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USING INFRARED CAMERAS IN HOUSE INSPECTIONS

By: Fred Willcox
Copyrightę 2010
All Rights Reserved

I do not use infrared cameras in my house inspections. The cameras still give too many “false” readings. Although the technology is improving rapidly, the technology has not yet been perfected.

As was discussed in a previous article on hi-tech tools used by house inspectors, many of these tools give improper information and false results.

I watch this technology closely. I really will be happy when this technology reaches a high degree of reliability. All too often the cameras will give indications of problems that are not really problems. A nail head, a screw head or the lack of insulation in a wall will show a difference in heat in a wall on the camera. This indicates that there is a problem in the wall. In fact, no problem exists. But the actual “problem” cannot be determined until the wall covering material such as the drywall is removed.

The information that the camera gave was accurate. There was something in the wall that created a difference in heat that the camera could find. The problem is in the sensitivity of the camera. They cannot yet rule out minor glitches from real problems.

As soon as I am of the opinion that these cameras are reliable, I will include the use of an infrared camera in my inspections.

Until then, I still find that diligence and taking my time allows me to find indications of water penetration inside the house. My idea of running a good inspection business is to take the time to perform thorough inspections. It is not my intent to schedule many inspections so that I can pay for the major defects I miss in the houses I inspect. I prefer to take the time necessary to do the job well.