You cannot inspect what you cannot see
There's two reasons I will not inspect another home without a Thermal Imagery camera.
When we set out to purchase a camera for 2014 we wanted a proven winner in the Industry, one that will perform at a level that many feel is overkill for simple home construction.
At $9.000 it isn't a cheap tool , but it will guarantee the job is done correct.
In terms of energy loss, an IR camera can detect:
- heat loss and air infiltration in walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors;
- damaged and/or malfunctioning radiant heating systems;
- air-conditioner compressor leaks;
- under-fastening and/or missing framing members, and other structural defects that can lead to energy loss; and
- broken seals in double-paned windows.
In terms of detecting moisture intrusion, an IR camera can locate:
- plumbing leaks;
- hidden roof leaks before they cause serious damage;
- missing, damaged and/or wet insulation; and
- water and moisture intrusion around penetrations and at the foundation and building envelope that could lead to structural damage and mold.
IR cameras are equally effective at locating hot spots in the home, including:
- circuit breakers in need of immediate replacement;
- overloaded and undersized circuits;
- overheated electrical equipment and components; and
- electrical faults before they cause a fire.
Additionally, based on the color gradients that thermal images provide, an inspector can locate:
- possible pest infestation, as revealed by energy loss through shelter tubes left by boring wood-destroying insects;
- the presence of intruders, such as rats, mice and other larger pests hiding within the structure and detected because of their heat signature that the IR camera captures; and
- dangerous flue leaks, which can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning of the home’s residents.
If the Governor of Michigan has his way soon all Home Inspectors will be required to provide thermal imagery inspections as part of any home inspection.
It's not very often I feel politicians have a clue about anything and I very rarely will even discuss them, but for once he is right .
Here is the link .
“Legislation that would add energy efficiency information to those reports is needed, and I encourage the Legislature to act on a bill in the new year.”
- Governor Rick Snyder
It seems simple, but the policy prescription with the most potential impact is the Governor’s request to add energy efficiency to home inspections. Simply providing information about a home’s potential energy costs could help potential homebuyers make better decisions and gradually push the market toward encouraging higher efficiency homes. As home prices rise, this policy could also begin to favor the cities that are, like Regional Energy Office members, already starting to promote efficiency to their residents.
Governor Snyder couched this prescription in the context of providing information to help boost the private sector investment, but did not go so far as to encourage lawmakers to raise the statewide building codes to include federal efficiency standards. As a home rule state Michigan municipalities have the opportunity to raise standards on their own, but as with our renewable energy ordinance project, we know that lots of different sets of codes can be cumbersome. Still, municipalities can get started with rental inspections, even requiring landlords to share energy data with tenants. Washtenaw County is pioneering this ‘information sharing’ approach on renter-occupied buildings starting in spring 2013 with their Green Rentals program.
Thermal imaging assists in detecting many items important in Termite inspections such as termite activity, water leaks and damp areas , it allows us the ability to see areas previously restricted by the naked eye.
Thermal Imaging Technology detects heat patterns, when termites enter and start attacking a building , they emit a heat source and as such change the normal heat patterns of the walls,floors ,roof void etc.
The thermal image camera records these changes in heat patterns ,this allows the trained inspector to interpret and understand the images found rather like a radiographer understands a x ray and determine where the location of the termite activity is.
The images are shown in color with hot spots detected as seen in the examples on thermal photos section.
Thermal termite inspections differs from a standard termite inspection because it gives the inspector the ability to detect thermal anomalies before the signs become visible to the naked eye. Although the standard termite inspection is slightly cheaper, it does not always allow us to view the beginning stages of a termite infestation.
Termites generate a heat source and as such are detected by Thermal imagery. All objects emit infrared radiation as a function of temperature,infrared energy is generated by the vibration and rotation of atoms and molecules, the higher the temperature the more motion and hence the more infrared energy emitted allowing for the detection of termite activity by the thermal imaging camera..
Infrared thermal imaging is a non-invasive, non-destructive way of evaluating conditions below the surface. Because everything from faulty wiring to the presence of termites to mold to wet insulation affects the surrounding temperature, heat-sensitive photography can reveal these and other issues that just cannot be seen by the naked eye or with conventional or digital photography. In providing thermal imaging reports you can document a hidden fault for corrective action or to prioritize repairs. For an energy audit you can show exactly where cold air is entering the home or heat is being lost, along with energy dollars. You can also document the safety of a property by revealing dangerous electrical hot spots or the presence of harmful mold. Thermal photography lets you deliver a more thorough and in-depth report to your clients when you can show them what lies beneath the surface.
We offer Thermal Imagery services to any individual desiring it to effectively and accurately resolve issues with buried plumbing, suspected leaks, heating , cooling etc just call ...
We will be purchasing the Flir Vue Infrared camera for drone utilization shortly .
This will enhance the commercial and residential inspection even further for our clients .
The full efficiency of the exterior envelope and structure will be displayed, and all anomalies and defects will be available in HD video and stills.
Mice can destroy a home's engineered insulation as they burrow and tunnel throughout it creating nests and multiplying.
A properly trained Inspector using a high end thermal Imagery camera will identify this in homes easily.
This would of course be absolutely missed by any home inspector not using this type of tool as they inspected the prospective property.
The home owner would unknowingly buy the home with major heat loss and an unsafe environment as many diseases are attributed to the fecal matter and urine of rodents.
You can click on any pic above to expand it.
Note how these interiors appear to the naked eye, very nice and trouble free.
These are from a fellow InterNACHI member in NH , Steve Gaudet
Gaudet Inspections http://www.gaudethomeinspections.com
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