Message Board Thread - "Is it supose to be a thermal bridge?"

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Is it supose to be a thermal bridge? IR contractor 2/4/2006
I took this pic inside a house. And I am not sure of what it can be? An advice please
 
Re:Is it supose to be a thermal bridge? Conrad 2/4/2006
Looks like quite a good example of air intrusion, notice the wafting across the ceiling... need more info, to be sure.
 
Re:Is it supose to be a thermal bridge? IR contractor 2/4/2006
What other information can help to confirm if this is realy a thermal bridge?

What are the usuals sign of thermal bridge?
 
Re:Is it supose to be a thermal bridge? Coloradocam 2/6/2006
I believe this might be a metal strap that is sometimes used on framework or trusswork. Metal conducts cold very well where as the lumber is less of a conductor. Let's try to tap a small brad nail through this area to see if it is easily penetrated or drill a small hole and catch the filings on a white sheet of paper.
 
Re:Is it supose to be a thermal bridge? stan 2/6/2006
Did you check the area with a moisture meter? Is duct work above the area?
 
Re:Is it supose to be a thermal bridge? 2020 2/6/2006
In my humble opinion all the above answers may be correct. Here are three questions that should be known in order to make additional guesses

1) What was the outside temperature?
2) Is this picture from an interior exterior facing wall or interior interior facing wall?
3) Is the ceiling above leads to the roof or attic or living space?
 
Re:Is it supose to be a thermal bridge? IR contractor 2/6/2006
It will not be long for the anwser.

The outside temperature was: - 10 celcius

The picture as been took inside the condo near a door.

Above this is living place.

Outside it seem to have nothing, there is just above the end of the ceiling, the begening of the balcony for the highter level.


 
Re:Is it supose to be a thermal bridge? stan@ihstexas.com 2/7/2006
Thermal bridging would be something like a stud or joist, etc. - building materials that are in contact with the building envelope from ambient air. This would also be the point where there is no insulation. Thermal bridging from frame is usually more defined (dry to dry contact).

Your picture appears to be air infiltration where the balcony meets the wall above. This area may have compromised flashing with an area of higher moisture (verify with meter) If the exterior is EIFS, stucco, or other material that tends to absorb moisture in all directions when compromised, then this may also be the case.

To offer an educated guess: Air infiltration (∆Pa) through compromised flashing and/or envelope system transporting high moisture to surrounding area. Your temperature reading also indicates -10° C (well below freezing). With that in mind, it could simply be a mass of ice/snow on the balcony above revealing itself through an un-insulated area of wall.

Speaking of simple; you found an anomaly - now its time to get intrusive. Cut a drywall flap and see. All the posted answers are plausible, but nothing beats an old fashioned "look see".

Anyway, this makes for a great study and I am looking forward to what you discover after further investigation. This kind of forum makes us all better at what we do. Thanks for your post.
 
Re:Is it supose to be a thermal bridge? ICA 2/7/2006
I have see this before. Where there is an outside balcony, look along the balcony for drain holes, or weep holes. They may be even underneath the balcony.
You can verify this with a moisture meter, but I'll bet that you've got a small water leak that has taken some time to show up
 
Re:Is it supose to be a thermal bridge? philconte 2/24/2006
Looks like moisture to me.
 
Re:Is it supose to be a thermal bridge? rai 2/24/2006
Thermal bridging usually have distinct & firm lines. To me it seems like a classic case of moisture intrusion.
 
Re:Is it supose to be a thermal bridge? IR contractor 2/24/2006
I have check this with my wagner(moisture detector) and the rate of humidity show is normal to this device.
 
Re:Is it supose to be a thermal bridge? ICA 3/7/2006
Remeber, that a moisture meter is only going to meassure moisture content at the surface, and at a predictable distance below the surface of the drywall.
If the moisture has accumualted between the outside cladding, and the vapor barrier, it still would show up in your image, as cooler than the interior wall, but might not show up on your moisture meter since the coolness in well into the wall cavity. I agree that you are well beyond diagnotistic retreveal of information at this point. You have identified a problem, now you need to do some wall removal and determine what is going on.
 


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