Interpreting readings

I don’t have an IR camera yet but…

How do you report a temperature difference around a window or in a ceiling that could be moisture or actually just air infiltration/draft causing the temperature difference?

First you have to determine which it is. . .

Moisture meters are weak on detecting air infiltration :wink:


It’s going to take a lot of training and hands-on with an IR camera before you are able to tell the diffeence between air infiltration, moisture, Termite damage, etc.

There is a big differential in identifying these issues and you can not simply tell your client that you think it’s moisture or that you think it’s air infiltration.

Training is the only way to confirm your IR readings. If and when you get your camera, post the pics here for all of us to learn from each other.

I have a new home inspection coming up, the client has an IR camera…

He says that he found a large “cold” area on the 1st floor ceiling, where another heated floor is above. Sounds like air infiltration since it has been this way for some time where water would have dried up by now.

I won’t be reporting any of his IR findings though…

Sometimes a cooler spot may be moisture (confirm with meter)
Sometimes it could be an air leak (pattern, draft test if possible)
Sometimes it is the transferr of energy (cold outside causing thermal bridging to inside)
Sometimes if the attic is hot, the cooler area can be a lump of stray insulation or any item that blocks the heat (makes a darker, cooler spot).

Sometimes a cluster of termites tunnels can cause this darker (cooler) spot. Keep us posted on what you discover.
Sometimes the cool AC duct can cause this cool darker spot. (leak or just radiation from the duct it self or cheaper flex duct)
Sometimes the cool freon line can cause a darker area to show up on the IR image.
Don’t call it if you cannot confirm it. It’s always better to stay with the SoP, if you are not sure and feel it needs further evaluation.

David is right… you can’t guess and training is a must. Good luck.

Not a true blower door test but turning on all existing exhaust fans can make all of the difference in the world when trying to locate/isolate air infiltration or insulation performance.

Make sure all doors, windows and chimney flues are closed first!

Sounds like a lot of work to check a complete house with an IR camera.

What are typical charges and choices for client?

I would think the client should decide exactly where (from a list) and how many scans/pictures they want or you would be liable for not scanning every single wall, ceiling and floor area.

Hope this helps

This is inaccurate John.
Temperature differences do not “cause” thermal bridging.

A thermal bridge is created when materials with poor insulating properties are physically in contact with each other allowing thermal energy (heat) to flow through the path created.
A stud inside a wall is a thermal bridge.
A branch circuit conductor is a thermal bridge.
Of course a thermal gradient must exist in order for heat to flow, but it does not *cause *thermal bridging.
Just wanted to clarify.

It can be nicely integrated into a home inspection.

I wouldn’t let them dictate where to use it. Would you let them choose which portions of the exterior or which rooms to inspect? Explain and educate throughout the process and your clients will be happy and greatful!

You said “allowing thermal energy (heat) to flow”

I said “transferr of energy”… symantics… it all ends up affecting temperature.

Yep…Through conduction.

No it’s not symantics.
Transfer of energy does not cause thermal bridging.

Guys…It’s spelled…“semantics”-It’s a relation between signs and the things they refer to.

Thermal bridging is created when materials that are poor insulators come in contact, allowing heat to flow through the path created.

You said allowing thermal energy (heat) to flow

I said transferr of energy… semantics… it all ends up affecting temperature.

flow, transfer, whatever… it is still an insulation problem and affects temperature.

That’s not what I’m saying…

**NEITHER ONE *****CAUSES ***thermal bridging as you have stated.

Thermal bridging is the property of a medium which allows energy to flow, transfer, run through, travel, etc.
Nothing CAUSES thermal bridging as thermal bridging is a product of a materials properties, thermal capacitance, and the material’s ability to allow thermal conduction by being a poor insulator.

Thermal bridging is a property – not an action as you have indicated.

I’m sorry, let me say it right
Instead of saying

transferr of energy

I should have said
the property of a medium which allows the
transferr of energy… whew…LOL

Laugh if you want…

But it appears to me you aren’t getting it … if you’re teaching this stuff… I sure would want to get it right and what you said was far from it.

Just my 2 bits …
I’m done so enjoy!:D:p

Are we picking on each other’s words too much here or what?

If there were no temperature difference between the inside and the outside everything would be the same temperature and there would be no apparent thermal bridge. The thermal conductivity of different materials causes them to change temperature at a different rate. For temperature to change there must be a temperature differential.
I think we can use the word cause in this case.

If we want to pick apart our words, I don’t particularly like the use of “poor insulators”. A mere differential in thermal conductivity between materials is all that is needed. It doesn’t necessarily have to be “poor”.

Is 1/10th degree C “substantial”?

However if we look a little deeper we will see that the dictionary does reference this condition to “poor insulators”.