What you see… What other Inspector see… What I see …
Benefits of Thermal Imaging in the detection of:
- Water infiltration (roof leaks located with recent rain fall within 24~48 hours)
- Cold air infiltration
- Excessive moisture in building materials
- Stud / Joist / Beam / Rafter placement and structure
- Insulation gaps, insufficient and unevenness
- Electrical drops, panels, breakers, switches and wire connections
- Heating and cooling duct placement, insulation, air leaks
- Pipe location
- Special Inspections
- Pest infestation
- Energy audits
- Insurance claims
Thermal Imaging Limitations
- Thermal imaging only displays surface temperatures of solid objects.
- IR detects the temperature based upon wavelength of the light emitted by the object (longer wavelength, colder). IR, therefore, does not show the temperature of objects that reflect light, (glass, shiny metal, light colored objects in direct sunlight).
- IR, does not “see through walls”, but only displays the very slight differences in surface temperature of the wall. Images of areas “behind” and not in contact with walls depends upon the temperature difference of the area. It is easier to see “hot” objects because they will be radiating heat to the not-in-contact surface. See pictures below for how IR is still incredibly useful.
- Careful adjustment of the range of temperatures displayed is important to proper imaging and interpretation. (but don’t worry: I have been trained to do this).
While there is no guarantee that nothing will be missed during the visual inspection. Thermal imaging brings me one step closer to not overlooking anything.
So you have to ask yourself: do you want a home inspector that offers thermal imaging or risk going with one that does not?
As you study the photos below, I remind you, these images would not be visible without the aid of a thermal imaging camera.