Moisture intrusion and Air leakage testing.

Over the years, home inspection tools have been developed to make inspectors’ jobs easier. Moisture meters, Electrical testers, CO analyzers, PPE, and many more have helped the home inspector perform their service. Some of these tools made the job safer, some made it faster, and some allowed inspectors to add new services with their reports. Thermography and infrared technology fits all of these categories and has become a leading service for the controls of Moisture Intrusion and Air Leakage in properties.

Infrared thermography (IRT) is the science used to capture and process thermal information using non-contact measurement tools. This is done by analyzing infrared (IR) radiation emitted from an object whose temperature is above absolute zero. Because this wavelength exists outside of the visible spectrum of light, infrared measuring devices are required to capture and process this information.

Thermal imaging cameras work by detecting heat signatures and displaying them as a gradient scale, with lighter colors signifying areas that are more hot and darker colors

signifying cooler areas. Unlike visible light, which is the reflection of wavelengths of light off an object, infrared comes directly from the image source. This allows IR cameras to function in ways that traditional visible light cameras cannot.

The general advantages of IRT are the following:

  • IRT is a non-contact technology; the devices do not to be in contact with the sources of heat creating a safer work environment.

  • IRT creates a two-dimensional thermal image that allows for comparisons with visible light cameras

  • IRT works in real-time, allowing high-speed scanning of images

  • IRT is safe and effective

  • IRT is non-invasive and will not disturb or affect the target area

IRT had widespread use as a military technology in the 1970’s but found itself in commercial use soon after. Today the technology is employed in various fields including medicine, surveillance, engineering, and building diagnostics, which includes home inspections. For home inspectors, using IRT can help diagnose defects that may not have been apparent in a routine inspection, reveal further defects and underlying causes, and can make the job safer.

Infrared imaging or thermography uses specialized instruments that detect and visualize heat spectrums that allow home inspectors to follow the flow of heat through a system.

Along with these imaging devices, our home energy and air leakage inspections may also include a blower door in thermographic inspections to get more accurate and detailed results. A blower door will create negative pressure in the room, causing air to be pulled in from outside the system that indicate areas of heat leakage.

Consumers should always seek inspectors who are Infrared Certified by looking for the Infrared Certified logo.