We perform thermal imaging with each home inspection.
During a home inspection, a limited thermal imaging scan of the home is conducted. During this time we are focusing on moisture penetration around roof flashings, such as the chimney, overflow from gutters affecting walls, plumbing leaks and below grade walls. Infrared photos are included in the report as needed to demonstrate a concern.
Thermal imaging is a method of seeing the world through heat signatures. Infrared imaging registers objects by the temperature being emitted from their surface. Using what is called the Iron scale of color imaging, cooler objects are in shades of blue to dark purple. The colder the object is the darker the color represented. Warmer colors are seen as varying shades of yellow and orange. Very hot items will appear bright yellow depending on the temperature of objects in its vicinity.
Unheated water will usually show up as a shade of blue due to the evaporative cooling process taking place on its surface. Therefore, when we are examining a wall or ceiling we are looking for darker blue areas as a possible indication of moisture penetration. A moisture meter is used to attempt to confirm the presence of moisture on the surface covering. At times the moisture has not penetrated the drywall material but the cooling effect of evaporation can be seen with the infrared camera.
In an electrical panel, service wire or branch wire lugs can if not tight can generate excess heat. A thermal image of the panel can help identify potential problem areas. Remember AFCI and GFCI breakers will register a higher temperature and the corresponding color due to the electrical sensing components contained in them.
A full thermal imaging inspection of the home is available for an additional fee.