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Why We Use It

Infrared Thermal Imaging

What It Is & How It Works

Thermal Imaging as a Diagnostic Tool

Yes, There Is A Disclaimer

Thermal Imaging

(IR-TECH) Examples

Real World Application

Infrared Thermal Imaging

Included With Every Comprehensive Inspection

As a  home inspector, once I began utilizing a thermal imaging camera, after acquiring the proper certifications and gaining experience understanding the information it provides, I find it a bit disconcerting thinking of all the past inspections prior to my use of this technology and all the things I may have missed without it. Because every comprehensive home inspection I perform includes infrared thermal imaging…  Today, I walk away from every inspection with the peace of mind that I did my best to find all that is possible.

You may be wondering, what is thermal imaging?


    Thermal imaging, also known as infrared, Thermography, or IR TECH, utilizes a special camera, equipped with special software and lens. This camera  detects infrared energy (invisible to the naked eye) emitted from various structural objects, which converts heat into a visible color spectrum, displaying an image with these  variations of color ranging from hot to cool or vice versa (sometimes we use a black and white spectrum, depending on the environmental conditions). The camera is not” X-Ray Vision” and does not release “Radiation”. It does not see through the walls, ceilings or floors of any structure. It measures the surface temperature of your homes structural parts and systems, which can be affected by defects within those components, such as excessive moisture, liquid, or deviations in air flow.


Infrared Thermal Imaging - As A Diagnostic Tool

Yes, There is a Disclaimer: Although “Infrared Thermal Imaging” is a far better diagnostic tool than the naked eye, it does not guarantee 100% accuracy, unless removal or deconstruction of components can be achieved to validate findings. We do not dismantle or destructively probe any component after scanning. When possible, other tools are used to verify “Thermal Images”, but even with these considerations, once again, we do not claim to have "X-Ray" vision. Thermal Cameras do not see through walls, floors, ceiling or any other surfaces. Conditions may change and cause the apparent temperature readings revealed in the original Thermal Images to be different at any given time of day. Literally, conditions can change within the same day, giving a different result or finding from morning to night. In the event our thermal images discover moisture problems (if any), we will attempt confirmation with a quality moisture meter. Moisture can be conducive to fungi-mold, decay and wood destroying insects that cannot always be seen. If we discover deficiencies, we will advise further investigation and that all repairs to be completed by a “qualified licensed and insured contractor or trade professional”. Also understand, that there may be more repair items discovered during the process of further evaluations and repairs of any deficiencies  we may list. Click below to view Infrared Thermal Imaging Inspection Agreement.



Example 2

50%  Infrared Image Transparency 

Example 3

25%  Infrared Image Transparency 

Example 1

100%  Infrared Image with no Transparency 

Infrared Thermal Image Samples Below

Above - The wall has hot spots  up to 98.5ºalong the of the wall with open attic behind it - Depicted  in red. At these locations, insulation is missing or  has fallen. As you can see , by the temperatures shown in the image, there is a significant difference  in ambient room temperature which is 73º

Explanation of Examples

On The Left

In these examples to the left...  The wall has a significant difference in surface temperature above the  Kitchen where it meets the wall (Red Color). These are three pictures depicting the same site with a slight change in the Infrared transparency so you may see what the actual wall and ceiling surfaces look like. This is air conditioned space. Even though this hot spot is somewhat small, it still plays a role in maintaining a comfortable temperature within this part of the structure. This would have most likely gone unnoticed if not for the infrared imaging camera… That is why I do not list this as an optional service…  Every home I inspect includes infrared service. I could not walk away in good faith knowing that I may have been able to find this type problem that could be a simple fix by a qualified licensed and insured contractor or trade professional.

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Example 4

Example 5

100%  Infrared image Transparency 
Ceiling  with no IR Tech / Same Ceiling with IR Tech/ Hot Spots in Ceiling / Same  Hot Spot Along Ceiling/Plumbing Waste Line
These thermal images were shot mid-afternoon on a sunny day. In examples labeled 1 & 2, the ceiling joists are bridging heat from the roof to the ceiling drywall.  Each dot is a screw holding the drywall in place. This is a normal phenomenon. These photos are showing how sensitive the equipment can be under the right conditions and that it is not actually seeing through the walls but sensing the surface heat from within the structure. If this section of ceiling were missing insulation, we would be seeing a red color(like example 3 & 4). The picture example 3 & 4 are hot spots in a ceiling where it meets a  vaulted ceiling. The cause of these hot spots are missing insulation. This is repairable without a major investment. Example 5 is a picture contrasting the  extreme temperature difference as hot water drains through the waste system.
Example 1            Example 2             Example 3            Example 4            Example 5