Cistern leakage

I inspected a home today with a cistern installed under the attached garage. The house is about 30 years old. The internal wall of the cistern (in the basement of the house) has water leaking through at about the third concrete block up from the bottom. Water is pooling (not much) at the base of the wall on the floor).

There is evidence that this has been an ongoing problem as a nearby doorframe lights up wet with a moisture detector.

Here’s my question… given that it is a block wall with cavities in the middle, would an IR inspection determine if water is being retained within the wall?

I’ve recommended an inspection by a cistern guy and foundation guy.


If the standing water inside the wall is a different temperature than the room itself (which it normally is) then it will conduct it’s temperature to the outer most surface of the block wall. The hollow channels will prevent conduction, but the inner dividing walls (inside the blocks) will somewhat conduct it’s temperature to the exterior.

Keep in mind that if accumulating water is the same temperature as the room itself, an IR camera will not detect anything. There must be a differential (of at least 10-15 degrees) established between the room temperature itself and the defect in question.

Thanks David

I’ll make that recommendation to the buyers.