What Thermal Imaging Can Reveal About a Home Inspection

What Thermal Imaging Can Reveal About a Home Inspection

For a long, thermography (also known as In-fared) and thermal imaging in calgary have been available. This is something I believe should be mandatory when doing a home inspection. It provides so much value for my clients that I include it free with every inspection. It is a great way of identifying issues, and it’s also pretty cool.

It was amazing to discover all the uses of these cameras when I was certified in FLIR Thermography. Everything, from diagnosing cancer to electrical. Technology is amazing, isn’t it?

Because it is such an interesting topic, I thought I would share how I use thermal imagery during my inspections to find my prey… The “construction defect”.

Missing wall insulation

In winter, the cold areas caused by missing wall insulation are visible. This photo shows that the wall temperature is significantly higher than the surrounding wall areas.


Missing or displaced attic insulation

The main bedroom picture was taken in spring when the sun shone through the roof. This created a very warm attic. It is difficult to miss the missing insulation in the attic. The homeowners didn’t know why their bedroom was so hot in summer.

Inadequate Garage Ceiling Insulation

Many people have purchased a new house only for the garage to be extremely cold in winter. It is impossible to see the insulation, so it is best to test the house during winter. The thermal camera can detect temperature differences and provide documentation to support the owner or home builder’s repair. You can see the difference of 4 degrees Celsius between the hallway and bedroom in this house.


Foundation Water Leaks

Thermal cameras can show temperature, but they can also show wet areas if the conditions are right. Evaporative cooling occurs when the air is dry. The heat leaves the surfaces with vaporized water, and the surface becomes colder than the dry areas. This basement was affected by water leakage from the sprinkler system. Although there was not much evidence, the thermal data shows the wet carpet and my hot footprints. It’s pretty cool, huh?


Plumbing Leaks

The shower head piping in this bathroom, newly renovated on the 2nd floor, seemed a bit lost to me when I looked at it. A little suspicious, I used my thermal camera to scan the ceiling below the living room and found the area where water was dripping onto it. My moisture meter confirmed that the ceiling was wet. The ceiling was not stained with any substance that could indicate a leak. Without the camera, it would not have been easy to spot this.


Thermography is a cool tool. These cameras have advanced significantly over the past few years and are only improving. It is important to have an inspector with a background in construction to help you understand the home and also to be able to give the best inspection possible by using the right tools.

These are just a few of the many capabilities these cameras have. These cameras can also detect hidden Stucco water damage and identify an electrical defect, such as an overheating wire or circuit breaker.