Hurricane Ike Infrared Imaging Review and Cost Consulting

Hurricane Ike made landfall as a strong category two storm affecting Galveston and Houston, Texas before moving further inland. Complete was asked by the insurer of this hotel in Houston to review the damages to the property associated with wind. We conducted a visual survey of the interior and exterior and relayed them to the adjuster for his purposes.

Portions of the inspection of this hotel were completed using thermal imaging equipment from Flir. Thermal imaging is an excellent tool in determining the presence or absence of water below other exterior claddings. In this case the roof needed to be checked for water. The flashing metal had been blown off of one side and the adjuster wanted to know how far the water had affected the insulation board and or sheathing below. Thermal imaging was used on this building shortly after the sun went down and the areas that retained water showed latent heat beneath the roof surface. The areas that were not wet quickly let go of the heat energy collected from the sun during the day and cooled down. In our thermal images we therefore interpreted areas that were red to be warmer and therefore, in this application, wet.

After locating the areas of water damage we then looked carefully at those locations to determine if the area had been wet for some time or had the property been properly maintained. We used fifteen years of inspecting building to come to the decisions along with the manufacturer’s installation instructions and a dose of common sense. After agreeing to the scope we overlayed the costs and presented them to the owner and their contractor for consideration. The claim was accepted, paid, and the owner has been able to move on with their business and the insurance company has a closed claim.