Home inspectors can inspect the exterior of a home and the inside of the home, but what about problems that could be hiding in the walls? Instead of tearing down a client's walls to look for leaks and other problems, we use an infrared camera to look for problems that could be hiding in the walls of a home.
Hidden Problems That Infrared Cameras Can Find
Tiled Shower Leaks
Infrared cameras can identify leaking tiled showers. The infrared camera shows the inspector where leaks are coming from, if any. First, we test tiled showers by flooding the shower base with about 2" of water, and then let the water sit in the shower. If the tiled shower base leaks, water will show up on the infrared camera. It is better to find the leaks with an infrared camera before the leak causes a stain on the ceiling below.
Insulation problems are probably the most obvious use for an infrared camera. When insulation is missing or not installed properly, it is quite obvious to see on an infrared camera.
We don't find a ton of electrical issues with infrared cameras, but we do find them. When breakers are warm, as seen on the infrared camera, sometimes it's no big deal, sometimes it is. To know the difference, one must also use an amp meter to determine whether the circuit is overloaded or not. And by also scanning electric panels with an infrared camera we can easily identify overheated conductors or circuit breakers.
infrared cameras can be used to quickly determine whether ceiling stains are active or not. This isn't a definite test for moisture, but when a ceiling is all the same temperature, it's highly unlikely that the ceiling is wet.
Knowing how to use an infrared camera and what to look for is not as easy as it looks. Make sure to hire a infrared trained home inspector.