Thermal Imaging Cameras and Home Inspections

Posted by: Elementary Property Inspections |


Thermal imaging or Infrared cameras (IR) have been steadily gaining popularity with home inspectors over the past twenty years now. Professional inspectors want to provide a more thorough inspection. It is also because the next generation of home buyers are more technically savvy and expects the use of all available technology for their prospective home’s inspection.

Infrared cameras have been used for industrial and commercial inspections for over half a century, with the primary application being inspecting electrical systems. Today, many commercial insurance companies require an annual infrared safety inspection of electrical systems for their insured clients because history has proven that no other inspection is as effective at reducing the risk of electrical fires and related injuries.

Why Infrared?

IR allows home inspectors to “see” issues that are not visible to the naked eye. Infrared also can confirm potential issues that are only partially identified, like staining, deformation, etc.

Water Issues: The top defect for home inspectors is locating hidden water leaks. Although there may be no visual signs, if the conditions are right, the presence of water will stick out like a sore thumb with an IR camera! We need water in our homes, but water can be very damaging to homes.

Safety Issues: From a safety perspective, home inspectors are looking at the electrical system. Many older electrical systems have been modified by homeowners without inspections. Situations over overload circuits and deteriorating electrical lines can be major causes of electrical failures and fires.

Energy Loss Issues: With steady and substantial material cost increases over the years and especially in the last two years, understanding the conditions of the insulation, or more importantly, locating areas without or with little insulation, is an extreme benefit to home buyers. Missing insulation can not only make a home very warm or very cold/drafty, but it also increases the homeowner’s energy bill substantially while prematurely wearing out mechanical parts with unnecessary extra usage.

Pest Infestations: While infrared is NOT like an x-ray, warm-blooded animals, termites, rodents, bees, and other creatures often create a thermal difference that a professional home inspector’s infrared camera will detect. A beehive in the wall can be nearly impossible to detect, or termites eating through the joists of a deck.

These are just a few of the applications home inspectors check for every day with their infrared cameras.

There are so many applications for infrared cameras to be used as part of a home inspection, including solar panels, water temperatures, stucco, EIFS, roof leaks, radiant heating systems, duct leakage, air infiltration, pool pumps, forced air distribution (supplies and returns), and many more.

Get in touch with us today!

If you are a home buyer or realtor looking for a professional home inspector who is trained, certified, and offers the proper use of infrared cameras, contact Elementary Property Inspections. To get in touch with us, please click here or call us at 289-686-9482.