What is Infrared ?
Infrared is part of the EM (electromagnetic) spectrum which can’t be seen with the human eye.
What is an IR camera, and how is it used in a home inspection ?
In short, an Infrared (IR) camera detects infrared energy (heat) and produces a thermal image which shows temperature differences on the monitor of an IR camera. It can’t see through walls, but can show anomalies due to differences in temperature, especially in similar materials. For example, in the summer while looking at a wall with the human eye, everything looks the same, but when scanning with an IR camera, moisture behind the wall can show up as a lower temperature than the rest of the wall around it. This is because the moisture behind the wall could be cooler, due to evaporation, than the rest of the wall. The suspected moisture, behind the wall, should then be confirmed with the use of a moisture meter.
An IR camera is an excellent tool to supplement a home inspection. It can be very helpful in identifying moisture intrusion, heat loss due to missing insulation, leaking plumbing, overheating electrical wires, fuses or breakers, etc.
It is important that anyone using an IR camera in a home inspection be educated and trained in infrared theory and how to use an IR camera properly. It is also important to use high end equipment. During inspections, Peter uses a high resolution FLIR E8
IR camera and a Protimeter Surveymaster moisture meter.
Peter is a Certified Level 1 Thermographer and received his infrared education through the Professional Infrared Training Institute. Peter is also InterNACHI infrared certified.
What the client sees
What some Home Inspectors see
What Peter sees
The image on the far right shows a lack of insulation and heat loss during the winter.
***Infrared is included in all inspections***