Air Leakage

Air leakage is the passage of air through a building envelope, wall, window, joint, etc. Leakage to the interior is referred to as infiltration and leakage to the exterior is referred to as exfiltration. Excessive air movement significantly reduces the thermal integrity and performance of the envelope and is, therefore, a major contributor to energy consumption in a building.

In addition to energy loss caused by excessive air leakage, it can cause condensation to form within and on walls. This can create many problems; reduce insulation R-value, permanently damage insulation, and seriously degrade materials. It can rot wood, corrode metals, stain brick or concrete surfaces, and in extreme cases cause concrete to spall, bricks to separate, mortar to crumble and sections of a wall to fall jeopardizing the safety of occupants. It can corrode structural steel, re-bar, and metal hangars and bolts with very serious safety and maintenance issues. Moisture accumulation in building materials can lead to the formation of mold that may require extensive remediation.

Virtually anywhere in the building envelope where there is a joint, junction or opening, there is potential for air leakage. With the use of the IR-InSight or FlexCam S infrared imagers, one can identify thermal irregularities on the building envelope and the thermal pattern discerning whether the pattern indicates a problem with the insulation, air leakage or the building structure.