You’ve hired a home inspector who uses thermal imaging in home inspections. What does that mean, exactly, and why does it matter? Read on to learn more – we think you’ll always choose a home inspector who carries a thermal imaging camera once you do!

Thermal Imaging In Home Inspections: What is it Used For?

Sometimes a home has problems related to moisture intrusion, lack of insulation, or hot spots in electrical circuits that cannot be detected using the naked eye alone. While all of the issues noted above are things a potential buyer would want to know about, discovering unwanted moisture in the home is probably the main use of thermal imaging in home inspections. Not only can water cause a tremendous amount of damage; it can also lead to ancillary problems, like mold growth.

What is Thermal Imaging?

Infrared Thermography, or thermal imaging, involves the use of a special camera that allows the detection of even small differences in surface temperatures. The images produced by the camera alone are not telling enough, however – you need a qualified home inspector to interpret the thermal images and decipher what issues might be depicted there. Often, the problem has to do with moisture intrusion, and your home inspector will likely also use a moisture meter in order to detect moisture levels and whether or not excess moisture is present.

Can a Thermal Imaging Camera See Through Walls?

A thermal imaging camera does not X-Ray anything; it cannot “see” through walls. Rather, it produces visual measurements of surface temperatures and displays these differences through changes in color that can be read by your home inspector. Using thermal imaging in home inspections cannot directly detect the presence of water; this is why a skilled, infrared certified thermographer and a moisture detection tool are also necessary. Still, thermal imaging provides us with enough extra information that it is an invaluable tool to detect potential issues.

Why Use Thermal Imaging in Home Inspections?

Because a home inspection is a visual and non-invasive inspection of the safely accessible systems and components of a home, a tool that enhances your home inspector’s ability to detect defects and issues with the home is a welcome one. Your home inspector may perform a full thermal imaging scan of the home, or he or she may only bring out the thermal imaging camera when a particular problem is suspected. Either way, you’ll be rewarded by the extra help this tool adds to the inspection process and for the additional information you’ll receive about the home you wish to purchase.

Red Leaf Home Inspections uses thermal imaging as necessary with our home inspections, but you can also order a separate thermal imaging scan. If you would like to schedule an inspection on Vancouver Island, contact us today!