Today, once again...
...I was reminded of the importance of using thermal imaging during the home inspection.
Thermal Imaging Adds Value For Our Customers
Too few home inspectors use thermal cameras, citing the initial cost of investment and the lack of return. It's true: a good thermal camera will set you back $1500 or so, and I'm not sure that the use of thermal cameras has every sold me an inspection. That said, the return on the investment for my customers has been huge. Thermal cameras point out temperature differences that our eyes can't detect. Those temperature differences often reveal problems that could be very costly for our customers.
Strange Hot Spot
Today, for instance…
I was scanning the ceiling of a ranch, looking for cold spots that would indicate a water leak (since it is currently raining large cats-and-dogs). To my surprise, I found a warm spot in the ceiling. I climbed up into the attic and searched for the source of the heat. I though I might find an overheating electrical connection. To my surprise, buried underneath the insulation, I found a rather large rat's nest. The heat source in the ceiling was the body heat from the group of rats. There is no way that any inspector would have found this without the use of a thermal camera.
About a month ago…
I pulled out my thermal camera, as I always do when inspecting the main panel, and I noticed that the wire was overheating without even having any electrical load on the circuit. There is no telling how hot the wire got when the circuit was in use, but suffice it to say that it was a fire hazard. There was no visual sign that the wire was overheating, so I wouldn't have known about it without thermal imaging. Since then, the wire was replaced, and my clients moved in without any worries about any other electrical maladies.
Hot Wire in an Electric Panel
A Final Public Service Announcement:
When your AC is running, shut your blinds when you're not home. It is amazing how much heat your floors radiate when the sunlight is hitting it. Let you blinds reflect that heat back into the ether outside your home.
These are just a few of the most recent stories of how our thermal cameras have served our customers. Don't let anyone tell you that thermal imaging doesn't pay off, and don't schedule a home inspection without knowing that your inspector will be using a thermal camera. Your new home is expensive; we're here to make sure that it's not an expensive mistake.