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Thermal Imaging

 

Thermal, or infrared, energy is light that is not visible to the human eye. It is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we perceive as heat. Every material has a unique thermal signature and when moisture, heat, cold, or wood destroying organisms are introduced to the structure, the thermal signature changes.

 

Infrared thermal imaging provides more insight regarding the physical state of a property and can reveal issues in a home that would not be visible to the naked eye. Thermal imaging uses infrared technology to detect and show temperature anomalies, allowing your inspector to identify areas of unseen hot and cold spots. Through the use of infrared thermal imaging, we can detect these temperature differences and interpret the results.

 

Under the right conditions, infrared thermal imaging may detect the following problems:

  • Water penetration and leaks

  • Moisture in concealed areas

  • Electrical hot spots

  • Problems with radiant heating

  • Leaks in air ducts or plumbing

  • Missing or damaged insulation

  • Furnace, Air Condition and  blower motor problems

  • Structural problems, such as missing or damaged studs

Cautionary Notes

While thermal imaging is an extraordinary tool, which greatly helps reveal potential problems in a building or its components, it is not a magic sensor that will reveal every issue under the sun, or roof, as the case may be. As mentioned above, while this technology aids in the detection of wet areas, wall studs and other components typically hidden from view, it isn’t x-ray vision at work. It only detects temperature anomalies, which may results from moisture and the thermal signature of different materials.

 

Although many issues that would not have been found during a standard visual inspection have been detected with an infrared camera, there are some limits to what can be detected by reading thermal anomalies. There are also limitations created by some materials that do not conduct heat adequately enough to emit detectable levels of thermal differences.