thermal imaging inspections: Thermal Imaging Averts A Potentially Dangerous Dryer Fire - 10/20/18 04:53 AM
Thermal imaging averts a potential dangerous dryer fire.
Mighty Mo does it again!  He loves his job.
I do a lot of One-Year Warranty Inspections.
They are the last time a buyer has a chance to have the builder address anything wrong with the house.
During those inspections the report needs to be very specific.  And they are extremely helpful inspections.
One very important thing I do is sweep the house with a thermal camera.
That is the only way we can see the quality of the insulation behind the drywall, and any other of a myriad of things a thermal camera can detect.
This family had dried … (38 comments)

thermal imaging inspections: How Can You See Extreme Exterior Door Inefficiency? - 01/31/18 02:12 AM
How can you see extreme door inefficiency?
You can feel it.
You can understand it.
But how can you see it?
With a thermal camera, of course!
And who better but Mighty Mo?
This is a panorama of two thermal images stitched together to show an exterior door front on.
It was so poorly fitted into the framing air could be felt at the top left corner and all along the bottom.
You can see the colder air by looking at the dark blue on the left side and bottom.  In the ceiling over the door weakly-placed insulation can also be seen.
The stitching makes the door look a … (12 comments)

thermal imaging inspections: "But It Was Just A Little Leak. We Turned Off The Dishwasher!" - 10/17/17 01:40 AM
"But it was just a little leak.  We turned off the dishwasher!"
Water from leaks has to go somewhere.  Even when the leak appears to be contained.
This client built a new home and I performed a home inspection.  All of the appliances were tested, including the dishwasher.  And they have been in the house over a week, using all of the appliances, including the dishwasher.
They were in the kitchen and the dishwasher was running.  There was a pop, and they could hear water splashing under the dishwasher.
So they quickly turned it off.
They noticed a little water coming from under the unit, so … (18 comments)

thermal imaging inspections: The Walls Were Wet In The Middle But Not At The Bottom? Why? - 08/08/17 03:45 AM
The walls were wet in the middle but not at the bottom?  Why?
And that was the question.  I couldn't answer it!  I only knew what I found.
During the thermal image sweep of this condo I found walls and ceilings wet, but only on the lower level. 
The areas were all under the kitchen.  The reason? 
Stitching together various thermal images into a panorama the conundrum comes alive.
The middle of the wall registered 100% moisture.  And the floor registered 18%.  You can see my footprints on the floor where I measured that wall.
How was that possible?  Water and moisture flow down.  The floor was … (20 comments)

thermal imaging inspections: Thermal Imaging Art - 07/11/17 03:21 AM
Thermal imaging art.
Thermal imaging can check a lot of things. 
It can be a precursor check for electrical issues.  Heating and air conditioning can be evaluated.  Roof and plumbing leaks are a given.  And the best way (the only way inside walls) to see the quality of an insulation installation or whether insulation has slipped inside walls is thermal imaging.
When checking a double, tiled shower I always run the water for a while to see if the temperatures mix properly and the water is directed toward the drain.
There should be no puddles in the corners!
Using a thermal camera on the area, and … (18 comments)

thermal imaging inspections: When Any Upper Level Is Hot Insulation Is Almost Always The Reason - 07/05/17 03:46 AM
When any upper level is hot insulation is almost always the reason.
And why else wouldn't it be?  It could be that the air conditioning does not reach or blow hard enough into the upper level.  But that air pressure is an easy check.
When air is blowing well through a register I have my client feel it so they will know when the mechanism isn't blowing properly.
But going into the attic we found our answer there.
Insulation was indeed the reason here!  Large areas without insulation were evident.  And along the edges of the roof the condition was the same.
Thermal images of each … (17 comments)

thermal imaging inspections: My Client Asked If There Was No Insulation In the Wall - 06/24/17 04:04 AM
My client asked if there was no insulation in the wall.
Often during a home inspection my client follows me around when I do a thermal image sweep to check for insulation issues or roof leaks.  They like looking over my shoulder and listen to my explanation of what they are seeing.
Sometimes I show them ghost footprints on the wall, but that's another story.
In this house we entered a bedroom and there was a long cool spot on the wall.
My client immediately asked if there was no insulation in the wall, and that was why there was the cool line from top … (10 comments)

thermal imaging inspections: Little Hole. Big Leak. - 05/27/17 02:51 AM
Little hole.  Big leak.
It was a little hole in the TPO covering of a veranda outside a master bedroom.
TPO is a Thermoplastic Olefin material, a single-membrane roof/balcony covering which is pretty tough and has a life span of 15 years or so in the sun.
This veranda was 12 years old.
But no single-membrane anything can withstand a hole.
This veranda was about 15'x20' or so.
There was room to walk around and to sit.   There was comfortable furniture.
It overlooked woods, and a large meadow.  What a great space!
And the buyer wants to preserve it, so this hole was an issue!
How can we know the … (13 comments)

thermal imaging inspections: A Tale Of Two Ceilings. When A Seller Tries To Hide A Serious Leak. - 05/15/17 04:00 AM
A tale of two ceilings.  When a seller tries to hide a serious leak.
It was the best of ceilings, it was the worst of ceilings.  It was the age of freshly repaired and painted, it was the age of foolishness.  It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.
Being able to reach 8' high, I always put my flashlight at a severe angle against ceilings to see if there have been drywall repairs.
Often I find them.
Virginia is a non-disclosure state - the seller does not have to say anything as regards the condition or the history of a … (11 comments)

thermal imaging inspections: As Soon As I Saw The Dryer Vent Hood I Thought It Was Clogged - 05/05/17 01:39 AM
As soon as I saw the dryer vent hood I thought it was clogged.
Why? 
It isn't the proper exhaust hood for a dryer vent that discharges through the roof.
That vent is made for a bathroom or kitchen.
Aside from being the wrong kind of dryer vent hood, it is perched way up on the roof (that picture is taken with a long photo lens), hard to see and get to, and hard to keep clean.
And I could see a little lint popping out here and there.
When I showed it to my older, widowed client, she caught on immediately.  "How am I going to … (8 comments)

thermal imaging inspections: Do you think this energy loss all over the house doesn't add up? - 03/30/17 02:00 AM
Do you think this energy loss all over the house doesn't add up?
Perhaps 10% of the energy loss in your house happens through exterior wall penetrations like receptacles, switches and canister light fixtures.
Spots this poorly insulated can be a significant loss of energy over time!
Some builders will put foam around each one, but many will not.  That foam is a good insulator.
And how many wall switches, receptacles and light fixtures are in a house?
And while it isn't a swoosh of energy, often in cold weather you can actually feel air coming in through receptacle holes.
Remember, heat seeks cold.
Small holes, and gaps, … (12 comments)

thermal imaging inspections: This Much Missing Insulation Can Influence A Whole Room - 03/21/17 01:45 AM
This much missing insulation can influence a whole room.
It doesn't seem like a lot, but with insulation just a little that is missing goes a long way toward dramatically increasing energy bills.
This subject house was advertised to have had a new roof installed just a few years ago.
It was an older townhouse, and going into the attic space it was obvious that much of the sheathing had to be replaced along with the shingles.
That likely was the result of the roof shingles being very old at the time of replacement.
The previous roof may have leaked substantially, rotting the roof sheathing below.
It … (8 comments)

thermal imaging inspections: The HVAC Register Was Not Blowing Air. What's Up? - 03/12/17 04:42 AM
The HVAC register was not blowing air.  What's up?
Was the duct blocked?
If air was blowing, where was it going?
In this house this particular room was cold.  Reaching up to the register I could not feel any moving air, but I could feel that the register was hot when I touched it.
So air was at least arriving to the spot.
But where was it going and how would I know?
I would break out Mighty Mo!
And I did!  This is the perfect thing for a thermal camera to analyze.
Looking at the register this is what the thermal camera could see.
There was heat arriving to … (16 comments)

thermal imaging inspections: What Could Cause So Much Moisture In A Bay Window? - 03/09/17 03:02 AM
What could cause so much moisture in a bay window?
The underside of the bay window was bulging.
Pushing on it the material was very soft and felt wet.  It had rained the night before.
Measuring with the moisture meter the needle jumped to >30%, indicating saturation.
And Mighty Mo showed how the moisture had collected inside the window.  The water was literally resting inside the space.
That is a lot of moisture!
So what caused it?
The window material was all wrapped with an aluminum covering to protect the wood from moisture and rot.
It was well done, and caulked properly.
Unfortunately when the deck was built someone had … (49 comments)

thermal imaging inspections: This Is A Beautiful Light Fixture! But Don't Forget The Insulation! - 02/25/17 02:45 AM
This is a beautiful light fixture!  But don't forget the insulation!
This is new construction.  The entry way featured an open ceiling with a circular, wrapping staircase leading to an upper level hallway that serviced all the bedrooms.
A very attractive, hand-painted globe was in the ceiling.
And the light fixture lit up in such a way that enhanced itself beautifully.
This chandelier was very high and heavy and came with another feature.  A lift.  That device has the ability to lift and lower 300 pounds.   The chain above the light fixture was very long.  The lift device makes it easy to lower and clean … (14 comments)

thermal imaging inspections: New Construction Inspection - Would You Like To Take A Bath Here? - 02/18/17 03:41 AM
New construction inspection - would you like to take a bath here?
I do a lot of pre-drywall and then final inspections on new construction.  And it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.  We never know what we will find.
On every inspection I do a sweep with my thermal camera.  Mighty Mo is great at finding missing insulation, weak or poorly-placed insulation, unknown leaks, HVAC ducts that aren't working properly (or where HVAC registers are missing! - click here), and even predictive electrical issues.
In this house Mighty Mo found an interesting circumstance.  This is in the second bedroom bath.  This would be used by the … (12 comments)

thermal imaging inspections: Sometimes A Photo Isn't Descriptive Enough - 02/12/17 04:51 AM
Sometimes a photo isn't descriptive enough.
It happens.  What you want to show up on the photo doesn't show up.  What more could a home inspector do?
For instance, in new construction I always spray the shower water onto the sides of the shower surround to see if it leaks anywhere. 
It is surprising how often they leak, and from how many places!
But leaking water doesn't always show up well in photos.  I try to manipulate the photo so the water might show up.  I even use the arrow or circle feature to help.   But even with that it often isn't as successful … (14 comments)

thermal imaging inspections: Where's The HVAC Floor Register In The Closet? - 02/10/17 03:33 AM
Where's the HVAC floor register in the closet?
This is new construction!  Walking into the spacious master bedroom closet (almost 300 square feet) which had a wall on the exterior of the house, I looked for and did not see the floor register.
There has to be at least one.
So how can we find out if one is actually there? 
I don't have X-ray vision, so how would that be possible?
Mighty Mo would know!
A quick scan of the room showed EXACTLY where the register should have been.  I don't need no stinkin' X-ray vision.  I have Mighty Mo!
The intended duct underneath was servicing the … (17 comments)

thermal imaging inspections: Did My Thermal Camera Catch A Ghost Outside? - 02/09/17 01:12 AM
Did my thermal camera catch a ghost outside?
Well, did it?  Is that possible? *
Thermal cameras can do a lot of things.  Images can be manipulated, or can indicate things that may seem to be something else.
As I walk around with Mighty Mo doing a thermal image sweep of a house I sometimes click the trigger accidentally and snap a thermal image.  Sometimes I don't realize I did that until later when I review the images on the camera.
The camera takes two photos at the same time - a digital one, and a thermal image one.
In this house I was in an … (17 comments)

thermal imaging inspections: You Have To See Everything Because A Thermal Image Alone Can Fool You - 02/07/17 04:07 AM
You have to see everything because a thermal image alone can fool you.
It wasn't a cold day out, about 45F.  And it was cloudy.
Breaking out Mighty Mo to do the thermal image sweep of the insulation in the house, this is what the ceilings looked like on the upper level.
The roof rafter joists are visible as the purple lines, with the insulation filling the gap between.
The temperature difference between the insulated areas and the wood joist rafters is not very different.
Does this appear to be a well-insulated space?
To know for sure you have to look into the attic space!
Does that look … (7 comments)

 
Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC)

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Bristow, VA

More about me…

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Address: Bristow VA 20136

Office: (703) 330-6388

Mobile: (703) 585-7560

Email Me

An experienced home inspector's look at current home inspection events and conditions along with his useful recommendations.


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