Thermal Imaging

thermal camera holiday

Thermal Imaging Inspection Holiday Florida

Benefits of Thermal Imaging

Benefits of Thermal Imaging in the detection of:

  • Water infiltration  (roof leaks located with recent rain fall within 24~48 hours)
  • Cold air infiltration
  • Excessive moisture in building materials
  • Stud / Joist / Beam / Rafter placement and structure
  • Insulation gaps, insufficient and unevenness
  • Electrical drops, panels, breakers, switches and wire connections
  • Heating and cooling duct placement, insulation, air leaks
  • Pipe location
  • Special Inspections
    • Pest infestation
    • Energy audits
    • Insurance claims

Thermal Imaging Limitations

  • Thermal imaging only displays surface temperatures of solid objects.
  •  IR detects the temperature based upon wavelength of the light emitted by the object (longer wavelength, colder).  IR, therefore, does not show the temperature of objects that reflect light, (glass, shiny metal, light colored objects in direct sunlight).
  • IR, does not “see through walls”, but only displays the very slight differences in surface temperature of the wall.  Images of areas “behind” and not in contact with walls depends upon the temperature difference of the area.  It is easier to see “hot” objects because they will be radiating heat to the not-in-contact surface.  See pictures below for how IR is still incredibly useful.
  • Careful adjustment of the range of temperatures displayed is important to proper imaging and interpretation. (but don’t worry: I have been trained to do this).
While there is no guarantee that nothing will be missed during the visual inspection.  Thermal imaging brings me one step closer to not overlooking anything.
So you have to ask yourself:  do you want a home inspector that offers thermal imaging or risk going with one that does not?
As you study the photos below, I remind you, these images would not be visible without the aid of a thermal imaging camera.  Which is included in all my inspections!


Updated January 23rd, 2016


Another ice dam found with thermal imaging.  There were no moisture signs on the ceiling, verified with a moisture meter.


Thermal imaging photo shows a waterlogged well storage tank.  When this happens the well pump starts short cycling and water pressure drops dramatically. This can be fixed by a qualified plumber without replacing the tank in some cases.


Hidden plumbing leak caused by a drywall screw, took years to rust through.

Without drywall shields a screw can puncture a plumbing pipe and fail years later once
it rusts through

Below two different homes with the same electrical problem with recessed flood lights overheating an electrical circuit.

A series of 75 watt floods in kitchen causing the dimmer to heat up above 100 degrees…it’s a problem.


Second home, temperature readings over 300 degrees. Dimmer switches have a limit on how much wattage they can handle i.e.: 6 x65w bulbs = 390 watts. The switch will be warm, but should not be 100 degrees as it is here.

One solution is move over to LED bulbs which will lower the heat and current load and save you money.

Massive water leak 5’x5’…not disclosed prior to inspection.  Seller when asked claimed the hot tub above this ceiling flooded over. Would of gone unnoticed without thermal imaging…no water stains present on the ceiling.

Two roof leaks seen as blue shadows may of gone unnoticed due to wood paneling on the ceiling. IR found them.

Missing insulation, note temperature readings.



Using the framing diagram below we can see the wall # 1 is missing headers and top cripples above both windows. # 2 shows missing wall studs which should run from bottom plate to top plate. This wall is bowed out more than 1″.

Thinking of an older home?  Look at the photos below with temperature readings.  If these homes are hot during the summer I think we can agree they will be cold during the winter costing you the owner money.


Vacant home, electrical panel had one hot breaker.  This is a problem because the home is empty…electrical issue.  May of been overlooked on a normal inspection.


AC compressor, air flow blocked with debris, reducing cooling efficiency.



Interesting fact, with IR is you find items you never knew existed.  Below is a IR picture taken of the main electrical panel on a vacant home. Something is drawing power on one leg. The house is empty, now we need an electrician to correct it.  Without the aid of thermal imaging this may of been missed.  What makes this more interesting is this house already had one fire. This was not disclosed until I found evidence in the attic space. The seller still denied the fire damaged until their agent told them he was looking at it, only then was it disclosed.


More and more high end homes are moving to radiant heat in the flooring.


Newer home less than 12 years old, insulation has fallen out of place. See photos below.




Blue shadows indicate heat loss.

Chimney flashing failed, blue shadows on bricks show moisture leak.




Photos from a multi family I inspected.

See anything wrong in the photo below?

How about now? See below


At the 198°must get pretty toasty sitting on that toilet, less than 6″ away from the radiator. Safe to assume a burn hazard here. The actual building code states, toilet center should be a minimum of 15 inches from contact with walls, cabinets or in this case a heat source. Odds are no building permit was issued.

Another problem is the window is too low, minimum height should be 44″. This is a Rental Property once you purchase it the you assume all liabilities.

 thermal cameras