Infrared building testing is a versatile tool that can detect problems hiding in a home's wall cavities. Using an infrared camera, a contactor can detect temperature differences behind a home's drywall, which allows them to see issues that can potentially be very serious, such as moisture buildup inside of a wall cavity. If you're planning on purchasing a home, it's a good idea to add infrared building testing to the standard pre-purchase home inspection — the ability to see behind drywall allows infrared testing to spot problems that can't be seen otherwise. Read on to learn three reasons to have a home inspected using an infrared camera before you purchase it.
1. Infrared Testing Can Easily See Hidden Moisture Issues
One of the biggest reasons to perform infrared building testing on a home before you buy it is that infrared thermography is able to spot moisture hidden behind walls. Water heats up and cools down faster than drywall, wood, and insulation, so any water collecting inside of a wall cavity will show up easily on a thermal camera.
Moisture buildup can lead to mold growing inside of your wall cavities, and it can also cause a home's wooden frame to rot. Both of these problems can be very expensive to fix, and it's difficult to spot moisture buildup without using infrared thermography — finding moisture problems allows you to ask the seller for a price reduction in order to pay for repairs, which can save you a significant amount of money.
2. Repairing Insulation Is More Convenient Before You've Moved Into Your Home
Insulation in a wall cavity shows up easily on a thermal camera since it isn't affected as much by the ambient air temperature compared to the drywall surrounding it. This results in a noticeable temperature difference between the insulation and the drywall, so insulation is easy to see using infrared thermography. Infrared building testing can show you areas in your home's wall that don't have adequate insulation — it may have not been installed or may have sagged towards the ground, so it no longer insulates the entire wall.
Adding insulation or moving it to improve coverage helps to lower your home's energy bills, and it's easiest to do this before you're moved into your new home. Insulating the walls in your home requires cutting through the drywall and opening up the wall cavity, which produces a substantial amount of dust. Infrared building testing allows you to correct insulation issues before you've moved all of your furniture into the home, which makes improving your home's insulation a more convenient process.
3. Infrared Testing Helps You Avoid Unexpectedly High Energy Bills Caused by Air Leaks
Finally, infrared building testing can help you avoid being surprised by extremely high energy bills after you move into your new home. Infrared thermography can find areas in your home where outside air is able to leak in, and your energy bills will be significantly higher if you have numerous leaks in your home. Air leaks are commonly found around doors and windows, and they can also be found around small wall penetrations like electrical outlets on the outside of your home. Infrared thermography gives you the ability to see where all of the air leaks are occurring, which allows you to seal them off and improve your home's energy efficiency. If you don't seal off all your air leaks, you may be surprised by high heating or cooling bills after you've moved in.
Adding infrared thermography to a pre-purchase home inspection is inexpensive, and it allows you to potentially serious problems such as moisture buildup inside of the home's wall cavities. If infrared building testing spots any problems, you can ask the seller for a price reduction to help pay for the cost of repairs, and you can ensure that your home is as energy efficient as possible before you move in. If you're planning on purchasing a home, it's always a good idea to use infrared thermography to spot problems that can be hiding in the home's wall cavities.
For more information on infrared building testing, contact a professional near you.