What is Thermography?
If you don’t think thermal imaging of your potential purchase is important, you’d better think again! This alone can save you thousands and thousands of dollars in locating areas of heat loss or problems that are otherwise not visible. If another inspector tells you that this is a waste of time or it doesn’t work, obviously they can’t afford a thermal camera!! Don’t be fooled. Read on to learn why this new technology is VITAL to a quality property inspection.
Contrary to the belief, thermal imaging is effective in ALL weather! Are you interested in saving fuel and thus money? Finding hidden leaks? This service alone is worth the price of the inspection!!
Thermography is the use of an infrared imaging and measurement camera to “see” and “measure” thermal energy emitted from an object. Thermal, or infrared energy, is light that is not visible because its wavelength is too long to be detected by the human eye; it’s the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we perceive as heat.
Unlike visible light, in the infrared world, everything with a temperature above absolute zero emits heat. Even very cold objects, like ice cubes, emit infrared. The higher the object’s temperature, the greater the IR radiation emitted. Infrared allows us to see what our eyes cannot. Infrared thermography cameras produce images of invisible infrared or “heat” radiation and provide precise non-contact temperature measurement capabilities.
It is NOT x-ray vision however! Thermography does not see through objects but only registers temperature differences between different substances. When a thermal image is layered on an actual picture, the image appears to be x-ray in nature. By a trained thermographer, differences in heat can tell what may be happening within a roof, floor, wall, electrical panel, etc. Suspect areas are then further tested with other devices (if possible) such as moisture detectors, to verify what the thermal image is seeing. Thermal imaging can be invaluable in determining sources of roof leaks, wall leaks, foundation leaks, areas of mold, missing insulation, overloaded circuit breakers, etc.
Thermal imaging helps to diagnose the problem rather than merely identify symptoms and can sometimes, but not always, identify and document:
- Electrical faults before they cause a fire
- Overloaded and undersized circuits
- Circuit breakers in need of immediate replacement
- Missing, damaged, and/or wet insulation
- Heat loss and air infiltration in walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors
- Water and moisture intrusion that could lead to mold
- Roof leaks – ice damming problems
- Possible pest infestation, hidden roof leaks, before they cause serious damage
- Air conditioner compressor leaks
- Under fastening and/or missing framing members
- Structural defects
- Broken seals in double pane windows
- Energy loss and efficiency
- Dangerous flue leaks
- Damaged and/or malfunctioning radiant heating systems
- Unknown plumbing leaks
- Overheated equipment
These color images can then be included in the inspection report providing supporting documentation to the report. A visual inspection alone may not identify these defects! And yes, areas of heat loss can be found in summer as well as winter. Remember, I am looking at temperature differences. Warm air that penetrates in the summer becomes cold air in the winter! Anyone that tells you otherwise is obviously not a certified thermographer.
What kind of inspection would you rather have? My inspections INCLUDE thermal imaging! If you want to know the complete condition of a property with state-of-the-art tools, call or email me now. Keep in mind that although all my inspections are performed to the best of my ability, there is no guarantee of future performance of building components. Inspections tell us what is visible today… not tomorrow!