Thermography – What Is It?

HomeAsk TomThermography – What Is It?

Thermography is thermal imaging. It is NOT X-rays and, contrary to some beliefs, it CAN’T see through clothes.

What is thermal imaging?

Thermal imaging is the process of using the temperature (heat signature) of an object to produce an image for the viewer. This works by detecting and measuring the heat energy of the infrared radiation emanating from an object or people to create a thermal image. A thermal image camera will capture this thermal image, which is just outside the narrow range of visible light in which humans can see. Therefore, thermal images, without a thermal image camera, cannot be seen by the human eye.

Thermography – What Is It?

What is Infrared Radiation?

Infrared radiation (IR), sometimes called infrared light, is electromagnetic radiation (EMR) with longer wavelengths than those of visible light, and is therefore generally invisible to the human eye.  It is monitored to detect trends in the energy exchange (loss) between a home and its surroundings.

Infrared radiation is used in industrial, commercial and inspection applications. Infrared thermal-imaging cameras are used to detect heat loss in insulated systems, to detect overheating of an electrical apparatus, and may be used to identify wet surfaces (which are typically colder) or leaks that are invisible behind wall surfaces (whether colder or hotter).

How Does Checkmark Home Inspections (CHI) use it during an inspection?

The health of a building can readily be assessed using non-destructive, thermal imaging, as is the case for CHI.

CHI will use a thermal-imaging camera to look at walls, ceilings, attic access doors, etc. to identify missing or dislodged insulation, overheated outlets / circuit breakers, broken water lines, or loose wiring that may cause issues down the road if not identified and addressed.

Thermography is utilized during each CHI inspection as a tool for the benefit of the pre-sale seller or pre-buy buyer. It is included in our original bid.

How Does Thermography Benefit the Pre-Sale Seller or Pre-buy Buyer?

When thermography is used, both the seller and buyer become educated about the true health of a house. This tool helps to avoid unexpected or surprise problems. It is to everyone’s advantage to know if there are problems hidden out of sight. It is important to know about potential issues in advance so that they can be addressed / repaired or budgeted for. Additionally, major expenses are possibly/likely avoided.