Although thermal imaging has yet to become a standard in the typical home inspection, it is becoming a valuable tool for the home inspector community to utilize. Over the course of the next few blogs, we discuss what thermal imaging is, we will address why there is a need for thermal imaging, as well as some of the limitations using an Infrared Camera.
We will start with a brief description of what thermal imaging is, and what it is not. Some of the basic facts relating to thermal imaging are as follows:
· Infrared thermography is the process of obtaining thermal information (in our case, of a house) through a non-contact device
· The device that we use for thermal information is an infrared camera. The cameras measure surface temperature that creates an image with infrared radiation
· As seen in the photo above, the Infrared camera is able to associate different color scales with different temperatures
· Because of the level of analysis required to properly interpret the thermal images obtained, it is important that the Infrared Thermographer is properly trained and certified on how to not only use the camera, but how to correctly interpret the data (Infrared images)
· Regardless of some popular misconceptions, thermal imaging cameras do not see behind walls – they can only read surface temperatures that can indicate possible issues behind the walls
· There are significantly different types of Infrared cameras available with all kinds of resolution and functionality
Although Infrared cameras have been around and used for many years, we are really seeing just the beginning of its utility in the home inspection industry, which as you may guess, has some great advantages to this process. The next few blogs will focus on the benefits of infrared thermography as part of the home inspection, as well as some of the limitations of thermal imaging.