In the midst of all the things you have to handle as a business owner, unexpected maintenance problems are some of the most harrowing. While having in-the-moment solutions is a good and useful tactic, so is planning ahead to prevent these nuisances from happening as much as possible. Not only does having a plan help with ensuring the overall success of your business, but it can also save you money in the long run. 

When it comes to protecting your facility from damage, using thermal imaging can be a great non-invasive technique to use. But, what is it and what can it help detect? 

Uses of thermal imaging 

Thermal imaging is an inspection technique used to identify things that cannot be found during a normal inspection, such as plumbing leaks, clogs, insulation problems, rot, infestations, and abnormalities around electrical hubs. Technicians use infrared cameras called thermograms to detect areas where excess heat is accumulating. Pictures or videos can be taken throughout the building, revealing potential damage beneath the walls, floors, or ceiling. In some cases, thermal imaging can even detect rodents that are living in a building. 

During a thermal imaging reading, a colorful picture of the surface will be produced. Because the cameras read the temperature, the colors represent how hot or cold an area is — giving technicians the ability to detect any potential damage. Warmer colors like red or orange indicate hotter temperatures, while darker colors like blue, black, or purple indicate that less heat is present. Green indicates an average room temperature. 

Benefits and limitations 

While there are many benefits to using thermal imaging, here are some of the most useful: 

However, although thermal imaging is a great inspection tool, there are also some drawbacks. A common myth about thermal imaging is that it acts as an “x-ray” with buildings and infrastructures. However, that simply isn’t the case. While thermal imaging can be used to find issues underneath surfaces, it is not a foolproof system. Because it is used to detect heat, it may pick up things that are not necessarily a problem. In the event that something is detected during a thermal imaging inspection, be sure to have it followed up on. 

Another thing to watch out for when using thermal imaging is if you are having an area with fluctuating temperatures inspected. If the temperature is too variable, it can affect the outcome of the reading. Bright and shiny surfaces like glass can also be difficult to obtain a thermal imaging reading from because they are reflective. 

Thermal imaging as preventative maintenance 

As mentioned, keeping up with preventative maintenance is extremely important for business owners. Incorporating thermal imaging into your preventative maintenance plan can help alleviate future headaches for your business. But, how do you know that thermal imaging is right for you? 

Every business has its own unique needs, so figuring out what yours are is the first step. If you have trouble determining the full breadth of preventative maintenance requirements your facility needs due to lack of data, poor records, hard-to-reach places, or old equipment and machinery, then thermal imaging may be a solution. Opting for thermal imaging is also handy if you're moving premises or changing facilities.

For example, If you plan on moving facilities or adding additional locations to your business, an inspection is critical. Before you begin to move into a new space, thermal imaging can evaluate the safety of the building you’re leasing or buying by identifying any problems from the start. 

As a business owner, the last thing you want is unexpected problems during any period of transition. 

Save with a Maintenance Plan

With Explore One by SMS Assist, you can schedule thermal imaging as part of your regular, routine inspection. The cloud-based program provides business owners with the chance to not only take advantage of an exceptional provider network but also to save time and money. 

In one case, SMS Assist helped a business save 5.3% of its annual budget by reevaluating its current maintenance plan. By switching the priority levels of services that the business had selected, the business was able to allocate funds toward more critical tasks like broken and leaking machinery ahead of ones that could be taken care of later. The platform

Are you ready to start being proactive when it comes to maintaining your facilities? If so, SMS Assist is there to help. We’ve worked with over 200,000 properties since we started and have completed 2 million work orders since 2019. So, we’ve got both the experience and the knowledge to help you create a cost-effective, well-balanced preventative maintenance plan for your business. 

By partnering with a trusted integrated services provider like us to manage your facility, you are setting your business up for success. We offer software and services that help alleviate some of the stressful events that can come with being a business owner — which is an already stressful task. Get in touch with us today at

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