When purchasing a new home, a professional and thorough home inspection can save you a great deal of money. For current homeowners, a home inspection may identify potential problems before they get worse and require expensive repairs. However, a conventional home inspection goes only as far as what the inspector can see.
With thermal imaging, inspectors can identify underlying issues that are otherwise not visible. The infrared camera has become a useful tool for many home inspectors, helping them to provide more accurate and detailed reports on the condition of the home. Here are some benefits of thermal imaging in home inspections.
How Does Thermal Imaging Work?
Thermal imaging technology detects infrared light on the electromagnetic spectrum and shows temperatures as color. An infrared camera produces images that reveal differences across the home. The temperature variations are displayed as blue, green, and purple for the colder areas while red, orange, and yellow signify warmer spots.
Main Benefits of Thermal Imaging in Home Inspections
Thermal imaging allows home inspectors to detect problems that would otherwise remain invisible so they can further investigate potential issues. Here are some of the key issues that an infrared camera can help identify:
Moisture Intrusion: An infrared camera can identify moisture issues since it will show the temperature difference between dry and wet spots. Moisture in the walls or ceiling will likely lead to mold or mildew and water damage to your home if not addressed.
Electrical Damage: Overloaded circuits, excessive current, or high resistance cause electric installations to overheat. These heated areas usually appear as bright orange or yellow on the thermographic image. It’s a clear sign that something is wrong with the electrical system. Overheating poses a fire risk, so it is important to identify the problem and make repairs.
Energy Loss: Thermal imaging helps find ways to make the home more energy-efficient and prevent unnecessary expenses. It detects air infiltration and heat loss within walls, ceilings, and floors. The home inspector can also pinpoint broken or failing seals in windows and doors. Thermal images may show poorly insulated spots due to missing or faulty insulation behind the walls.
Pest Infestation: Active nests of various pests, such as termites or rats, produce heat that is usually visible to the infrared camera. It can also detect the energy loss in hollow areas created by wood-boring insects.
Roof Leaks: Thermal imaging can discover hidden roof leaks, which will show up as a cooler area due to moisture.
Plumbing Issues: Without the infrared camera, the only way to find a pipe leak is to remove part of the drywall. However, an infrared camera can precisely show a point of leakage and save a lot of work and money.