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The Importance of Infrared Thermal Imaging

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

For your next home inspection be sure to choose an inspector who utilizes the use of thermal imaging. Thermal imaging lets us see what our naked eyes are unable to see.

Without getting too technical an infrared thermal camera lets us see the temperature of things. As home inspectors we scan your home with an infrared thermal camera to detect potential issues. Read the following to how understand how we do this.

Thermal Imaging for heat loss

wall to ceiling infrared image

One of the main uses for infrared thermal imaging is to detect heat loss in your home. The above thermal image shows a corner where the wall and ceiling meet.

The blue line outlines an area of heat loss. This is a very common area where homes will lose heat. This can be easily remedied by entering the attic and adding insulation to the area.

Thermal Imaging to detect moisture intrusion

The importance of infrared thermal imaging

The above image shows a side by side comparison. Skylights are prone to leaking, reasons for this may be damaged or improper flashing, damaged seal around the glass and/or ice damns.

When we see blue in and around skylights this will raise red flags. On closer inspection by using a moisture meter we were able to determine that in fact this skylight was leaking. Other areas we focus on are around toilets, bathtubs, shower stalls and windows.

Moisture can lead to an array of issues which includes the growth of mold. Mold can lead to serious health issues. Check out this article to find out more. Top 5 Items that will ruin your home inspection

Thermal Imaging to detect electrical problems

thermal image electrical panel

Thermal imagers enable us to see the heat signatures associated with high electrical resistance long before the circuit becomes hot enough to cause an outage or explosion.

Be aware of two basic thermal patterns associated with electrical failure: 1) a high resistance caused by poor surface contact and 2) an over loaded circuit or multi-phase imbalance problem.

Thermal imaging to detect HVAC issues

thermal image of floor register

The above image shows a floor register with the furnace turned on. We are able to check for leaking duct work, inoperable, clogged heat registers and so on.


As you can see, the thermal imaging camera is a very important tool in the home inspectors tool belt. With it we are able to scan large areas of your home detecting potential issues not seen with the naked eye.


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