Getting A Home Inspection? 2 Things Infrared Scanning Can Help You To Spot

Posted on: 20 October 2015

Buying a home can be incredibly intimidating, and most people decide to get a home inspection to get a thorough understanding of the condition of a potential property. Unfortunately, since routine home inspections are nothing but visual inspections, even the best home inspector might miss an issue or two—which might end up costing you a lot of money in the long run. However, some inspectors offer infrared home scanning for an extra cost. Here are two things infrared scanning can help you to spot and why it might be worth it to upgrade your service:

1: Moisture Damage

Sure, that room smells moldy, but without ripping down drywall and pulling up carpet, it might be difficult to tell if there is really a water problem. However, since theinfrared cameras used in advanced home inspections are capable of detecting subtle temperature changes, you might be able to spot water issues before they cause problems like floods and mold damage.

Infrared cameras work by measuring the heat radiated by objects and then converting this information into an image on a screen. The hotter the object, the more the molecules move and the more infrared they produce. This means that hotter objects will display warmer, brighter colors on the screen, while colder objects will be displayed as darker, cooler colors. For example, a warm wall might look light orange, while a wet spot, even if not visible to the naked eye, might be pale blue.

In terms of water damage, infrared cameras might help your home inspector to find these types of issues:

  • Pipe Problems: Using an infrared camera, your home inspector can quickly inspect pipes hidden in the walls and floor to look for cracks, dripping water, and even joinery issues.
  • The Cause of Incoming Moisture: Finding wet insulation or puddles of water is one thing, but determining the cause is another issue altogether. Fortunately, infrared scanning is so fast and efficient that experts can use it to quickly identify the cause of incoming water. For example, your inspector might be able to find cold spots on your roof that have let in rainwater in the past, or areas around your shower that have been leaking for years.

Before you request your infrared home inspection, walk through the property on your own. Pay attention to strange smells, spongy flooring, and signs of previous moisture damage such as peeled or bubbling paint. If you find problems, ask your inspector to analyze those areas thoroughly for damage.

2: Pest Infestations

Few things are worse than moving into a brand new house, only to discover a hidden pest problem. Fortunately, infrared cameras aren't just for detecting soaked sub-flooring. Because pests emit heat, infrared tools can help home inspectors to identify hidden pest infestations such as the following:

  • Mice: In terms of pest infestations, mice can be among the most difficult to spot. Because mice can fit through tiny cracks and scurry away when people approach, you might miss those furry little rodents—even if they were there during your initial walk-through. Fortunately, because mice are fairly large and emit lots of heat, they are easy to spot via infrared camera. Your inspector might be able to find burrows and entry points.
  • Termites: Termites can eat through back decks, indoor studs, and even crucial roof trusses—leaving your home susceptible to dangerous collapses or expensive repairs. Fortunately, infrared imaging tools can detect swarms of termites so that you can avoid properties with extensive damage.

Before you get your home inspection, pay attention to the property disclosure sheet given to you by the sellers. If the property has had any type of pest damage, make sure to mention it to your home inspector. He or she can evaluate previous repairs and look for signs of lingering pest problems.

By requesting an infrared inspection of a home, you can gain peace of mind knowing whether or not a house is worth investing in.