It’s Been Nearly Two Years Since Thermal Imaging Became Australian Standard for Termite Inspections. Is Your Local Pest Controller Compliant?
On 22 December 2017, the Australian Standard AS 3660.2 Termite management Part 2: In and around existing buildings and structures, was revised to make thermal imaging cameras mandatory for termite management in and around existing buildings and structures.
Before this landmark revision was made, the use of thermal imaging cameras was optional for pest controllers.
Companies would often split up their termite inspection services into two separate tiers: a basic visual inspection, and a basic visual inspection + thermal imaging inspection. Naturally, the inclusion of thermal imaging was promoted as a premium service and a bit more expensive.
Since thermal imaging cameras are now mandatory, the industry standard has been raised to make the termite inspection process easier, quicker, and more accurate – which is great news for customers.
Of course, this also means more customers may be exposed to thermal imaging technology for the first time. Some people may be sceptical of the technology and will want to know the advantages it has to offer.
If you’re one of these people, or you just want to learn more about thermal imaging technology in general, here’s everything you need to know.
How thermal image technology works
Thermal imaging cameras are handheld electronic devices that feature an in-built pixel visual display used to detect heat energy.
Differences in temperature are represented by colours. So cooler tones like blue and purple represent cold spots, while warmer tones like yellow, orange, and red represent hot spots. These differences in temperature are shown in real-time on the display as an infrared spectrum.
In the context of a termite inspection, cold spots are often a sign of moisture and hot spots often indicate the presence of termite colonies. This makes sense as termites produce a large amount of heat and moisture when grouped together.
Of course, thermal imaging cameras cannot see through walls, only heat and further investigation is needed to confirm the presence of termites. The purpose of the device is to simply speed up the inspection process. By doing this, technicians can focus their efforts on the right places and deliver the most accurate inspection reports.
Advantages of thermal imaging cameras
- The device is non-invasive and can therefore locate the presence of termites without the need to drill holes into the wall.
- It greatly speeds up the inspection process and the savings are passed onto the customer.
- Being able to locate the source of termite activity with utmost accuracy can take out the guesswork and ensure the treatment is effective.
- Removes the risk of disturbing the termites and causing the pests to relocate
- More accurate reports mean the right treatment can be implemented sooner. Early intervention means less risk of serious property damage.
How are thermal imaging cameras used in an average inspection?
Upon arrival, your pest controller will conduct a visual inspection of both inside and outside the property. They will search for visual signs of infestation and potential entry points around the premise.
From there, a thermal imaging camera will be used to search for signs of infestation that the visual inspection did not reveal, such as wall cavities. By pointing the device at each wall section in the building, it can pick up extreme levels of heat and cold and clue the pest controller in to places that require further investigation.
The pest controller may then need to drill a small 6mm hole into the wall of any suspicious areas, and then use a borescope to search inside and confirm the presence of termite activity.
Once the hole is refilled, if termites were found, your pest controller will come up with a custom treatment plan to get rid of the infestation.
Are all thermal imaging cameras the same?
While most thermal imaging cameras can detect differences in heat and cold temperatures and capture images, there are key differences in the design and functionality of both cheaper and more advanced models.
The three main differences with thermal imaging cameras are:
1. Image resolution
Most entry level thermal imaging cameras have a pixel image resolution of around 80 x 60. While this is adequate, higher resolution cameras can produce better quality images and this makes it easier to diagnose an infestation.
2. Temperature measurement
Entry level models have an average temperature range of -10°C to +150°C and more advanced models have an average range of -25°C to +380°C. Therefore, advanced models can detect higher extremities in temperature changes and produce more accurate readings.
3. Battery type and battery run time
Some cheaper models rely on AAA batteries, which is inconvenient as pest controllers must remember to have a set of spare batteries on them at all times.
Even if a cheaper model is rechargeable, the battery run time is often less than 2 hours. This increases the risk of the inspection being rushed or cut short due to the device running out of juice early. As a result, the inspection report may be inaccurate or unfinished.
Book a termite inspection today
At All Bugs, we use the latest FLIR thermal imaging cameras to carry out thermal imaging inspections for your home or business. Our team are fully qualified to use these devices, and each device has the ability to capture high quality images and store measurement data in the cloud for viewing at any time.
Now that you know the benefits of thermal imaging technology, why not book a termite inspection today?
Contact All Bugs today for a free, no obligation quote. Our team will be happy to arrange a suitable day and time for your appointment.