Concrete masonry units (CMU), many times referred to as concrete or cinder blocks, are one of the preferred methods of construction when it comes to building walls for large buildings such as shopping malls, strip malls, schools and other types of office, retail, and commercial structures. Depending on the design, some residential properties may also employ block wall construction.
This type of construction can be erected quickly; it’s strong, relatively inexpensive and fire resistant. However, it was difficult in the past to pinpoint any problems or potential problems in these solid block walls, such as leaks, missing insulation, gaps in the mortar or grout, or faulty construction. And not only difficult, but expensive. It usually required drilling holes or removing sections of the wall to try to find and fix the problem. Then afterwards came the added expense of putting the wall back together.
With infrared scanning, this is no longer the case. Any problems can be pinpointed accurately with no damage to the wall. And the scanning can be done during construction or after the work is completed. The images can be recorded and saved so that if printouts become necessary, for whatever reason, they are readily available.
New construction of a building requires many hands. First, an architect to design the building; a structural engineer and an insurance company are also needed. Then a contractor must be found who, in turn, may assign the wall construction to a masonry contractor. It is difficult to watch every step of the operation considering the number of employees involved. But mistakes in construction, flaws in design, potential weak spots can be found and corrected more easily if regular infrared scans are made while the work is being done.
These types of buildings must be able to withstand trauma. During earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and other crises, these building often serve as shelters or safe places. A weak spot could be disastrous, especially if it could have been easily found and corrected beforehand. Is there sufficient grout—or too much? What about water leaks or dampness? Thermal technology can not only alert those responsible to potential problems, but through digital recording can provide evidence when it becomes necessary to assign any liability.
Whether you own a concrete block building, rent a concrete block building, or are in the process of having this type of building constructed, we think you’ll agree that it’s in your best interest to include this service, infrared scanning, as part of your ongoing maintenance.