Infrared Thermographic Inspections
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 thermography, or 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
Structural problems, such as missing or damaged studs
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.