Fun Day Finding Moisture

Did an inspection of Condo unit with exterior stucco walls.
The joints were bowing out, cracking and damaged spots
noted. Found moisture (with meter and visible stains)
in various location in the interior sheetrock. Then found
some more moisture damage, stains and leaks in the
walls next to the exterior steps.

Can we say “fungi-heaven”?

Then out walks the lady next door and we ask if her
adjacent wall has any signs of moisture leaks (just
thought I could use more info).

She said “no, everything dry here”… So I asked her for
permission to put the moisture meter on her wall also.

Bingo… she has moisture in the wall too!!!

She then told us that she was about to purchase this
condo unit and she was glad to get the “heads up”
before she bought the unit. She then said she
was a major mortgage broker and would tell all her banker
associates about me (thank you God).

She had bad experiences with inspectors who worked
for the local Realtors and wanted someone independent
of the good ol boy network.

I said… “I’m the right man, and I understand what your
talking about.” It was a fun day.

Then I walked inside and pulled out the water level
with 50’ hose. The slab had 1 3/8 dop in ten feet
in the Din Rm. Not a good sign.

I wish someone would give me a thermal imaging
camera for my birthday now (hint… hint… :mrgreen: )

LOL…I hear there’s a good deal just down the road on them thar camera thangs. :wink:

Oh it is soooo nice to find moisture.:wink:


Do you have any pictures?

The Client said they did not care about any pictures in
this report. It’s their call.

Did an inspection, yesterday, in a very high end suburb.

House origiannly built in 1915, frame, and remodeled and added to (2nd floor and 1st floor over garage) in 1999.

Exterior was EIFS, and very badly installed. Moisture behind EIFS at windows, separation and bubling of EIFS, cracks in the surface and at flash points. High moisture readings and thermal imaging, from the inside, showed mostuire in the studs. Attic not properly ventilated (ridge vent nailed down too tight and soffit vent baffles clogged with blown-in insulation.

Talk about moisture. :shock:






Will, can you describe what you are looking at with the thermal camera and what do you charge for this inspection?

Thanks for the info. I’m looking into adding this inspection and I’m trying to gather as much info. as possible.

With this specific inspection, I took 4 walks around the outside (first) and looked for visual signs, as well as taking a Tramex and scanning the surface. Many visual signs were evident. I then took the thermal camera back and shot thermal pictures.

When you have a clear visual problem, back it up with the thermal camera and back THAT up with deep probing (EM and RF) moisture meters and pin measurements, it’s kinda not negotable.

Get as much info as you can. The stucco contractors denied everything and the Realtor (buyers) was on the phone with the seller’s Realtor before the client even showed up (They REALLY wanted to make this sale!).

I also consulted with an EIFS expert that I know and he backed up the ‘diagnosis’.

Get all your information and evidence in line. They want to argue with you. Just show them the ‘objective’ evidence and use multiple tools (that you know how to use) and have them argue with the instruments.

That is how you avoid liability. You are only reporting what the tools report.

Regular inspection (500) that displayed early, serious signs of significant defects. I asked the client if they wanted to proceed, but they had had enough. Charged them time only (150) and gave them the pictures. The lawyer was a friend and he agreed. This ‘remodel’ was a mess.

Hope this helps;

Thanks Will, I appreciate your info.

More info and pictures here:

Will, how do you market your camera so the inspection cover the cost of it and do you do just thermal image inspections for say contractors, insulation companies, condo association? Just trying to define a market other than home inspections, Oh, what about commercial inspections?

Thanks again. Pete

I use the camera in all inspections. Regular (home) inspections to check (from the inside) for moisture in the walls and ceilings. Check ceilings for moisture intrusion (leaky roofs, condensation on HVAC ducts, etc).

EIFS is another good use. This one (above) was a regular home inspection.

Also for commercial.

I also do energy audits. When houses areound here flood, some flood remediation companies call me to find the source of the leaks (finished basements, check behind the walls for cracks in the foundation).

I also have contractors call me to check for water problems in new construction.

I also have plumbers call when there are problems with hydronic flooring or radiant heat ceilings.

I even have some high school trainers call me to check out athlete’s knees, toes, jambed fingers and such. The pictures give them an indication of where the inflamation is. I have even had a few doctors call me.

One time, I got a call from the local horse racing track. Their vet wanted me to look at a horse’s leg (he came up lame). It cost less than an MRI (for a horse!) and gave enough information to the vet.

Check out this jambed toe. Note how the toe is hotter. I stubbed the dang thing on my desk.

Really, just use your imagination.



Ouch!!! I know that toe hurt.

BTW… that was an excellent post at activerain.
Very informative. I love those thermal images.

Thanks for turning me on to ActiveRain. Good free publicity. I expect to write many more such articles (being the long winded SOB that I am :mrgreen: )

Don’t forget to rate it. Brings up the points.

Will, again, thank you for all your help, it seems I’m on the right track with marketing this inspection. Hope the toe gets better!

It happened about 8 months ago. My boo-boo is all better now.:mrgreen:

That’s good Will, one more question, what type of camera do you use?

Good old FLIR B-Cam, the red one, not ne the new yellow one. The new one is better (and less expensive!). I wish I had a new one (with the NACHI discount). BUT, I had to go all 'bleeding edge" and all :roll: .

Had to blot out the “FLIR” logo, as I am submitting this course to the state for CE licensing and they don’t like corporate logos and marketing.

I will be presenting the course in Toronto. Everyone invited. Come on up. Sort of a ‘test drive’. I would invite critique and helpful comments.

I will provide a copy of the Power Point to anyone who wants it (After Toronto) <— Please Note: Because everyone knows that HI’s can’t read :mrgreen:

Thanks Will, I would like to see PP presentation, wish I was going to Toronto I would have attended.

Will, can you take a picture on a roof and detect leaks with shingles from on top?

Around toilets inside of the home?

I am close to buying one and am also going to market to the local power companies within a 60 mile radius. I have been told there is a market to shoot their transformers, and sub=stations… Also am going to try to hit all the hospitals to get their ccu, and life saftey panels, as well as the local factories…For electrical, roofing, motor calcs, etc…

How far is the nearest airport from you? I may fly up one day if invited.