An infrared home inspection can detect problems that are invisible to the naked eye, allowing homeowners to correct them before they cause irreparable or expensive damage. Infrared inspections use an infrared, or thermal, imaging and measurement camera, to examine structural, electrical, moisture, and mechanical systems, as well as to evaluate a home's energy efficiency.
The Infrared Inspection and Who Inspects
An inspection covers the home's interior and exterior, and should include a thorough, written report of all findings and recommendations, as well as photographs of suspected problem areas. Infrared inspections should be conducted by a certified thermographer, who is experienced in both thermology and building systems. Ideally, the inspector will have several years roofing experience, as well as extensive knowledge of electrical systems, insulation, and construction methods.
The Benefits of Infrared Inspection
An infrared inspection alerts homeowners of problems in the early stages, because they cause damage to other parts of the home, or become so advanced that they require extensive, expensive repair. By performing preventative maintenance, homeowners can reduce the chance of fires, water damage, or structural damage, and can also reduce their heating and cooling bills by spotting areas where air can escape or enter the home. They can also reduce their electricity bills, by identifying malfunctioning electrical systems or equipment, which use more electricity and drive up costs. And, because they identify problems early, inspections allow homeowners to repair only specific areas of a home, instead of waiting until an entire roof or wall is destroyed by moisture, for example.
Infrared inspections are used for virtually every component of a home, and are efficient at identifying a wide variety of problems. Most infrared inspections evaluate the entire home, but can be focused on a specific area, such as energy efficiency, electrical systems, structural systems, and to check for water damage.
Energy Efficiency Inspections
Energy efficiency inspections use infrared cameras to reveal areas of leakage, where cold and hot air could be escaping, making heating and cooling bills more expensive. Energy inspections also examine insulation, to make sure it is properly installed, fills the entire space, and that the staples used to secure it are not rusted. Infrared technology is also used to examine electrical outlets, telephone jacks, cable jacks, light switches, and doorbells, areas which frequently allow drafts.
Other Infrared Inspections
Structural inspections check for water damage in walls, ceilings, floors, and roofs. They may also locate wall studs, so they can be marked for later use. Electrical inspections used infrared technology to check electrical fuses, circuit breaker boxes, wiring, and connections.