Buying a new home is never an easy decision. There are so many things that needs to be looked at. We all would prefer to purchase a home that is perfect in every sense. Certain things such as location of the home, locality, neighbors, distance from the supermarket/school/office etc. Each and every detail is analyzed before you finalize your dream home. Also no two houses would be the same. Every home would have a different aspect that may not seem to be picture perfect.
We normally tend to look at all the visible aspects of the home but have you ever wondered that there can be issues which are hidden or not visible through naked eyes. Yes, that’s true. Even a new home may have issues which are hidden and not visible easily. Problem areas such as loss of energy, electrical hot-spots, moisture related problems, infestations of small and large pests, water leakage from the structure etc. These are issues that can turn out to be grave when not inspected on a timely manner.
But thankfully, there is a technology that helps in spotting such invisible issues so that they can be rectified on a timely manner. The use of infrared thermal imaging inspection can spot changes in the temperature in various corners of the home or building structure. With its results, you can find out the problematic areas that need to be dealt at. This is a good inspection technique especially for first time home buyers.
What is Thermal Imaging Inspections?
The process of thermal imaging inspection is basically the use of an infrared camera that would allow for a thorough analysis of any home or building. This camera detects any hidden problem which otherwise is not easily available through the conventional mode of home inspections. The thermal imaging process is known to detect even the smallest changes in the temperature that is present from one part of the home to another. The variations arising in the temperature is then displayed on the camera screen. “Hot” or “Cold” spots are shown up on the screen of the camera. These spots help in identifying those areas of the home or building which are problematic. For a buyer of a new home, this is a great technique to identify such hidden problems. Even for a seller, to avoid any embarrassment in front of the buyer, this technique can be used to work up on any problematic areas.
The thermal imaging process is known to be one of the non-invasive techniques that can help in understanding the issues an individual would have to deal with. This is not a tedious or complicated process. It is quite straightforward and simple method. However, you may need an expertise in this field to interpret the results being displayed on the camera screen. The infrared camera is especially designed for capturing the images from any of the objects which give off the heat signals. This process also allows one to view what’s behind the walls so as to determine if everything is clear on the other end.
Carrying out a legitimate scan of the property would also help in avoiding to purchase any such homes which may seem good from outside but is problematic from within. If there are any kind of heat signatures, they would be picked up and get displayed on the camera screen. The inspector would then provide a detailed insight as to what the results are, based on which you can take an accurate decision. For the first time home buyers, this technique is a blessing since it would avoid losing out on huge sums of money for purchasing a property that is infested from within.
How can Infrared Thermal help First time home buyers?
Electrical malfunctions, leaky roof, energy loss, and improper insulation are some of the hidden problems in a home or building. Not necessary that a new home would be completely perfect from all aspect. Even though the structure may seem perfect and strong from outside, there can be certain hidden issues which are not visible through the naked eye. In such instances, it is important to carry out a thorough inspection. Conventional methods may not be 100 percent accurate but if you plan for a thermal imaging inspection then it would save you a lot of time and energy in the future.
Let us go through some of the issues that can get easily identified with the help of thermal imaging process.
There are a number of circuit breakers and other electrical equipment’s in a building. But how confident are you that they all are in a good working condition? The use of thermal imagers would allow to take accurate measurements even from a distance. It is an ideal tool for finding any problematic areas when it comes to electrical equipment’s. Thermal imaging can also identify problems in those circuits or equipment’s which are at a height.
Thermal imaging technique is also a great method to identify any loose connections. Over a period of time, due to dirt there is an additional resistance that gets created which ultimately leads to overheating. Even when one is not aware, you may actually tend to lose out on any one of the phase that can put the people in the premises at risk.
The use of thermal imaging is a way of catching such unseen problem areas to avoid any major loss of property and human. So when the thermal imaging camera is scanning is through the area and if there are any electrical system damage then the camera image screen would display yellow spots. This would make it easier for the buyer in correctly identifying the spot and work on the repair work.
One of the most valuable asset for any home or building is its roof. Hence you do not want someone to report about the puddle that has been caused due to leaky roof. One way to identify this issue before it escalates is through the help of thermal imaging. The infrared camera would help in tracking down the condition of the roof and also provide data based on color spots in case of problem areas.
Couple of issues that can arise are gaps in the seam, a compromised membrane and punctures among many others. Any of these issues can cause the water to saturate in the insulation present above the roof deck. As the sun shines down, the moisture would start to heat up. During the night time, the roof would radiate heat. But those areas on the roof which are holding moisture would take even longer in radiating heat due to the rise in the thermal mass. Between sunset and midnight, there is a certain time when these spots would stand out like a grave issue.
Not to forget, the use of thermal imaging would help in saving the cost that would go in replacement of the roof. None of us would want to face a situation wherein you have just purchased a new house and now dealing with a problematic roof. Thermal imaging process for a roof is best done during the evening times as mentioned above. By this time, the other roofing materials would have already released the heat thus displaying purple or blue colour spot on the camera image screen. On the other hand, the materials which have moisturized would still be warm thus displaying orange or red color spot on the camera image screen.
Termites, rodents, termites can cause a havoc in any premises. There are traditional tools and methods being used for identifying any such infestations. But most of those traditional tools would be only tapping tools and they would gauge the level of moistness present in the structure. Not always the pest inspector would get an accurate answer while carrying out inspection with these tools. Hence most of the times there have been cases wherein the inspectors have missed the presence of termites or other pests leading to major problems in the future. Obviously, it was not the fault of the inspectors then since the tools were not robust enough to detect the presence of pests or termites in certain parts of the buildings or homes.
But thanks to thermal imaging, the process of identifying the presence of these termites or pests has become quite easier and at the same time accurate enough to be not missed. The infrared technology that is present in this tool would sense any change in the temperature. Hence the camera cannot miss out any termite colonies even at inaccessible locations. All the parts of the structures irrespective of how difficult it is access can be easily scanned and the results are shown on the camera screen.
There is no denying of the fact that thermal cameras can also easily provide data in total darkness thus making it easier to identify rodents or mice. We all are aware that mice love to chew holes inside the walls. These infrared cameras can easily identify any temperature level changes inside the walls that have been caused due to the open air pockets. Thermal cameras can easily detect the heat which is permitted by rodents.
Thermal imaging inspections allows to easily scan through the ceilings, floors and walls of any structure. The camera can identify any change in the temperature level. This can give a signal about any damaged or missing components in the structure. For a prospective buyer, the results that are available through thermal imaging is valuable. Since the results then help in making a decision of going in for the property or no.
When you are on a lookout for a new home, and if you do not want any headaches later on then it is best to carry out a thermal imaging inspection. At the same time, home sellers should avoid any such embarrassment and unexpected issues. Hence problematic areas should be fixed before showing the property to any prospective buyer. Also it is recommended that the thermal imaging results should be interpreted by an expert. Since there would be zero scope for any errors. The inspectors are well versed with the color coding and can provide an accurate judgement of the issue in the property.