?

Yes …. Sometimes. Similar to plumbing applications, this ties directly to the camera sensitivity. Because the temperature change required is so slight, you can detect draft areas around doors, windows, and attic access points.

Q. Can thermal imaging cameras detect moisture?

Yes. Moist materials will sometimes retain thermal energy differently, allowing the camera to pick up the differences. It’s important to understand we would have to “double-check” a potential spot of moisture with a moisture meter since there are several things that could create the thermal anomaly you are seeing (false readings).

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Kansas City Area Commercial Building Inspection

Senior Inspector: Dan Bowers, CRI, ACI, CMI, EDI

Kansas City Area Commercial Building Inspection is owned and operated by a professional full-time residential and commercial inspector based out of the Overland Park, KS area. The inspection business is my life passion and I enjoy helping families all over the Kansas City Metroplex and surrounding areas.in Missouri and Kansas. You know why you need a Commercial Building Inspection, question is who do you hire? Rest assured, as a Certified Master Inspector, I possess all the knowledge and professional tools you need to help you make an educated decision on possibly the largest investment of your life.

EPA Trained & Certified Commercial Building Inspection

We are available from 8AM to 7PM, Monday to Friday. If you prefer to contact us via email, please use this form. Depending on volume, you should receive a reply from us within a couple of hours or less.

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Dan Bowers Company
Commercial Building Inspection
10308 Metcalf #325
Overland Park, KS 66212
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You are welcome to be at the Commercial Building Inspection so the inspector can go over things with you and answer your questions.  If you are not able to attend, we understand, because sometimes that is just not an option.  We can collect a credit card over the telephone for your convenience.  If you will be present at the site we also take: checks, money orders, mastercard, visa AND of course cash. A receipt will be included with your completed report. Please note that we will require payment and a signature on our Commercial Building Inspection agreement before we can do the inspection for you OR release your completed report.

Missouri & Kansas Area’s We Service

The Dan Bowers Company regularly inspects Commercial Buildings in the Kansas City Metroplex and surrounding areas in Kansas and Missouri within a 150 mile radius of our office including outlying areas like Junction City, KS on the West …. St. Joseph, MO on the North; Columbia, MO to the East; and Nevada, MO OR Emporia, KS to the South.

MISSOURI - Belton, Blue Springs, Boonville, Buckner, Butler, Cameron, Carthage, Clinton, Columbia, Concordia, Excelsior Springs, Garden City, Gladstone, Grain Valley, Grandview, Greenwood, Harrisonville, Higginsville, Independence, Jefferson City, Kansas City, Kearney, Lathrop, Lawson, Lee’s Summit, Lexington, Liberty, Lone Jack, Marshall, Marysville, Nevada, North Kansas City, Oak Grove, Odessa, Parkville, Platte City, Pleasant Hill, Raymore, Raytown, Sedalia, St. Joseph, Tipton, Warrensburg, Warsaw

KANSAS - Atchison, Baldwin City, Basehor, Bonner Springs, Burlington, Desoto, Emporia, Eudora, Fairway, Gardner, Garnett, Junction City, Kansas City, Lansing, Lawrence, Leavenworth, Leawood, Lenexa, Louisburg, Manhattan, Merriam, Mission, Mission Hills, Mound City, Olathe, Osawatomie, Ottawa, Overland Park, Paola, Pittsburg, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, Shawnee, Springhill, Stillwell, Tonganoxie, Topeka, Westwood.