Benefits of Infrared Thermal Imaging for home inspections.
The Big Benefit: A professional thermal imaging camera in the hands of a IR certified inspector can uncover hidden issues that traditional inspection tools will miss. These hidden issues, if left undetected, often result in repairs costing thousands of dollars.
Infrared radiation is an invisible light spectrum that was first discovered over 200 years ago, in 1800, by William Herschel. This would later become the basis for a process called thermal imaging which was first used by the military in WWII as a reconnaissance tool. This invisible light spectrum is now referred to as Infrared or IR. Once the benefits of IR technology became known it quickly expanded in to commercial and industrial applications.
In short, thermal imaging measures invisible radiated energy and uses the “apparent” temperature readings to provide an image that can be viewed by the human eye. As thermography has advanced and become more portable and less expensive, its practical applications have steadily increased. The use of thermal imaging for building inspection has become very important and valuable because it can locate defects in ways that provide more data and greater accuracy than many of the more traditional tools and techniques.
What Does IR Show: Thermal images show surface-heat variations, which is why an IR camera is such a diverse tool for commercial and home inspectors that can be used for a variety of applications. Abnormally hot electrical components and connections can be viewed during an electrical inspection. Areas of moisture that may lead to leaks and structural damage can be located based on apparent temperature differences. Heat loss and air leakage in a building envelope, and even areas of insufficient insulation, can be pinpointed quickly and accurately during an energy audit.
Be sure your inspector is IR Certified. Always seek inspectors who are Infrared Certified by looking for the Infrared Certified logo. Also, ask your inspector if they use a professional grade IR camera. Minimal resolution should be 120 x 90. This resolution is not found on consumer model IR cameras.