Inspect It FIRST includes thermal imaging in its arsenal of inspection tools. A thermal scan is optional and can be added to our inspections. Inspect It FIRST recommends thermal imaging for the following circumstances.
Important Note: A thermal scan is not a reliable “all clear” when it comes to pre-purchase property inspections.
Many thermal imaging providers over-state the uses of thermal imaging giving the impression that it’s an x-ray machine – a magical device that can see inside walls, under floors and into ceilings. To be clear thermal imaging is not an x-ray machine. It only measures the temperature of the surface of the wall. It’s the structural damage termites cause that we are looking for and damage has no thermal trace. When it comes to thermal scanning, termite detection is a hit or miss process. Apart from termite detection thermal scanning has several other benefits and Inspect It FIRST offers all these options to clients.
Inspect It FIRST recommends thermal imaging
If an active water leak is identified as we are inspecting the building the option of providing a thermal scan is offered. This could be leaking showers, ceilings under bathrooms or roof leaks. A scan of the area can help in identifying the extent of the problem.
Live Termite Detection
Where termite damage has been identified or a high moisture level is detected, and we believe it may be a sign of termites, thermal imaging is offered. A thermal scan of the area can confirm the presence of live termites in the building.
Ideal for new homes thermal imaging can help to confirm that the builder has provided insulation in the external walls and all ceilings. Offered as an option to a Practical Completion Inspection (PCI) / Handover inspection of a new home. A lack of insulation increases the cost of energy to heat or cool the home.
Draft / Leak Detection
Thermal imaging of external windows and doors is offered as an option when inspecting a home. Poor seals to any openings increase the cost of energy to heat or cool the home. Preventing air leaks around openings also improves the comfort level of a home. A scan around windows and doors will show areas where heat or cool is escaping or entering the building.
Equipment We Use
Termite Detection Equipment
Thermal Imaging can assist a building consultant to detect areas where termites may be infesting the property. Termites have a heat trace, and a thermal imaging camera is able to detect this heat signature. To eliminate most of the guesswork during termite inspections. This helps to identify termite infestation. Since the termites are not disturbed during the inspection, termite control applications can be used post inspection to eradicate the colony.
Moisture Detection Equipment
Excess humidity or moisture in interior spaces of buildings results in the build-up of mould, algae, rot, and mildew. When left untreated, these elements can cause extensive damage to features, including roofing, flooring, walls, and insulation. In order to avoid these major issues, proper inspection of the entire structure has to be carried out in an efficient and professional way.
The amount of moisture in the building needs to be measured. A moisture metre can easily detect higher than normal moisture content within building elements. A moisture meter and thermal imaging devices help in identifying concealed leaks in bathrooms or shower floors and provides readings of moisture levels within the structure.
This helps the inspector trace back the leak to the point of origin, and also determine the cause of entry. It is crucial that the building inspector has complete knowledge of various building materials and components, in order to carry out the inspection effectively.
The building consultant also needs to have a good understanding of the National Construction Codes, Australian Building Standards and reference guides for water damage in structures. When the inspector provides the building and pest inspection report, they also include recommendations for the client.
Frequently Asked Questions
A thermal imaging camera when used in the inspection a building is used as a tool to assist in identifying the thermal trace of a building defect. Defects that a thermal camera may identify are:
- Poor insulation or insulation placement.
- Draft leaks around external door and window openings.
- Live termite activity.
- Water ingress to walls, floors, roofs from water leaks and waterproofing failures.
Thermal imaging when used provides the next level of technology that can assist the building inspector in identifying building defects. Adding the thermal imaging option to a building inspection is well worth the protection it provides to property purchasers.
Thermal imaging is the detection of the variance in surface temperature of the object being photographed. A skilled thermal camera operator is able to interpret these variances to identify a building defect.