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Infrared In A Home Inspection

November 13, 2016

A lot of Home Inspectors offer FREE Infrared as part of a Home Inspection. Let’s get a better understanding of this technology, benefits and limitations. Infrared is widely known as Thermography or Thermal Imaging

The Human Vision is limited to what we can see. We listen to the radio but we cannot see the radio waves. With Infrared (heat) is converted into an electronic signal that produces a thermal image

A Certified Thermographer is able to identify problems that may be otherwise not visible to the human eye with an Infrared Camera

Infrared can be used over a wide range of applications, as described:

Moisture Detection in Walls, Floors and Ceilings
With Infrared, Moisture Intrusion in Walls, Floors and Ceilings can be quickly identified. Although Infrared doesn’t pick up MOLD, it may help in identifying “wet areas” that may be subject to damage for further investigation. This will be seen via a heat image produced by the camera

Radiant Floor Heating
Inspecting radiant floor heating during summer is difficult because everything is turned off. Just because the boiler is working doesn’t mean the floor heating is working too.

When the floors are heated, Infrared will show you the actual image of the pipes and how the pipes are installed.

Your heating contractor will service the boiler and flush the pipes but without Infrared, there is no way of confirming if work is performed correctly.

Remember, radiant floor heating can be expensive to repair, so leave the guess work out to an Infrared Scan

Energy Loss Evaluations
A certified thermographer can pinpoint areas of heat loss, drafts and insulation defects with Infrared. It is a perceived notion that such defects are only seen in older homes but newer built homes are also known to have such anomalies.

Such defects can be easily fixed, provide comfort and save money- especially heating bills during the cold winter months.

The cost of such repairs are easy to justify and can be recovered quickly

Roof Inspections
The ordinary homeowner knows very little about the home and systems. The roof is an expensive component of the home. The home owner depends on a roofing contractor advise whether the roof needs to be replaced or just a leak that needs to be fixed.

With Infrared, the underside of a sloped roof can be scanned very quickly.

An Infrared roof scan done under correct weather conditions can help identify problem areas. A new roof may not be needed after all as the damage may not be as widespread as informed.

A new roof will cost thousands of dollars but the Infrared Scan just a fraction of it.

Get an opinion of a Certified Thermographer first.

Electrical Inspections
Infrared can quickly pick up electrical anomalies in a home. This will be seen as “Hot Spots” on breakers and switches. “Hot spots” may be a result of defects in breakers and components.

Infrared Images provided will help your electrical contractor fix such issues accurately and quickly, which translates to saving money

Plumbing Inspections
Plumbing leaks are hard to locate especially behind shower tiles and drywalls. Remember, plumbing leaks means moisture. And moisture is known to cause damage and mold growth.

An Infrared inspection will reveal if there is any water and moisture intrusion or leakage from a faulty plumbing system.

Early detection, will help assist repairs and save money in the long run due to other possible damage to a home

Limitations of Infrared.
Infrared is not a magic tool. Weather conditions keep changing and infrared may produce different images at different times of the day.

Infrared cameras cannot see through walls to uncover defects, like moisture.

Infrared is definitely not a guarantee that latent defects will be found.

Infrared Training
It is well known fact the most inspectors use the infrared camera as another tool in the bag when performing inspections. Most are not certified and learn to use with basic training and hands on experience.

The lack of knowledge from an uncertified thermographer is more likely to result in costly and dangerous mistakes, such as inaccurate description of the severity of the problems discovered or problems being completely missed altogether.

On the other hand, a Certified Thermographer (Minimum Certified Level 1) is able to properly interpret a thermal image, produce a quality and technically consistent inspection.

Although there are lots of other areas Infrared can be used, these are some of the core areas Infrared is used in a Home Inspection. By communicating these issues, a home buyer can make a decision on whether the home being purchased doesn’t have any hidden defects that may cause buyer’s remorse later.

If you are a home owner, an Infrared Scan will help identify areas of concerns and identifying defects that may need to be corrected. Visit us online by going to Jesalhomeinspections.com to learn more about Vancouver home inspections that get results. We are your home inspection pros that are always there to help.