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What Does Thermal Imaging Do For a Home Inspection?

Benefits of an Infrared Home Inspection

Infrared (thermal imaging) is an advanced, non-invasive technology that allows the home inspector to show clients things about their homes that can’t be revealed using conventional inspection methods. Thermal Imaging can reveal issues in homes of all ages. Infrared technology can detect heat loss, moisture damage, air leakage and inconsistencies in insulation coverage. Below are three major benefits to using thermal imaging in a home inspection:

Finding Hidden Moisture

In terms of detecting moisture, an infrared camera can help locate:

  • Plumbing leaks

  • Hidden roof leaks with recent rainfall

  • Missing, damaged and/or wet insulation

  • Water and moisture intrusion around penetrations

  • Water and moisture infiltration at the foundation that may lead to structural damage and mold

Detecting Energy Loss

In terms of energy loss, an infrared camera can help detect:

  • Heat loss and air infiltration in walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors

  • Damaged and/or malfunctioning radiant heating systems

  • Air conditioner compressor leaks

  • Under-fastening and/or missing framing members. Similarly, other structural defects that can lead to energy loss

  • Broken seals in double-paned windows

Locating Hot Spots

Infrared cameras are equally effective at locating hot spots in the home. For example:

  • Circuit breakers in need of immediate replacement

  • Overloaded and undersized circuits

  • Overheated electrical equipment and components

  • Electrical faults

We Include Infrared Thermal Imaging Scans Free on Every Home Inspection!

Thermal imaging does have limitations. Thermal imaging displays surface temperatures of solid objects. It does not show the temperature of objects that reflect light. For example: glass, shiny metal and light-colored objects in direct sunlight. It does not “see through walls.” Instead, it displays a slight difference in the surface temperature of the wall. Images of areas behind, and not in-contact with walls depends on the temperature difference of the area. Hot objects are easiest to detect because they radiate heat to the not in-contact surface.


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Buying or selling a home in the Triangle area? Our detailed home inspection consists of a thorough examination of all systems and components of the home. See one of our sample home inspection reports and read our 5-star home inspection Raleigh, NC area reviews. We’re always here to answer any questions, whether it’s weeks, months or years after your home inspection. Let our local, Triangle area home inspectors help you make an informed decision.

New Leaf Home Inspections provides home inspection services to all of the counties located in the Raleigh, NC area.

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