Buying a home is probably one of the most nerve wrecking things you'll do in your life. When it comes to something this big, you need to make sure you are protected on all fronts. Getting a home inspection from a qualified home inspector is a must, but what if your inspector doesn't use an infrared camera during the inspection?
Here's why it's important for your inspector to use an infrared camera.
What is an infrared camera?
An infrared camera uses thermal imaging, or thermography, to see things your eyes cannot. Thermography is the use of an infrared imaging and measurement camera to “see” and “measure” thermal energy emitted from an object. It is not a moisture meter, and does not “see” moisture. The cameras help the inspector see temperature differences and anomalies which can be caused by moisture. When two areas composed of the same or similar materials experience changing ambient temperatures, the area with the higher thermal mass (usually moisture) will change temperature more slowly.
Here are some things an infrared camera can detect that can be a really big deal for a home buyer.
Did you know a shower can leak for a while before showing signs of leaking? An inspector might run water in the shower and let it sit in the tub for an hour or so. If the shower was on the second floor, the infrared camera could detect if the shower was leaking from imaging on the ceiling below the tub. Even if the ceiling doesn't show the leak, the camera would detect it.
Basements are quite often known for having water issues due to external conditions such as drain spouts, etc. An infrared camera is a great tool to have in your inspector's arsenal to detect any such issues.
Faulty electrical wiring is nothing to play around with. An infrared camera can easily detect overheated conductors or circuit breakers.
Perhaps the home you are buying has a radiator. Quickly scanning the radiator with an infrared camera can tell you if it's heating properly.
When dealing with new construction there are many different crews in an out of the house. Crews doing carpeting, painting, cabinetry, etc. - it's not uncommon for there to be a disconnect when piecing together various tasks. One example of an infrared camera finding faulty work is the discovery of an air register hidden beneath freshly laid carpet. Without the infrared camera this home owner would've been colder in the winter and hotter in the summer.
Now you've seen all the practical uses of an infrared camera. Next time you have a home inspection, ask your inspector what he/she thinks of these cameras.
Jeramie & Christa Taber
2630 Memorial Blvd
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
Direct Phone: 615-533-8323
Office Phone: 615-896-5656