Thermal imaging and the knowledge in its use and limitations, is a valuable resource to the professional inspector. Thermal imaging may help in locating moisture intrusion, cooling loss, heat gain, missing insulation, overheated electrical wires or breakers, thermal overload on motors, windings or impellers, roof leaks, insect activity and air infiltration.
Thermal cameras identify temperature differentials in the target area. They do not identify moisture. However, by noting a temperature differential in a given area, we can quickly pinpoint suspect areas for additional measurement or inspection. For example, by having a photograph of an entire roof which shows suspect leakage, we can take samples or moisture readings at those specific locations to confirm leakage and follow the path of the leak to identify the source. This saves time, improves the probability of identifying leaks and saves the client money. Often it is the only realistic way to locate wet insulation or moisture in walls.
Your inspector should be qualified as a Level I Thermographer and use a camera with a minimum IR rating of 160×120. Many inspectors are now carrying low level, cheap, thermal cameras and they rely upon the client’s lack of knowledge to showcase their proficiency. Generally, they have not received any advanced training other than an on-line review through a home inspector association.
Thermal imaging can help you identify problems
Our knowledge and use of thermal imaging has identified major problems for our clients due diligence protection:
Air leakage in roof
Missing insulation in wall
Termite activity in wall
Circuit Breaker Problems
None of these issues would have been located without use of a quality thermal camera during a visual inspection. You expect your mechanic, your dentist and other professionals you use will have the proper tools and technology to service your needs – your due diligence inspector is no different. Make sure your inspector is a certified Level I Thermographer and make sure they have at least a 160×120 rated camera.
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