Capabilities of Thermal Imaging

A thermal imaging inspection (also known as infrared or IR inspection) uses non-invasive, state-of-the-art technology to generate reports not sufficiently covered by conventional visual or even physical inspections. An IR inspection report is just as important, if not more, than a standard home inspection report.

A thermal imaging inspection can help detect air leaks, insulation defects, and may be especially helpful during an energy audit as it determines apparent temperatures of given settings. A properly controlled (temperature and air pressure) household interior can be tested for structural deficiencies with the use of an infrared camera inspection tool.

More specifically, an IR camera can also detect aspects of energy loss and moisture intrusion:

  • Heat loss and air infiltration
  • Under-performing radiant heating systems and air-conditioner compressor leaks
  • Structural deficiencies in double-paned windows
  • Plumbing leaks, hidden roof leaks
  • Impaired, missing, or moisture-ridden insulation
  • Other kinds of moisture detection including: foundational penetrations and structural wetness


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Checked Areas

Where there are known energy efficiency issues, an IR inspection can be helpful when specifically trying to locate spots where insulation is inadequate. Air leaks may be felt by touch during a blower door test and noticeable temperature drops in certain areas may also be noted during the colder months. During a thermal imaging inspection, inspectors will often start with the following areas, or with any already suspected areas:
  • Light and electrical fixtures
  • Windows and doors
  • Attic, basement, cellar, crawlspaces
  • Plumbing penetrations and bathroom traps
  • Chimney flue and fireplace areas
  • Dropped ceilings and soffits
  • Visible areas of cracking between partition top plates and drywall
  • Utility chases and baseboards

Repair Priorities and Recommendations

Based on the inspector’s presentation and interpretation of the data, certain repair recommendations can be made according to priority.

The trouble areas with the most potential for hazards are probably the most critical repairs to be made and may include electrical hot spots (fire hazard), moisture intrusion (mold, structural damage), etc.

Following the thermal imaging inspection and report review, your inspector may make some recommendations about repairs and possible remediation methods. It may be necessary to consult a professional to service or assist with repairs. For DIY situations, be sure to follow strict health and safety precautions using equipment and always wear the appropriate protective gear.

Home buyers having an inspection prior to purchase.



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Thermal Imaging Inspection