Thermal Imaging Finds Hidden Problems During Home Inspections
Thermal imaging cameras are a great tool that home inspectors use to find hidden problems in walls and ceilings of homes. They are often used in home inspections and can often find serious problems such as missing insulation, water leaks, overheated electrical equipment, pests, and other problems. Not all home inspectors use thermal imaging cameras due to needing certification in thermal imaging and the high cost of the equipment. Not very thermal imaging camera is created equal. Some cameras have high resolution and others have much lower resolution, which can affect the quality of pictures taken. Thermal imagers are tools that should be mandatory for any competent home inspector to give their client the best service possible.
Thermal imaging cameras work by measuring temperature differentials in different materials. Water leaks can often be located in ceilings and walls even when it cannot be observed by the naked eye. The thermal imaging camera is often able to find water leaks due to the different temperature water can have compared to the building materials around it. When two different materials have a different temperature it shows up on the camera as a color variation. A possible water leak can and should always be confirmed using a moisture meter.
Missing insulation and areas of inadequate insulation can be seen easily with a thermal imager due to the temperature difference of building materials where the insulation is missing or inadequate. Insulation issues can cost a great deal of money in lost energy efficiency. A thermal imaging camera can provide information that cannot be seen without it and can save a client hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars in energy costs.
Pests such as mice, insects, and damage from these pests can also be seen in areas of a home using a thermal imaging camera. One common observation is mice tunnels through insulation in an attic can be easily seen using a thermal imaging camera.
Overheated electrical equipment can also be seen using a thermal imaging camera with the overheated equipment showing a much higher temperature than the surrounding equipment. Even when issues with the electrical service are not observed, this can provide useful information for potential problems.
Thermal imaging cameras are critical in home inspection and finding problems that could not be found without it. The number of issues that can be found as well as the potential savings for clients in finding serious home problems should make using this tool an absolute must for any home inspector.
At Dairyland Home Inspection we provide a thermal imaging scan of the home on every inspection. We serve Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Waukesha, and Walworth Counties.
Bob Carter is a home inspector in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. He is the owner of Dairyland Home Inspection.