Building Envelope Assessment & Infrared Moisture Mapping


A building envelope is the physical separator between the conditioned and unconditioned environment of a building including resistance to air, water, heat, light and noise transfer. The envelope of the building is an important factor that must be taken into account because it is the dividing line that separates the interior from the outside and recognizing its function is important to maximize efficiency.

The wrapping of the building is composed of all elements of the outer casing that maintain a dry, heated or cooled environment and facilitates its climate control.

The multiple functions of the building envelope can be divided into three categories and three layers:


  1. Support: To resist and transfer structural and dynamic loads.
  2. Control: The flow of matter and energy of all types.
  3. Finishing: To satisfy the desired aesthetics inside and outside.

The control function is the center of good performance and, in practice, focuses in order of importance, in the control of rainfall, air control, heat control and steam control.


  1. The outermost layers: House covering and wrapping (felt). All these components serve the system by diverting water and moisture in bulk from the building. This layer is what you see on the outside of the building.
  2. The middle layer: Contains the structure (wood or steel), and is usually the insulation. This is your thermal / protection barrier.
  3. The inner layer: It is the finish that people see inside the building (plasterboard, wooden slats, plaster, etc.). And it usually serves as your air barrier.

Control of  Water and Steam

Rain control is fundamental, and there are numerous strategies such as: Perfect barriers, drained screens and mass / storage systems.

One of the main purposes of a roof is to resist water. Two broad categories of roofs are flat and sloping. Flat roofs slope to 10 ° or 15 °, but are built to withstand stagnant water. Sloping roofs are designed to shed water, but do not withstand stagnant water. Typically residential, sloped ceilings are covered with an underlayment material under roof covering material as second line of defense. The roof construction can also be ventilated to help remove moisture from leaks and condensation.

The walls do not get as exposed to water as the ceilings, but they still have water leaks. The types of wall systems with respect to water penetration are barrier, drainage and walls sealed to the surface. The walls of the barrier are designed to allow water to be absorbed but not penetrate the wall, and include concrete and some masonry walls. The drainage walls allow the water that escapes on the wall to drain, like the walls of the cavity. Drainage walls can also be vented to aid drying, such as rainwater wall systems and pressure equalization. The sealed surface walls do not allow any water penetration into the outer surface of the coating material. In general, most materials will not remain sealed over the long term and this system is very limited, but ordinary residential construction often treats walls as sealed surface systems that depend on the coating and an underlying layer sometimes called a home wrap.

Moisture can enter basements through walls or floors. Basement waterproofing and drainage keep the walls dry and a moisture barrier is needed under the floor.

Air Barrier

Airflow control is important to ensure indoor air quality, control power consumption, prevent condensation (and thus help ensure durability), and provide comfort. Control of air movement includes flow through the enclosure (the set of materials performing this function is called the air barrier system) through components of the enclosure itself, as well as inside and outside the interior space; Can greatly affect the insulation performance of the building. Therefore, the air control includes the control of wind washing (cold air passing through the insulation) and the convection loops which are air movements within a wall or ceiling that can give rise to 10% to 20 %.

The physical components of the envelope include the foundation, the ceiling, the walls, the doors, the windows, the ceiling and its barriers and insulation. Dimensions, performance and compatibility of materials, manufacturing process and details, connections and interactions are the main factors that determine the effectiveness and durability of the building enclosure system.

Common measures of effectiveness of a building envelope include the physical protection of weather and climate (comfort), indoor air quality (hygiene and public health), durability and energy efficiency. To achieve these objectives, all building enclosure systems must include a solid structure, a drainage plane, an air barrier, a thermal barrier and may include a vapor barrier. Moisture control (eg protection against humidity) is essential in all climates, but cold climates and hot, humid climates are especially demanding.

Thermal Envelope

The heat envelope, or heat flow control layer, is part of a building envelope, but may be in a different location such as a roof. The difference can be illustrated by understanding that an isolated attic floor is the primary thermal control layer between the interior of the house and the exterior (from the surface of the roof material to the interior paint finish in the Roof).

The surrounding thermography of the building involves the use of an infrared camera to see temperature anomalies on the interior and exterior surfaces of the structure. The analysis of infrared images may be useful in identifying moisture problems of water intrusion. Other types of anomalies that can be detected are thermal bridge, continuity of insulation and air leak, however this requires a temperature difference between indoor and outdoor ambient temperatures.

common air leaks

Poor Building Efficiency

Poor building efficiency can result in degradation of infrastructure fabric through condensation, occupant discomfort, poor air quality, and increased energy demand. Using the latest technologies we can measure the air leak of the building by identifying the temperature differences between the inside and outside of the structure immediately and accurately highlighting areas of concern.

Loss of energy in the building envelope is accelerated by the infiltration of moisture, wet, damaged, absence or inadequate insulation, poor construction practices, sloppy maintenance and air leaks. Our team has the resources, experience, training and measurement tools to carry out any kind of evaluation so that you have the knowledge at hand to identify and eliminate the weak points. To help identify building energy losses and moisture problems, we use infrared analysis of the building envelope. Through the use of a comprehensive integrated assessment approach we can offer high level assessments for schools, hospitals, offices, pharmaceuticals, government, industrial and privately owned facilities. Our evaluation includes evaluation of the blower door and evaluation of infrared technology.

To get all the benefits of a window film, whether to save energy or provide an extra layer of protection, it must be installed properly. Even the highest quality films will not work if they are not installed professionally and correctly. No matter what size or application, our full service window film installation staff is committed to completing your project on schedule and to the highest degree of quality.

Collecting data and making observations is an important first step in identifying distress and other potential problems in envelope construction. However, in order to mitigate the loss, an assessment must be performed according to an appropriate diagnosis and course of action, which can only be determined by the building envelope consultants. Our team of experts at our company Pure air use state-of-the-art technology to test and evaluate the intricate function and interaction of roofs and exterior wall systems through roofing consultancy, roof elevation testing, QA / QC testing, testing Of infiltration of water and air according to ASTM E1105-00 and a series of services of qualitative evaluation like the infrared thermography and the mapping of the humidity.

In addition, with forensic research which is one of our main service lines, we can provide a unique perspective for the design, design review, condition assessments and quality assurance in building systems site. This perspective allows us to identify problems before they arise, saving time and money for all parties involved.

  • Curtain wall test
  • Roof Lifting Test (ASTM E907-96)
  • Infrared Thermography
  • Humidity Mapping
  • Visual evaluations
  • Mock-up tests
  • Water and air infiltration tests
  • Component insulation test
  • Design defect / omission investigation
  • Investigation of Construction Defects
  • Design Consulting
  • Construction Supervision
  • Litigation Support


Thermal Images for Building Diagnostics

Missing, damaged or inadequate insulation, building air leaks, moisture intrusion and substandard work are costly for homeowners and commercial buildings. Our state-of-the-art infrared cameras can help you quickly see and find sources of energy efficiency, destructive water damage, and structural issues so you can help customers make informed decisions about needed repairs that can help them save money and stay more comfortable.

Construction problems due to poor insulation on a house facade can generate severe energy losses. Our infrared camera can also show you the insulation problems in a house facade causing severe energy losses.

The latest technology FLIR infrared cameras facilitate non-destructive inspections that isolate the infiltration / exfiltration of hot and cold air; So that repairs and improvements can be made to increase energy efficiency. FLIR thermal imagers can also instantly show temperature differences that verify what is wet and what is dry and FLIR inspection chambers are the ones most preferred by construction experts for fast and reliable diagnosis of a wide range of applications for buildings.


Moisture maps are photographs of affected surfaces that show moisture levels in each area. Moisture mapping is a very useful method to identify the location and size of affected areas.

If you need to restore your property due to moisture, mold or fire damage, and to know the complete, detailed and accurate information of the condition in which your property is; Our company Pure air with more than 20 years of service to the community can help you find the best solution for your benefit without affecting your pocket or your economy.

Just as insurance companies need quick information to start the claims work, their clients need information so they can repossess their property, and you need to make an expense estimate and report problems. Infrared maps are very useful in the process of documentation between the client and us because it facilitates the whole process.

Our camera allows to have a graphic documentation in specific areas where it is suspected that there is some humidity. However, it is important to realize that humidity is not always the cause; If not also leakage of air with different temperatures. Thermal hygrometers also allow you to record important environmental temperature conditions.

FLIR Thermal Cameras Simplify Your Work

Our latest technology FLIR infrared cameras will help us optimize our restoration and remediation work. The advanced functions that our cameras have are our great ally in the scanning in difficult areas to detect and evaluate. Therefore, it allows us to have an accurate and detailed record of the area where the problem is. In addition, our infrared camera also helps us identify water intrusion, find moisture below the surface and document dryness with precision and confidence.

Moisture Detection

Moisture detection is one of the most common processes in the state of Florida. Excess moisture inside your home, place or business can cause damage to structural materials such as rotting, mold growth, reduced insulation values, floor failure, roofing, and wall support.

Our company Pure Air has a team of professionals to help you prevent or solve these problems because our cameras have moisture meters to establish which materials have moisture. Determining the cause of the loss or entry point, identifying and mapping what is wet and what is not wet will allow focused drying where it is most needed, and once it can be measured, continuous monitoring helps ensure that Materials are drying properly.

Measuring Instruments

We handle two types of moisture meters: invasive or non-invasive.

Non-invasive Moisture Meters:

Invasive testing is not always possible, permissible or necessary, so non-invasive meters play an important role in the initial troubleshooting and inspection because they are more effective and allow us to quickly identify the location of high humidity and its source. They leave no trace of their use and do not cause damage to the materials being tested. Some moisture meters also offer the ability to connect to a range of wood probes as well as relative humidity probes, giving the user the versatility of using both methods.

Invasive Moisture Meters:

Invasive moisture detection refers to the use of pins or probes to test the moisture conditions of building materials. Pin endurance meters are mainly used in the wood industry, giving a percentage of moisture content per weight readings. Most models are available with a calibrated scale for a kind of wood with conversion or adjustment graphics to cover other wood species. Moisture conditions are measured by the ease with which an electric current passes from one pin to another, varying with the amount of moisture present.

By using moisture meters that can incorporate accurate and reusable relative humidity probes, the restorative drying professional can obtain a precise relative humidity, temperature, dew point and granules for pound readings. Relative humidity probes will take these readings from the building environment, sealed air spaces created in or above the concrete and in air spaces behind walls and ceilings.