Thermal imaging is a technology that some home inspectors use during home inspections. You might have seen this term before, especially if you are shopping for a new home. All items emit a heat signature and thermal imaging is used to scan sections of a home for abnormally high or low thermal energy.
Defects in electrical, structural, and mechanical systems of the home are often caught using thermal imaging before they become serious. Read on to gain more insight about thermal imaging during home inspections and how it can be applied to improve the accuracy of home inspection reports.
Thermal Imaging during Home Inspections: Is it Important?
Infrared cameras generate pictures that show the level of thermal energy that an object emits. Knowing the level of thermal energy helps the inspector understand whether the components are operating effectively or not due to wear, tear, or poor installation. Because of this, it’s a good idea to hire a home inspector who uses thermal imaging during home inspections.
A homeowner or potential buyer will get a more detailed and accurate home inspection report that includes infrared images showing changes in thermal energy that are not visible to the naked eye.
What Problems Can Thermal Imaging during Home Inspections Spot?
Thermal imaging during home inspections can be used to detect underlying issues in a home such as excess moisture, overheating electrical systems, poor insulation, plumbing leaks, and air drafts.
Energy Efficiency Issues
If a house is poorly insulated, the owner will waste a lot of electrical power while he tries to maintain comfortable room conditions. During the hotter months of the year, cool air will escape the house through gaps and the air conditioner will work harder establishing room temperatures. During the cooler months of the year, cold air will get into the home making it difficult to maintain warm temperatures. Thermal imaging during home inspections is used to identify gaps that allow air into or out of the home and areas lacking in or missing insulation.
When viewed via infrared cameras, electrical panels are supposed to read as one uniform thermal block. In the event that a section of the area shows as significantly hotter than the rest, there might be an electrical hotspot. Electrical hotspots are dangerous since they can cause serious house fires if not addressed.
Water damage and excess moisture issues are dreaded by homeowners. Unless you can see drops of water during heavy rains or water stains on the ceiling, most water and moisture intrusion problems often go unnoticed until after significant damage has been done.
This is where thermal imaging comes in handy. In thermal images, water problems show up as uncharacteristically cool sections. For instance, if the home has a mold problem, thermal imaging can be used to pinpoint the source of moisture that is contributing to mold growth.
Choosing the Ideal Home Inspector
Thermal imaging cameras are helpful tools that provide detailed information about a property. If you hire an inspector that has an infrared camera, you will get more comprehensive information in your home inspection report.