What is an Infrared Inspection?
An infrared inspection finds problems not visible to the naked eye or other test equipment. A simple example of this is home energy audit, which helps find weak spots in your home's insulation.
The inspection is done with a special type of camera, an infrared thermographic camera. An infrared camera, for short, is able to show the differences in temperature. Normal cameras use visible light, while infrared cameras detect light in the infrared spectrum. This allows our building inspectors a way to closely inspect a building and look for problems.
The film above demonstrates how infrared can find water in walls, instantly locating the source of problems without the need for destructive measures.
Infrared Camera Inspection for Multiple Inspections in One
An infrared camera inspection can include many different types of inspections all in one. These include:
- Roof inspection
- Electrical inspection
- Plumbing inspection
- Energy audit
- Wall inspection and building envelope inspection
- Pest inspection
- Mold inspection
- Heating system inspection
- Radiant floor heating inspection
- And many more!
See examples of each below, and learn more about how each of these inspections with an infrared camera can help save you money.
Infrared Roof Inspection
Infrared roof inspections are one of the most important uses of infrared technology. The infrared analysis of a roofing system can save thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars by pinpointing roofing failures.
In this first example, active roof leaks may not be visible until long after they have been in the ceiling cavity causing damage. The digital photo below shows no visible signs of an active roof leak, yet the thermographic image shows a clear outline of the exact location of the active roof.
Next, take a look at this thermograph from an infrared camera (seen below). The findings are very dramatic and clearly delineate the scope of the roofing failure. As you can see infrared analysis shows how obvious the water is that has migrated below a roofing membrane. The yellow inside the marked line is water migration.
The two thermographs below are taken at night. The best time to see temperature differentials in the roofing membrane. This dramatically increases the visibility of the active leaks.
Our most common find during the thermal infrared inspection is water migration from an active roof leak as seen below. As you can see in the digital photo there is generally no visible signs of a problem. The infrared leaves no doubt there is an active and substantial leak.
Infrared Electrical Systems Inspection
Due to the dangerous nature of electrical components the infrared inspection of the electrical system is a critical part of your inspection process.
Do not proceed with an inspection without knowing if your electrical system has a serious, unknown, unseen electrical short that could be a serious fire hazard. Some electrical issues that infrared can reveal include:
- Overheated wiring glows. Visible only with Infrared Inspections unless it's already on fire!
- Overheating wall switches or plugs? Readily visible with infrared.
Infrared Plumbing Inspection
Plumbing leaks are a major problem in homes. A small leak can go on undetected for many years before it damages the structure enough to show on finish work. Active leaks at tub drains, shower enclosures, sink waste lines are very hard to pin point unless thermal imaging is used.
Energy Audit Inspection - Find Areas of Energy Loss
The infrared thermograph below shows how clearly thermography can find missing insulation in a wall cavity. This undetected heat loss would dramatically increase energy costs and reduce the comfort of the occupants of the home.
Other benefits of a home energy audit are:
- Missing insulation in walls and floors is typically not apparent unless infrared technology is used.
- Locate cold / hot spots. An infrared inspection can lead to improved comfort indoors.
- Leaking door and window seals. Infrared can save thousands of energy dollars each year. Know where your leaks are before you buy.
Infrared Wall Inspections & Exterior Building Envelope Inspections
The infrared image below show active water migration at a window system on the second story of a home. This would not have been seen without the aid of the infrared camera. Our following analysis found that the siding was completely decayed and required framing, siding, and insulation replacement.
The infrared image below shows water migration into a wall cavity from failed caulking. Caulking may seem like a minor issue until you find it has caused substantial damage to your wall system. When this composite siding was probed it fell into sawdust along with the framing in the wall system.
Pest infestations are never a fun situation. Find termite problems or other pests that could be inhabiting your home or commercial building.
Aside from a termite inspection, wasps can also be a problem. Many times wasps will nest in the walls of homes.And infrared camera can show the exact location of hives and nests.
Find mold contaminants with an infrared inspection. Condensation or leaks within walls breed mold or bacteria growths. Moisture is often apparent early on only if you use thermography. Mold growths in hidden areas generate a unique heat signature through building materials and are visible only with Infrared thermography.
Heating Systems Inspection
Infrared can quickly identify cold floors or walls within a home. Checking conditioned air temperatures leaving registers is a breeze with Infrared. Discovering poorly or disconnected supply or return ducts is also possible using Infrared.
Radiant Floor Heating Inspection
One small break in radiant floor heating system can have a large impact. Breaks are easy to identify and fix with infrared. No need to pull up the entire floor when one tile will do for a repair.
Who Should Have an Infrared Inspection Done?
If you work in the housing industry, or are a building manager, an infrared inspection could be right for you. Click on the links to learn more about the customers we serve:
- Commercial Buyer
- Residential Buyer
- Real Estate Agent
- Home Seller
- Property Manager
- Multi-Family Homeowner
More About Our Infrared Inspection Services
We like to say that Infrared camera is only second in importance to the inspector's knowledge.
Unlike our competitors, who charge a substantial additional fee to their normal inspection process, we include a thermal inspection with every residential inspection at no extra charge.
We do not provide services to repair the problems with your building, so there is no hidden agenda when inspecting your property for problems.
Our respected inspectors are well trained, and will treat your property as if it were their own.
Learn more about our inspection process, or contact us to learn more.
Ready to schedule an inspection now? Schedule an Inspection