What Can Thermal Imaging Find in a Home Inspection?

Thermal imaging can find a number of issues during a home inspection that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye. Things like pest infestations and missing insulation are common findings of infrared or thermal imaging. Thermal imaging reads the surface temperatures of solid objects and while it cannot see through walls, it can show temperature differences that indicate where structures and more are behind the drywall. Thermal imaging doesn’t show temperatures of reflective items such as mirrors, shiny metal and glass.

Things Thermal Imaging Can Find in a Home Inspection

There are a surprising number of things thermal imaging can help inspectors find and document during a home inspection. Here is a list of the most common issues found with thermal imaging:

  • Detect water leaks from roofing/gutters into homes (particularly within 24-48 hours of recent rain or snow)
  • Detect cold infiltration, drafts and air leaks
  • Identify location of ice dams and damage caused by them or potential areas for ice dams to occur due to lack of insulation
  • Structural placement of josts, studs, beams and rafters
  • Insulation problems – whether missing or uneven insulation
  • Excess moisture in building materials
  • Electrical drops, panels, wire connections, breakers and switches (particularly overheating circuits and electrical components)
  • Water pipe location and hidden leaks
  • Duct placement for HVAC system, insulation and leaks
  • Pest infestations – mice, bees and other bugs
  • Construction flaws in walls and framing
  • Airflow blockages or leaks
  • Undisclosed damage from leaks, fires, electrical problems and chimney issues

Thermal imaging gives a home inspector a more thorough view of the home and any safety issues it might have by helping the inspector find issues that are not visible to the naked eye. Bridgewater Home Watch always includes thermal imaging in our inspections at no extra cost to you. We believe you deserve to know everything possible about the home you are interested in buying so we include this service with every inspection we do.