Fine Tooth Home Inspections
Fine Tooth Home Inspections

Infrared Thermal Imaging Scans 

What is Infrared Thermography?

All objects radiate heat. This heat is in the infrared spectrum and not visible to our eyes. An infrared camera shows an image of these temperature differences.

The darker areas are those that radiate less thermal radiation, and that generally means that those areas of the target are cooler. Brighter means the opposite- more radiation, and a likely warmer target.      

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What can an Infrared Thermal Imaging Scan of my home show?

An ITI Scan of your home can show:

-Moisture intrusion and contamination

-Missing, damaged, or improperly placed insulation

-Air infiltration

-Improperly functioning in-floor or in-ceiling radiant heating systems

-Overheating electrical components including solar systems

All of these conditions are typically not visible to the human eye or are only partially visible whereas an Infrared Thermal Imaging Scan can show the full extent of these conditions.                                                       

                                                         

Moisture Intrusion

Moisture intrusion and contamination in a home can mean structural damage, pest infestation and/or mold growth. Knowing the full extent of the intrusion and contamination can help determine the cause, repairs needed and costs.

The first photo shows peeling paint on a laundry room ceiling that is below a bathroom. The peeling paint is in one small area but the infrared images shows that the moisture intrusion is more extensive than what is seen by the unaided eye.  

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This infrared image shows moisture intrusion around a wood burning stove flue.

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These infrared images show moisture intrusion from open seams around the window trim. Once again there are no visible signs of moisture intrusion in the photograph or to the unaided eye.

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Insulation Issues

Missing, damaged or improperly installed insulation will affect the heating and cooling of the house.

This image shows where the insulation was not replaced after the ceiling was repaired for damages caused by ice damming.

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As you can see there is almost a 15 degree difference in temperauture in the two areas of the ceiling. This will cause a significant heat loss in this room during the winter.

These images show temperature differences on a ceiling. The attic in this home has blown-in fiberglass insulation. During the installation of a surround sound system the insulation was moved in areas and compressed in others. Compressed insulation does not have the same "R" value as properly installed insulation of the same type thus causing the temperature differences.

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 This a cantilevered second story. The occupants stated that this bedroom always felt colder than the rest of the house. The infrared image shows missing insulation under the floor along the outside wall.

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Air Infiltration

Air infiltration will also affect the heating and cooling of the house. It can be caused by improper or missing insulation but is typically caused by penetrations through the building envelope and poor weather sealant at doors, windows and the juncture where the walls meet the floor.

 

These infrared images show air infiltration around poorly sealed doors.

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In floor heat is a very popular heating system. It typically consists of a boiler or water heater, pump, manifold system with thermostatic controls and flexible pipe embedded into the concrete slab. A typical inspection is limited to the components that are visible. An Infrared Thermal Imaging Scan may be able to show if the embedded pipes are installed correctly and are functioning as intended.

 

This is a properly installed in floor heating system. Notice the coils are evenly spaced and have similar temperatures.

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This is an improperly installed heating system. Notice the coils are not evenly spaced and the heat is not consistent. This caused noticeable cold spots on the floor.

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An ITI scan can also show temperature differences in embedded electrical heating systems.

 

Overheating electrical components are potential fire hazards.

In this push-in fuse box, the infrared image shows an overheating connection.

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This is an overheating battery connection for a solar system.

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As you can see, an Infrared Thermal Imaging Scan is an effective tool at your disposal to find issues that may not be visible to the unaided eye.

 

If you are purchasing a home this scan, especially when coupled with a home inspection, can provide invaluable information to help in your evaluation of the property.

 

With the knowledge gained by an ITI Scan, you can make your home more energy efficient potentially saving you a substantial amount of money during the time you live in your home.

 

An Infrared Thermal Imaging Scan can also find issues in your home that can be detrimental to your health by revealing the extent of moisture contamination that can facilitate mold growth and/or pest infestation.

All houses we inspect will get a sweep of the interior with the Infrared Camera during the Home Inspection but a complete Infrared Thermal Imaging Scan is reasonably priced considering the valuable information it provides. The fee for an ITI Scan is only $75.00