While thermography is often thought of as a tool for predictive maintenance and condition assessment, in a larger sense it is an investigative tool. Thermal imaging provides evidence of thermal patterns across the surface of imaged objects. Accurately determining the cause of the observed thermal patterns often requires a little more work. Examples include visual inspections, ammeter readings, or invasive moisture meter readings to corporate thermal data.
At times, confirming tests such as those listed above are unavailable during an infrared inspection. In such cases, thermographers should accurately document their findings/observations and not offer conclusions until all facts are known.