Thermal imaging limitations and considerations

(WARNING, LONG POST feel free to turn back now. Feedback is appreciated)

This mornings inspections has especially caused me to be thinking about the value of adding a Thermal imaging camera to my arsenal. Two of the key points where I am wondering if this toll would increase the value I offer to my clients.

  1. The downstairs remained noticeably cooler than the other parts of the home. My client who is also a realtor who has referred me fairly often in the past was asking about it and I was able to offer some possibly reasons as to why this might be. How much confidence can an inspector gain is this type of situation when talking about insulation in walls and other cold spots? How has this tools helped you increase the value you offer to your clients?

  2. Both of the upstairs tile showers had significantly deteriorated grout. I have seen this type of situation cause extensive water damage behind the encloser, but not being able to open up the wall I can only speculate that water damage behind is possible. If I had a thermal imaging camera how could I have used it in this situation. What are the chances it would clue me into damage behind the wall?

  3. The upper section of the chimney chase showed signs of rot (very typical here in the Pacific Northwest). How could I have used a thermal imaging camera to help understand the extent of damage in this type of situation?

I would love to hear pro’s and con’s from y’all who are currently using Thermal technology.

Thank you

Those with training and experience may discover many issues related to what you have mentioned. Other may see nothing . A better IR camera can help you avoid being infrared blind during your scans. Hope this helps.

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond John.

Perhaps this may help. In this video-sketch NACBI discusses the basics behind Thermographic Infrared Building Envelope Surveys and touches on Heat Loss Evaluations, Insulation, Moisture, etc.

It further discusses NACBI’s recommended qualifications of the Thermographer and the minimum equipment and standards that should be used. This video is primarily based on commercial building inspections, but should give a great basics for home inspectors delving into theResNet side of things.