Over the years, home inspection tools have been developed to make inspectors’ jobs easier. Moisture meters, AFCI/GFCI testers, CO analyzers, PPE, and many more have all helped shorten the amount of time it takes for an inspector to complete a job. Some of these tools made the job safer, some made it faster, and some allowed inspectors to add new services with their reports. Thermography and infrared technology fits all of these categories and has become a leading service that all inspectors should be trained in.
Infrared thermography (IRT) is the science used to capture and process thermal information using non-contact measurement tools. This is done by analyzing infrared (IR) radiation emitted from an object whose temperature is above absolute zero. Because this wavelength exists outside of the visible spectrum of light, infrared measuring devices are required to capture and process this information.
Thermal imaging cameras work by detecting heat signatures and displaying them as a gradient scale, with lighter colors signifying areas that are more hot and darker colors
signifying cooler areas. Unlike visible light, which is the reflection of wavelengths of light off an object, infrared comes directly from the image source. This allows IR cameras to function in ways that traditional visible light cameras cannot.