When you’re in the process of buying a home, the home inspection is an important step to learn about its condition. If the home has issues, especially those that are hard to see on the surface, you want to know about them before making a decision. A home inspection using thermal imaging can reveal more about a home than one that relies solely on the eyes of the inspector.
What is a Home Inspection Using Thermal Imaging?
This type of home inspection uses thermal imaging technology, in the form of a handheld infrared thermal imaging camera. A thermal imaging camera is able to detect temperatures in an environment and captures the thermal energy that an object emits in an image. This thermal energy is invisible to the human eye, but the thermal imaging camera shows it as a color spectrum varying from hot to cold.
A home inspection using thermal imaging will allow you to understand what is happening behind walls and ceilings and under floors. Many home inspectors don’t generally include thermal imaging, so it is good to choose one who offers thermal imaging with the home inspection or as an add-on service.
What Issues Does Thermal Imaging Find?
There are several issues and problems that a home inspection using thermal imaging can detect.
1. Electrical Problems
First, since an infrared camera detects heat, a thermal imaging scan can pick up on unusual electrical hot spots. These hot spots will appear to be yellow, orange, or white on the imaging screen, indicating a problem. Overheated electrical wires can be serious fire risks and a thermal imaging inspection can alert you to the dangers.
2. Energy and Insulation
A home inspection using thermal imaging can also give you a good sense of the energy efficiency of the house. If there is missing or insufficient insulation, the thermal camera will show where heat is escaping, as that area will appear as a darker, cooler spot on the image. The thermal imaging camera will also be able to detect any gaps, spaces, or cracks around doors, windows, or attic spaces where heat can escape.
3. Water Damage
Moisture issues are a red flag for most homebuyers and a home inspection using thermal imaging can discover excess moisture more accurately than a visual home inspection. An infrared camera can identify moisture in an area where it should not be, as those areas will show up as cooler spots on the screen. If there are any current water leaks hiding behind the walls, an infrared camera can detect them because they will appear as a darker spot on the thermal image.
When you’re in the process of buying a new home, make sure that you protect your potential investment by requesting a home inspection using thermal imaging.