Thermal Imaging Testing

Our Testing services include thermal imaging tests that can be used as part of an overall residential or commercial inspection, or as a tool to detect larger issues. It is a non-invasive technology that enables Först Consulting Group to detect and report on issues that cannot be observed with the human eye, such as those hidden behind walls.

Symptoms to look for include indications of mold, condensation around switch plates, heat escaping through an attic, leaks or drafts.

Thermal Imaging Can Identify:

  • Damaged, wet or missing insulation
  • Heat loss
  • Moisture intrusion behind walls or stucco
  • Hidden roof leaks
  • Hot spots with electrical faults or overloaded circuits
  • Overheating equipment
  • Plumbing leaks in HVAC or other systems
  • Broken window seals
  • Draft sources
  • Chimney flue leaks
  • Pest infestations

Thermal Imaging Procedure

A special lens in Först’s thermal imaging camera scans objects and walls to create a very detailed temperature pattern called a thermogram that appears in the display as various colors, indicating areas of heat or cold and potential anomalies or variations in temperatures. This provides an accurate point of reference to locate problems.

Thermal Imaging Data Reports

Först Consulting Group interprets thermogram indications and incorporates them into a complete report of findings, along with digital images, recommendations on remediation methods and potential repair costs.

Since findings are often critical, thermal imaging testing should be conducted with an experienced inspector such as Först Consulting Group. Not every inspector has the advanced equipment or knowledge necessary to provide a complete and accurate report.

Noise Testing

Noise issues between multi-family housing units or excessive exterior noise can make living or working conditions miserable. But the average home or building owner may not know how to verify there is a problem on their own.

Often, noise issues are caused by failure to meet minimum code requirements during construction or by the use of less-than-substantial materials. Thin walls, lack of insulation, or sub-par building materials may be to blame. Excessive noise levels can be indicated between units or from mechanical equipment.

Acceptable noise levels are set by jurisdiction, with each maintaining specific bylaws and procedures for noise level testing. Noise testing must be performed for a specified number of minutes by certain parameters and conditions. Even the time of day comes into play when generating evidence.

Noise Level Testing Procedures

Using specialized equipment called a noise level meter, and utilizing all jurisdictional testing guidelines, Först Consulting Group will establish a baseline noise level.

From this baseline, we then generate a noise report. Based on our findings, we will provide expert advice on how to proceed in building a case of proof against the construction contractor in order to seek correction of the noise problem.

Radon Testing

Radon is always present and is totally undetectable: you cannot see it, smell it or taste it. Yet it can cause extreme health problems if undetected. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the guideline for acceptable levels of radon at less than 4 pCi/L. Levels reporting higher than 4 must be addressed.

What is Radon?

According to the EPA, radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas created from the natural breakdown of uranium. Emanating from the ground, radon can penetrate most building materials including concrete block, mortar, tar paper, sheetrock, wood paneling and most insulations, and enter a building through cracks and openings in the foundation. It most often enters the human body via inhalation and ingestion.

Radon has been shown to cause cancer through long-term exposure. In fact, the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office estimates that up to 20,000 deaths from lung cancer are caused each year by radon, and it is the second leading cause of lung cancer, especially if those within the home or building are smokers.

When Should a Radon Test Be Performed?

For homeowners, radon testing should be conducted when changing residences, building a new home, or on an average of every 10 years in an existing home (more frequently if your home is in a high-radon region).

View map of EPA radon zones throughout the U.S.

The EPA recommends that houses be tested for radon prior to sale, however, radon testing is not always included as part of the overall home inspection. It must be requested separately, as through Först Consulting Group. Homeowners can also test their home for radon prior to listing their home for sale. This report can be included in the whole house disclosure form listed with your Realtor.

Landlords also have a responsibility to perform radon testing and mitigation, most often required for ground floor and basement rental units, multi-family apartments and condominiums. The landlord must provide the tenant with certification of test results verifying radon below 4 pCi/L, the EPA’s recommended level within a time period required by the local jurisdiction.

Radon Testing Procedures.

Homes or buildings are typically closed up for a period of 72 hours prior to radon testing, except for normal traffic through outside doors, with all heating and cooling systems operating normally. The radon testing equipment is set up within the structure for either short-term or long-term testing; short-term tests are performed when results are needed quickly. Radon is always present, but its levels fluctuate, which is why a longer-term test may be recommended to obtain a more accurate reading.

Typically, Först Consulting Group installs its radon testing equipment for 72 hours. The equipment is then removed and a radon report is generated. Our equipment is bluetooth-capable and reports can be transferred wirelessly to your telephone or computer.

If higher-than-recommended levels of radon are detected in your home or buildling, Först Consulting Group will consult on methods to mitigate the radon levels and maintain a healthy environment.

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