This service is included at no extra charge on all inspections we perform and is also available as a stand-alone service. This is a valuable service for those concerned about hidden moisture, slab leaks, HVAC performance, missing insulation, or electrical wiring resistance.
Thermal imaging / infrared (IR) cameras are high tech electronic tools that utilize sensors which allow us to read thousands of surface temperatures (all at once), These readings are instantly converted in to a user friendly camera-like image, whereby the information gathered can be used in many ways. Originally developed for military applications, IR cameras first came to the public’s attention in 1984 during the movie “The Terminator” (starring Arnold Schwarzenegger). If you recall The Terminator used IR technology, which is very sensitive to hot versus cold readings, to hunt it’s prey.
In 2008 our company became the first local property inspection company to use IR cameras on home inspections. We were motivated because we wanted to provide even more performance and value for our clients, Our first cameras were a huge investment, costing over $6500 each. To put that in to perspective these cameras cost more than all of our other gear combined. In addition, our inspectors were also trained by Flir (manufactured of these cameras) on how to properly use these (cameras) to evaluate building performance. The investment was substantial, but we believe the payoff has been worthwhile assisting our clients with more effective due diligence efforts.
Fast forward to today (page updated in 2020) and we are still using IR cameras. However, we are now using the latest technology which much better resolution and are the size of a point and click camera. We regularly use IR to find hidden material defects such as: moisture intrusion, air infiltration, missing or compressed insulation, dangerous electrical resistance, even plumbing slab leaks. We have nearly perfected this technology, like tweaking the camera away from the default settings so that it magnifies cool spots more easily – this is one of the more challenging aspects of using these cameras…hot areas shows up easily but cool spots are a little more tricky. In any event, these “cool spots” will always be followed up with a closer examination with a high quality handheld moisture meter. So in other words, not every cool spot on the screen equals a leak..but the IR camera is a powerful tool to use as a starting point.