What is infrared?
All objects have thermal energy, but the wavelengths of infrared are far too long to fall within the visible light spectrum for human eyes. Simply put, infrared technology allows us to see what our eyes cannot. We can quickly quantify potential heat loss or gain on a given surface. Infrared imagery cannot "see through" surfaces, but it can illustrate temperature differences on or within those surfaces.
What do all those colors actually tell me?
All objects will radiate energy - the higher the temperature, the greater the infrared radiation. The "warmer" the colors displayed on your IR inspection, the hotter the surface of that object. Whites, reds, and oranges, for example, will correlate to warmer areas whereas "cooler" colors (greens, blues) will show the opposite. Every surface will be displayed in this spectrum of color which is not initially reason for concern...but if we find "cool" colors where they shouldn't be or the other way around, that allows us to uncover hidden problems.
Why should I consider an infrared inspection?
A photo is worth a thousand words, and my IR images can help pinpoint issues relating to heat transfer or moisture that may otherwise be undetectable during a home inspection. Take a look at the example below from a client's living room. The photo on the left shows what we could visually inspect. With no attic access on this addition on the home, we had no way to tell that an entire 1/3 of the ceiling surface area did not have adequate (or any!) insulation. This inefficiency can lead to serious heat loss in the winter or a living space that becomes sweltering in the summer - and consequently, increased utility bills.
Can infrared find hidden water damage?
Infrared technology does not measure moisture (I'll use a moisture meter for that!), but it will help show potential water intrusion that is hidden behind surfaces. If water is leaking through a roof or from a pipe in a wall, the surrounding area that has begun to absorb water may not yet be visible to the human eye. However, seeing "cooler" colors than what should be observed on the IR spectrum can help us analyze potential moisture and then further investigate the source of the leak. Take a look at the example below - a moisture meter reading confirmed the early stages of this leak.
What else can IR do for me?
Ideally, we don't find any major concerns like the examples shown above. An infrared inspection can still highlight valuable information, though. Take, for example, the windows in an older home. Single-pane windows are not as energy efficient as a more modern multi-pane window systems. The below IR images are from the same home on a winter day - taken just moments apart. The "colder" window is original to the house, where as the "warmer" one is a high-end vinyl replacement window. While both windows were in good condition at the home inspection, my client was able to quickly see the energy efficiency differences.
What report will I receive?
Infrared services are provided at no additional cost! This technology helps me provide a better home inspection to you as well as allow me to identify and assess certain problems faster and more accurately!