What Is Thermal Imaging?
Infrared (thermal imaging) is an advanced, non-invasive technology that allows the inspector to show clients certain things about their homes or buildings that can’t be revealed using conventional inspection methods.
Does Thermal Imaging See Into Walls?
Thermal imaging is NOT a device to actually see into walls, pipes, etc… The Thermal Camera has the ability to see temperature variations in a given field of view. If these variations are extreme enough, the image may show some of the internal components within a space but it is not like having an actual picture. The imaging camera is just another tool that can be used as an inspector. No thermal imager on the planet will tell the user what is wrong. The readings / images must be interpreted properly, as so the inspector can make reasonably correct assumptions about the image
The effective use of an IR inspection is to interpret the results as accurately and reasonably as possible, so the client is given actionable information, in order to proceed with necessary repairs.
Should I Have My Home Inspected Using Thermal Imaging?
It is unlikely a home inspector will try to thermal image every surface, wall, door, window, etc.. in your home during a typical inspection. To do so would be time consuming and obviously come with additional costs. Instead, most inspectors will use the IR Camera as a tool to look for obvious problems or to verify an existing issue. For something as specialized as a thermal imaging inspection, it’s critical that the information presented meets the clients’ needs for information they can use and act on.
Thermal Imaging Does Have Limitations
The limitations of thermal imaging are numerous. Most often, it is the intended use of the camera as well as the depth of training and experience the user has. Depending on the established baseline IR readings and the locations of the images, the results can either alert the client to a critical repair needed – such as an electrical hot spot – or simply be an item that they need to keep in check – such as adding insulation at an exterior wall.
Thermal imaging equipment is expensive enough that not every inspector offers this type of ancillary inspection. Nevertheless, those who use IR cameras for both ancillary inspections and as part of their standard home and commercial property inspections will testify that it’s become one of the more indispensable implements in their toolkits.
PLEASE NOTE: A form called the "Texas Real Estate Protection Notice" is available for you to view at this TREC link. Please contact us if the link does not work. This is a mandatory regulatory agency notice and what works today might not tomorrow.
*To prevent ethical conflicts, we cannot make repairs to any home we perform an inspection on for a period of one year.