Advantages to thermal imaging?

(Kenton Shepard, CMI) #1

Thermal imaging allows inspectors who are qualified to use thermal imaging cameras to document certain conditions and include them an inspection report in a manner that is visually interesting. The photos are colorful and can be somewhat fascinating, especially to the many members of the public unfamiliar with thermography. Photos not only allow viewers to see temperature- and moisture-related problems from a different perspective, but often, subject temperatures are posted as part of the image. So there are both marketing and communication advantages to including thermal images in an inspection report.

Under the right conditions, typically having to do with temperature differentials, thermal imaging may allow inspectors to more easily identify temperature-related problems like inadequate levels of thermal insulation, and moisture problems like roof or plumbing leaks where they might not be obvious to casual observation, sometimes because no staining has yet occurred and/or because they are in a high ceiling or upper part of a tall wall.

As inspectors develop increasing levels of expertise, they may find a significant amount of additional work as thermographers, as opposed to home inspectors. In some areas of North America, as thermographers, they may also have considerably less competition.

What else?

(Robert Young) #2

Nice post Kenton. Glad to see you posting in the thermal imaging section.

I have several observations to add.
Structural problems
Air leaks
Mechanical / electrical hot spots
Heat or Cooling Loss
Energy loss
Plumbing leaks
Defective or improperly installed seals and caulking deficiencies
Building defects
Settled or Missing or voids in insulation
Weather intrusion.

(Mike Pagozalski, CMI) #3

You never grab a warm beer ������������������

(Robert Young) #4

To further your question, advantages to thermal imaging?
Qualitatively or quantitatively identifying, by means of thermal energy emitted from an object.
An efficient, safer investigative method of/for measurement.
Decreasing personal liability.
Marketing power. Standing out, among your competitors.

(William B. Ogletree, TREC License #22530) #5

The first time I used my IR camera, I saw warm “trails” in some of the ceiling areas in a home that had rat droppings in the attic. This was Texas in the summer, and I opined that those were likely places where rodents had burrowed in the attic. When I see similar trails now I immediately suspect rodent infestation, and will re-check attic areas if no signs were found before.

So, I would add “Identify signs of possible rodent or other pest infestation” to the list.

(Erik Schmidt) #6

Fridge control is set to coldest, imager says fridge temp is 40 F, “recommend replacing refrigerator”
A quick way to verify oven elements are working without waiting for the glow or burning your fingers.
Clients are impressed after they ask “how much did it cost you”
Entertaining clients kiddies
Checking out if clients are hot
Looking in the bushes for burglars at night
Discovering your 1954 Vincent Comet is running too hot.

(Ian W. Mayer, CMI) #7

I inspected a house a few months back. My thermal imaging camera noted a cold spot under the master bathroom. I confirmed a small wet spot with a moister meter.

All of this is in my report.

Well, the seller has a contractor come over, he can’t find the wet spot, tells everyone who will listen “that home inspector doesn’t know what he’s talking about, his equipment must be broken…”

Buyer moves in. Continues to have issues. At some point, someone opens up a wall in the master bathroom, and there is wood rot in the wall and evidence was found that implies the seller knew about it.

Now there is a discussion of a lawsuit but said lawsuit does not involve me.

Thermal Imaging has the potential to document evidence that will protect the HI from legal disputes.

(Dave Fetty, CMI) #8

I found a slow roof leak last week that I or anyone could never have found without IR.

(Ian W. Mayer, CMI) #9

Because you have rain!

Here, every time I call out a roof defect, an agent shouts “but there aren’t any leaks”. Yeah, it’s summer in Southern California. It hasn’t rained in months, and won’t rain again for many more months. Of course, there aren’t any active leaks!

But I digress.

(Dave Fetty, CMI) #10

We went for months after Irma, with no rain, so thankful that it has started raining again.

(Mitchel Brooks) #11

Best use for thermal :joy: