What is Infrared Thermal Imaging?
Infrared Radiation or simply Infrared or IR is electromagnetic radiation with longer wavelengths than those of visible light, and is therefore invisible.
In relation to thermal imaging, infrared thermography makes it possible to see your environment with or without visible illumination. The amount of radiation emitted by an object increases with temperature, therefore thermography allows one to see variations in temperature. When viewed through a thermal imaging camera, warm objects stand out against cooler backgrounds.
What does this mean for you and your home?
Thermal imaging is a non-invasive advanced technology that allows me, your home inspector, to reveal things about your home/building that couldn’t be revealed in a conventional home inspection.
Using thermal imaging for home inspections can allow me to see things like missing, damaged, or inadequate insulation, building envelope air leaks, moisture intrusion, plumbing leaks, and overheating electrical. Being able to spot these things will help you in making an informed purchase decision (if you are using it for a real estate transaction) or an informed purchasing decision when making repairs to your home.
Thermal Imaging is NOT X-Ray Vision
It is important to understand that a thermal imaging camera does not give me the ability to see through walls or objects. A thermal imaging camera simply sees differences in temperature, called Delta T. For a visual explanation lets look at the photos below. These are pictures of the same area in a house, the first picture is with your standard camera and the second picture is with a thermal imaging camera. The thermal imaging camera was able to detect missing insulation along the upper part of the wall, notice how it is a darker color? This signifies it is cooler than the surrounding wall and ceiling because it was missing insulation (in the summer time the colors would be flip flopped but still signifying the same issue).
In terms of energy loss, an IR camera can detect:
- heat loss and air infiltration in walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors;
- damaged and/or malfunctioning radiant heating systems; and
- air-conditioner compressor leaks.
In terms of detecting moisture intrusion, an IR camera can locate:
- plumbing leaks;
- hidden roof leaks before they cause serious damage;
- missing, damaged and/or wet insulation; and
- water and moisture intrusion around penetrations and at the foundation and building envelope that could lead to structural damage and mold.
IR cameras are equally effective at locating hot spots in the home, including:
- circuit breakers in need of immediate replacement;
- overloaded and undersized circuits;
- overheated electrical equipment and components; and
- electrical faults before they cause a fire.
How much is a thermal imaging inspection?
I offer thermal imaging absolutely FREE with the purchase of every home inspection. I am one of the only inspectors in the area that is certified and trained to provide thermal imaging. I also offer it as its own stand alone service, give me a call or text me for pricing! 618-975-7031