What is thermal imaging? With a special camera, we can detect the electromagnetic spectrum of heat.
Everything gives off heat, in varying degrees: your vehicle, skin, cat, everything. Hot and cold can be viewed in a color spectrum from red to violet.
Of course, we cannot see this with our naked eye, but it is there.
This technology has many uses for many different fields.
In the case of home inspections, there are 2 key uses we will discuss.
Land of Sky Home Inspections uses the FLIR One Pro, a small camera which attaches to the charging port of a smartphone.
While we do not need to use our thermal camera at every home we do for particular instances. The camera is most helpful in confirming a suspicion and determining how far reaching the problem may be. We can add these images to the report to give the client confirmation of our findings.
Let’s dive a little deeper and discuss our top 2 uses for the thermal imaging camera.
The top use is for investigating moisture-related stains.
Ceiling stains in particular can be common, but oftentimes we have no idea if the stain developed ten days ago or ten years ago.
Initially, we use our simple moisture meter to determine if the moisture level at a specific spot is normal or elevated. If elevated, using the thermal imaging camera can help to show a broader area, without putting multiple pin marks in the ceiling (the moisture meter uses metal pins to measure the moisture in a material).
Ceiling with some curious staining.
If the above ceiling stain had been wet, it would have shown up on the thermal camera as a cooler color line.
Since there was no color variation, we could assume there was no active leak.
The second main use is electrical.
Part of the job of a home inspector is to remove the electrical panel cover and search for wiring and breaker defects.
In the example pictured, a breaker with two attached wires was found, known as “double-tapping.”
To confirm that this breaker was warmer and likely overloaded, the thermal camera was used.
The image showed that this breaker was warmer than the surrounding breakers
(Note: the warm breaker above was for the actively running heat pump).
There you have it, once again, technology can help to make us better at our jobs.
At Land of Sky Home Inspections, we like to be able to help our clients by fully investigating, communicating and educating. Sometimes that involves taking the time to chat on the phone, but in this case, it means using technology to further support and confirm our suspicions.
We are here to help you on the path to buying or selling your home.
Thanks for reading!
Land of Sky Home Inspections