Thermal imaging photos

107 year old home. Rehab company finished the upper attic out. Outside temperature was 50 degrees interior was heated to 70 degrees. The visible areas of attic were not insulated.

What do these thermal images tell you? These areas could not be accessed.






More photos. These were the areas I could access.






Hi, the rehab company, were they suppose to insulate the areas on your second post? The first post looks insulated to me. Framing members showing thermal bridging and the cavities are almost the same temp as in the inside and of a warm thermal color.

The second group of photos are of the same rooms and should have been insulated. This was a two story home. The ceilings over the kitchen were not insulated. The back walls of the upper bathroom were not insulated.

What camera were you using?

Was the sun out?

It is kind of pointless to me to take thermal photos of areas that are not insulated, unless you are looking for water leakage. The area kind of speaks for itself prior to the thermal images.

E8 Flir

Partly Cloudy. I find lots of un-insulated areas all the time using my camera.

If you would read my post you will see the thermal photos were areas that could not be accessed. But thanks for you input all the same.

If you could, what information are you trying to deduce form the thermograms, Frank?
You explained there is no insulation and provided images from your camera about the attic.
Great work by the way!

What systems or components are you referring to? Moisture intrusion? Component saturation, ie asphalt shingles? Conditions were microbiological can thrive? Energy loss?

I am sure many will help. We all start somewhere.

As for the visible light images.
There appears to be Poly B domestic supply lines.
Unfortunately the images pixelated as I tried to expand the data, to get closer to the object, to snip the manufacturing labeling.

I am sure many will help.

‘What do these thermal images tell you?’ Ops, sorry Frank.

Just a guess but I think the insulation is glass fiber batt insulation.
If it was dense glass fiber batt it would produce better thermal protection or R if installed correctly.

Nothing unusual. Areas of insulation many have been hastily installed but I think they did not have much room to add insulation.
By the pattern, cooler temperatures exist in geometric cavities when they should not. The temperature values should be relatively even.

As well, it appears to look like there are two levels roof deck.
The upper level is not much higher than the first level.
By the fascia board temperature signature it appears that area was not insulated.
A Gamble roof perhaps, Frank?

Best I can offer at the moment. As yourself, I am awaiting Chuck, David or any of the NACBI members to chime in.

Hope that helps.


At first blush, your images exhibit textbook examples of properly insulated framed walls and sloped ceilings that are inspected during late evening hours from the building’s interior under the conditions you describe (cool outside and warm inside).

The thermal patterns shown in your images - cool studs and warm stud bays - may also be seen if the attic space behind the imaged surfaces was warmer than outside air temperature and/or the temperature within the living space. Conditions that would cause the spaces behind the finished walls to be warm would include, but not be limited to: solar loading during or prior to an inspection, warm air rising from lower floors into the unfinished attic space, or a lack of sufficient inside to outside temperature differential.

Keep in mind that accepted industry practice and published standards call for an inside to outside temperature difference of 10C (18F) for 3 hours prior to, and during an infrared inspection. These are the conditions needed to produce steady state-heat flow and to help ensure best results.

If thermal imagery from the areas that you confirmed to be uninsulated exhibited the same pattern as the visually inaccessible areas, I would expect that the walls and ceilings are uninsulated and the resulting thermal patterns are due to a lack of sufficient inside to outside delta T.

Prior to offering any opinion as to whether the subject walls and ceilings are likely insulated, I would strongly encourage you to find a way to visually inspect these areas. In my experience, it is highly unlikely that a contractor would properly insulate walls and ceilings that are not readily accessible while not insulating areas that are.

You are welcome to contact me directly should you wish to further discuss your project. I hope this helps and wish you the best of luck with your thermal imaging endeavors.

Frank, a opportunity that should not be overlooked.

Jim, I did not realize that accepted industry practice, and published standards, call for an inside to outside temperature difference of 10C (18F) for 3 hours prior to, and during an infrared inspection.
If that delta difference can not be obtained with exterior temperatures, and there is no HVAC to create a delta T, what do you do?
Looking forward to your answer.

I’m not Jim, but I’ve been fishing with him. As far as doing the building thermal envelope is concerned, under the scenario you describe, it’s best to leave the imager in the case and perform a visual inspection.

You can still detect moisture if you have conditions which will permit evaporation to occur (dependent on relative humidity inside the building envelope).

You need to know what existing conditions will facilitate what types of thermographic inspections on any given day. I frequently refund all or part of the fee for the thermography component of an inspection because conditions are not conducive to producing reliable results or a fair return on the client’s investment. If the client is present, we will pause part way through the inspection and discuss what parts of the thermographic inspection I can perform reliably under the existing conditions so that they may make an informed decision whether to proceed with a full, partial or no thermographic inspection. The first 2.5+ hours of the inspection are spent creating conditions to facilitate the thermographic component of the inspection. We don’t just walk through the house randomly with an imager in hand.

Thank you Chuck.
Quoting me was unneeded/uncalled for. Trust me.
I was trying to bring Jim Seffrin into the conversation. We hear so little from Jim. I thought it would be a positive turning point. I doubt others would disagree but it’s always Jim’s choice.

On that note. I took Jim’s observation relating to roofs. The OP posted, ‘Rehab company finished the upper attic out.’
I guess I should have been more open minded and thought envelope.


Back to, the inside to outside temperature difference of 10C (18F) for 3 hours prior to, and during an infrared inspection.

Does this have to be sustained ambient or air temperature, the temperature surrounding environment, or can the temperature be the material or objects temperature?

Frank, Contact Jim or Chuck if their explanation given here was not sufficient.
Robert is a wannabe thermographer and just babbles nonsense and should be ignored.

Linus, I thought you only knew about used dishwashers?:roll:
Hopefully some one will put you back in your cage.
No wonder Jim keeps his distance. I certainly would to keep my reputation.


Requirements for infrared inspections of building envelopes may be found within the Standard for Infrared Inspections of Building Envelopes.

For infrared inspections conducted for the purpose of detecting energy loss, the following conditions are listed within the Standard:

9.4.3 Inspection Procedures With help from the end user or the end user’s representative, the thermographer will define the thermal boundaries of the building envelope. When performing infrared inspections to detect energy loss, the temperature differences across the building envelope will be at least 10 C° (18 F°) between: The conditioned and unconditioned surfaces for at least three hours before performing conduction inspections. The building’s inside air temperature and its outside surface temperature when inspecting for air leakage from the outside of a building that is under positive pressure. The building’s outside air temperature and its inside surface temperature when inspecting for air leakage from the inside of a building that is under negative pressure.

For your reference, a full copy of the Standard may be found on the InterNACHI website at the following URL:

While it is possible to detect evidence of some building envelope deficiencies with smaller Delta Ts, the above parameters are intended to ensure steady-state heat flow conditions and provide the best chance for accuracy when conducting inspections for energy loss. These same requirements have been followed by thermographers in the United States, Canada, and Europe for over 30 years.

Whenever site or object conditions are insufficient for conducting an accurate infrared inspection, a thermographer should postpone the inspection until such time that appropriate conditions do exist.

I hope this helps.

Thank you Jim.
Always appreciate you comments.
I will revisit the curriculum; 9.4.3 Inspection Procedures, Requirements for infrared inspections of building envelopes in the material I have from infraspection institute.

See what I mean Frank?