This short video briefly goes over thermal imaging technology and why it's valuable. Thermal imaging is complimentary on every C & H Inspections visit.
As new technologies are developed, they become available in areas of use far from what they were originally developed for. Thermal Imaging, also known as infrared imaging, is one such technology. Originally developed during the Vietnam War to find enemy soldiers at night, it progressed to medical imaging, industrial testing and, finally, to the construction trades and building consultation. Home inspections are a visual inspection, we can only report on what can be seen. Thermal imaging gives a professional home inspector the ability to see beyond the normally visible.
Make sure that when you hire a home inspector, who also does thermal imaging, that you hire one who has also been properly trained in how to use the imager. Many inspectors buy an infrared camera, but never take the training courses or become properly certified. All our inspectors are Infared Certified and properly trained on infrared equipment and building science.
First, let's clear away some common myths about thermal imaging:
A professional home inspector, equipped with a thermal imaging camera and properly trained and certified in it's use, can find problems with a house that a normal home inspector cannot. These problems include:
This house had problems with the installation of the siding which has lead to water (purple area in the center of picture, bottom) infiltration behind the siding. The gutter/sidewall area was not equipped with kick-out flashing, so the gutter over-splash had entered behind the siding.
Thermal imaging is very good at finding these kind of problems but it should only be done by a qualified, trained and certified thermographer.
Here we see another example of water intrusion, this time from badly installed siding and flashing on the house's exterior, but seen from the inside of the house using thermal imaging during a home inspection. Water intrusion is not always easy to diagnose, especially because a home inspection is supposed to be non-invasive. Because water travels in so may ways (dripping, wicking, running, evaporation, condensation, etc) it is not easy to find the source.
Water intrusion is a common problem, and the source cannot, usually, be found without thermal imaging and an experienced, professional inspector.