Infrared scanning equipment is the newest analytical tool used by The Building Inspector of America. This technology detects subtle differences in the temperature of materials within a home to pinpoint problems. Measuring the temperature difference and then visually displaying this difference via an infrared image allows us to peer non-invasively behind walls, under floors, and behind ceilings. Temperature variations can reveal a myriad of issues such as moisture penetration from the roof, plumbing and HVAC leaks, energy loss due to poor or missing insulation or weather stripping, poor or excessive ventilation, faulty wiring, and pest infestation.
"…In addition to using thermography during an energy audit, you should have a scan done before purchasing a house; even new houses can have defects in their thermal envelopes. You may wish to include a clause in the contract requiring a thermographic scan of the house…"
U.S. Department of Energy
Thermal imaging does not detect moisture like a moisture meter. It does not measure moisture content. It identifies the heat signature of surfaces and detects thermal differences that could indicate concealed anomalies. Further investigation may be required using a moisture meter or other diagnostic tools.
Infrared images do not detect mold. They do, however, detect the moisture temperature differences which is often indicative of condensation problems or mold growth.
An infrared thermal imaging camera cannot see inside walls like an x-ray image. It identifies thermal variances inside the wall. Infrared cameras are designed to be used in conjunction with other diagnostic tools to give a complete analysis of the home.
An infrared camera does not guarantee to find all concealed dangers within a home; just the ones that can be detected via temperature variation.