Thermal Imaging Inspection
Since a significant portion of a home is hidden behind walls and ceilings there are obvious limitations to a standard home inspection.
Thermal imaging cameras give us the ability to see more.
An infrared camera (or thermal camera) is not x-ray vision, so it doesn’t see though walls, but it does see hot and cold spots on walls (and other surfaces) by recognizing slight temperature variations. We use our camera to find insulation, moisture, electrical issues and more that are otherwise invisible.
Thermal imaging can sometimes detect poorly insulated areas.
The thermal photos below show areas of heat loss in the attic of an otherwise beautiful $300,000 custom built home. The photos were taken in the winter so purple areas indicate cold spots where the insulation is not properly in contact with drywall, these are areas where heat from the living space is escaping easily. Rolled fiberglass batt insulation was used instead of a more effective blown-in insulation.
Moisture in contact with building materials can diminish structural integrity and nurture mold. IR cameras can find active moisture without physically dismantling walls when there are no visible signs of moisture. When water evaporates it is naturally cooler than surrounding areas and comes up as a cold spot when using a thermal camera.
The side by side photo comparison below shows a bedroom wall and floor in a recently flipped home. The room had no visual issues or clues of any problems. The purple areas of the thermal photo indicated potential moisture at the wall and carpet. A moisture meter confirmed the wall and carpet were wet from a significant roof leak that was otherwise invisible.
Electrical Heat Signatures
Thermal imaging can help spot potential electrical hazards. By identifying abnormal heat patterns from an electrical system, potential problems can be evaluated further by an electrician.