Found with thermal

(William B. Ogletree, TREC License #22530) #21


Thanks for your input!

I can see your reasoning for posting these separately so each instance can stand alone without the overlapping that can occur. I created the thread on this subject to invite members to share what they are finding with their IR cameras, and it seems to be working well in that regard. Those interested in the subject can follow this thread rather than comb through multiple threads, and participation seems to be good despite the overlap problems. I am learning a lot, personally.

I agree wholeheartedly that IR images should be accompanied with standard photos to help viewers understand what they are looking at.

Regarding “trails”, what I am trying to describe is what appears to be a path leading from one place to another, which I am seeing in insulated ceilings. Usually these are about 4 to 8 inches wide, suggesting an area where the insulation is either disturbed or absent, and running several feet. (see attached images). I doubt I would ever say, based on such an image, that there was definitely rodent activity in the attic, but I would be especially watchful for other signs when inspecting the attic.


(William B. Ogletree, TREC License #22530) #22


Thanks for the contribution. Great example of the potential of the technology.

Here’s one from earlier this week. I had a heads-up from the buyer as he had noticed a repair spot under the upstairs Master bath area. The seller had said it was from a tub overflow, but the buyer had his doubts.

I let the tub run a bit longer than normal and viewed the ceiling beneath about an hour later, revealing a small area cooler than the surrounding ceiling. Readings from my pen-type moisture meter indicated moisture levels twice that of the surrounding area. Because of the location, I said I was fairly certain that there was a leak at the bathtub drain.

I include a picture-in-picture photo for simplicity’s sake. The ceiling showed no discoloration or other visible sign of moisture.

I can’t imagine how I would have been able to find this without an IR camera.


(Charley L. Bottger) #23

When I find confirmed moisture with IR and a moisture meter as in the first two images I always try to determine the source. The moisture was on the ceiling in a upstairs closet and when I entered the attic I saw the refrigerant lines above the closet and I though Ha, I have the source but I had not been on the roof yet and that was my next stop as I was not satisfied that the refrigerant lines could leak that much condensate. The digital pic is where the leak was from,tree limb damage and someone had cut the limbs back and did not repair the damaged shingles. If I had been on the roof first I would not have needed my IR its pretty obvious what was happening.

(Robert Young) #24

Thank you William.
Refreshing answers.

Looking forward to individual threads on infrared subject material from home inspectors. These open hypothese derived from discussions should prove to be enlightening.

There are some very talented and experienced thermographers here. This should be great for the association.
Again, I thank you for opening up the discussion.

(Chuck Evans, CMI TREC 7657) #25

Inductive heating of non-energized components in on a 1,200 Amp bus. Not a big deal, but interesting.

(Robert Young) #26

Interesting, induction heat on a non energized conductive objects.

Characteristics of radio frequency (RF) energy.
I take it this is common in objects using AC current?
What would one imply an negative condition from Inductive heating on components?

(Robert Young) #27

2013 constructed 2.5 story home.
Inspection. 3 days ago.
EIFS inspection. PB EIFS.

Building had 3 veneers. Masonry, EIFS, Vinyl siding.
Siding did not impede energy transfer as well as masonry and EIFS.

2 blended Images: 55% & 90% blending.
Location: Main landing. Rear left room.

HYPOTHESES: Energy transfer.
Energy loss at the joist bays.
IMO this is a critical intersection for energy loss and cheap to improve.

Weather. Clear skies.
Exterior 81° Fahrenheit @ 51% RH.
Interior >< 75° Fahrenheit @ 47% RH.
The drywall is colder because the second level floor joist bays where not insulated properly close to the wall.

(William B. Ogletree, TREC License #22530) #28

Good stuff, Robert, thanks!

I have to admit, I’m having a little trouble making sense of what I think I am seeing. With outdoor ambient temps at 81 F and indoor at 75 F (less, I have been taught, than is necessary for accurate evaluation of temperature differentials), what is causing the cooling of the drywall? I could not be loss of heat to the exterior due to the higher external temps, so is it conditioned air from the second story, or some other source that I am not thinking of?

Also, how would you suggest this could be corrected?

Thanks for helping me understand this.

(Robert Young) #29

Accurate evaluation of temperature differentials:) >< 15 F if I am not mistaken. Good point. Been some time.

To be honest, I did not spend the time to do a HVAC evaluation. I was there for a EIFS inspection. The inspection was based upon a past client, retired home inspector, and his misinterpretation of EIFS assembly. A supposed PM Class EIFS was actually PB Classification.
Properly installed EPS on plywood substrate. Plywood back with tentest, compressed organic mulch board sprayed with bitumen oil,and EPS.

Great thermal protection. I could barely see the round nylon ESP retention rings with my camera that day. Showed up great on the software:)

Everything after the surface EPS, the mesh, base and finish coat was poorly installed. Bottom EIFS wall trim base and finish coat were missing.

Wonderful individual. Very challenging client. Wanted to know everything. I let her know as much as I could.

To be honest, William, I hesitated, and then avoided moving forward about the thermal image in question.

Hypothesis: HVAC ductwork supply, flex duct, between the floor joist and band joist. There are issues with the ducting. Or at least that is how it appears to me.
You can see the joists have been bridged with furring for the ceiling drywall. Very common in rural settings in my neck of the woods.

Condition: Compromised ductwork. The owner complained about low air flow to the second floor. Circular ceiling ducts in the mother apartment in the basement were closed and the space was cool. Cooling to the second floor was minimal. 2.5 ton equipment. Could maker snow if I lowered the temp:)

HVAC assessment would involve 2 to 3+ hours. Likely duck work related Willam. I have all the equipment. I use to to HVAC systems. Not interested any longer.

Thanks for the discussion.

(Bradley K. Toye, CMI) #30

I got to be honest…I have not seen this much hot air in a long time.

(Charley L. Bottger) #31

Lets play what is it, I saw this today and it looked strange so I captured the images just for giggles tell me what it is???

(Dominic DAgostino, CMI HI3957) #32

Toilet tank.

(Robert Young) #33

Bradley Toye, thanks for your input.

I make mistakes. As I bet you do.

Thanks for trying William Ogletree. I guess its just another thread to avoid.

(Charley L. Bottger) #34

That is correct I don’t normally see a tank with water in it warmer than it’s surroundings and it had been flushed several times. The lines down the side are reflections.

(Dominic DAgostino, CMI HI3957) #35

Around here in the afternoon our tap water is hot enough to brew tea, especially if the home has been re-plumbed (pipes in the attic).

(Charley L. Bottger) #36

I don’t find many domestic water lines in a attic here only if there has been a leak beneath the slab foundation then they are routed to the attic but the home I imaged the lines were all beneath the slab and it surprised me that the water temp was that high as that area of Okla where the home was located has only had two days of temps above 100 degrees F

(William B. Ogletree, TREC License #22530) #37


I appreciate any participation at this thread, as long as it remains constructive. As we are told in Proverbs “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another”.

Honestly, if you are going to let a sharp-tongued curmudgeon put you off a thread, you’ll soon find yourself unable to read anything at this forum!

I look forward to your continued participation, and will simply ignore such comments as were offered regarding your post.

(William B. Ogletree, TREC License #22530) #38

Here’s a pic of the little girl who was with the family that was in attendance for the entire inspection yesterday. I really hate it when folks do that.

Anyway, the family got a kick out of it and I sent the photo to her mother, who said she was going to post it on Facebook. I encouraged her to let people know where it came from ;). Maybe it will be a conversation piece that leads to referral work. Maybe I might do this sort of thing more often.

Gimmick, I know, but if it works, what the hey!


(Robert Young) #39

William Ogletree, you are a kind and measured professional.

Members, please excuse inexperience and enthusiasm. We all started somewhere.

Exterior = 59% RH @ 81° F
Interior = 45% RH @ 75° F

Cladding. Outer wall Vinyl Siding. Inner wall. Tentest overlay. Insulated 2" X 4" Stud bays.

2 images. Same interior location. Main level. Rear/West wall.
1: >90% visual / IR blended.

2: ><55% visual / IR blended.

Infrared Thermal Equipment . Ti300 60hz camera.
Emissivity table: (95)
Pallet Color: Iron Bow. Normal contrast.
Background temp set at 73 ° F
Level/Span, Auto.
IR Window: 100%

Observation: A semi continuous width, approximately ><18" wide, of deep blue bordered by an aqua blue hue.
Location: Second level outermost floor joists. Main level. West wall.

Conclusion. Energy loss. Insufficient thermal barrier for the flex duct.

Hypothesis: Flex duct was not evenly insulated. The HVAC installer used loose cellulose fill to surround the flex ductwork between floor joists and wall chases.

Conclusion: A denser type insulation would decrease energy loss at this location.

(Robert Young) #40

There are some truly great thermographers in InterNACHI. We all realize Jim Seffrin the best. Jim has been an Infraspection Institute Certified Infrared Thermographer® since 1984. Jim is a co-founder of Jersey Infrared Consultants and a practicing thermographer with over 30 years experience as an infrared consultant.

Wouldn’t it be advantageous for experienced thermal imaging members, Leveled thermographers, to add reference to/for this discussion as they see fit?

I joined other InterNACHI members by purchasing Infraspection Institute educational course, just one of the many courses they offer, called’"Infrared Inspections for Home and Building Inspectors’ / Distance Learning Reference Manual.’ A wonder volume covering.
Infrared Theory.
Electrical Inspections.
Thermal Imaging equipment.
Building Sciences.
Insulated Roofs.
Marketing and Management.

Would it not be advantageous to use this educational material for Found with thermal reference?
From my beliefs, As we are told in Proverbs, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another”:slight_smile: Food for thought.