One of many tools our inspectors use during a home inspection to provide valuable information about your home.
A full house scan is available. Pricing is determined by size and requirements of the home. Our office can provide more information.
“I can see inside your walls.” “You have a water leak.” “You must be missing insulation.” Said no infrared camera ever! IR cameras are great at 2 things – taking pictures and measuring temperatures. So sadly, they do not get the label of superman or even “Super Tool”. However, they are VERY useful.
When you are sick and find you have a temperature of 100 degrees what does that tell you? Do you have the flu? Strep throat? An infection? West Nile? The list goes on and on. Then is there no point in taking your temperature? It is useful information but alone it does not give you a diagnosis. The IR camera is similar. It can be one tool that helps find there is a potential problem and point to where you might want to begin looking. Then out comes the operator’s knowledge, additional tools and some testing. And just like a doctor, the inspector can begin to make a good hypothesis on what is going on.
SO YES! The Infrared camera is a great tool – just not a “Superman Tool”.
Have you ever been told an infrared camera can see what’s in your walls? Did you know the camera can’t even see through a single sheet of paper? VIDEO So while it can’t see through the paper, it is very sensitive to heat.
Again (and we’ll keep saying it) the camera can’t “SAY” anything and it can’t even definitely show anything. How can it help with finding a leak (because it can HELP). Again, it all has to do with temperature and how fast temperature is traveling from hot to cold. The evaporation of water cools the surface, making it cooler than the surrounding areas.
But – just because the area is cooler doesn’t mean it is wet. There are other possibilities. However, a moisture meter can help with the diagnosis.
Remember temperature is being measured, and heat is always moving toward the cooler areas and the speed at which it moves can be enhanced or slowed by the material it is (or isn’t) passing through. If the camera is measuring the temperature on an inside wall and the temperature inside the house and outside the house is close (less than 20 degree difference) the information may be misleading. The relative humidity should also be less than 75%.
Yes, we are putting IR cameras in all of our inspectors’ tool bags starting in March of 2017. Charlie has one now. We are scheduling special training from a national company who not only does Level 1 and 2 training for all infrared users but he has developed a specific class for home inspectors. Our goal is to use these cameras in a way to benefit the client, not to bring confusion or provide misinformation. Our inspectors will use them as they do all their tools – when accessing a situation. We will also be offering a full house scan as an add on or a separate inspection. While not necessary on every house, used correctly, in the right circumstances, an infrared camera can be beneficial.