Radiant Barrier Performance Test —
If you’ve ever wondered whether radiant barriers in the attic really work, here’s a good example:
This image below is the most spectacular infrared photo I have ever taken while visiting a house with a Buyer Client – a true EUREKA moment! The photo at left shows that the wall and ceiling appeared to be just fine to the naked eye…..BUT, the infrared photo shows a MUCH different reality: there is a serious amount of water penetration inside the master bedroom wall and ceiling, which was caused by a slow roof leak from the chimney area.
Most definitely you would want to be aware of this, if you were a possible buyer for this home – OR if you were the owner/seller of this home, as this would be much more easily repaired if the actual (very slow) roof leak were discovered sooner, and this is a perfect example of what the infrared camera can detect very easily!
Another nice house where the walls and ceiling look fine! BUT, the infrared photo shows water penetration in the corner area from ceiling to floor, and extending into the sheetrock wall.
And one more example where the walls and ceiling seemed to be in good condition. Wrong again! The infrared photo shows a very serious amount of water penetration in the ceiling area adjacent to the stairs. If the ceiling had been any wetter, it would have been visible to the naked eye; but as it was the ceiling still looked totally ok.
At this house, the carpet area next to this exterior door looks dry and basically fine.
Not quite! The infrared photo shows water penetration coming from the wood trim extending up about 4 inches; which has also soaked the carpet and the wood floor below it.
This is an example of a slow ‘drip by drip’ type of roof leak, that was invisible to the eye but very easily seen by the infrared camera.
Image at right shows the drip where it started from the roof, and left image shows where the drip was landing on the attic floor insulation. This part of the attic was quite dark and even with a good floodlight, there was no way any inspector could have discovered this without an infrared camera.
Here’s a very nice house, new construction, with a high ceiling in the living area. It looked fine as shown at left, but the infrared camera quickly demonstrated that the Builder did a very very poor job of insulating the high ceiling.
In the infrared photo, the yellow areas indicate a higher temperature; and a climb up into the attic confirmed that there was much less insulation in those ‘hot’ areas than what was specified for this house.
Here is a particularly glaring case: This is another new construction ‘executive’ type house with a very high ceiling over the living area. With the naked eye, the ceiling looks fine and anyone would assume it is properly insulated.
However, with the infrared camera it’s obvious that there is NO INSULATION at all above this high ceiling! How much confidence would you have in this home builder?! Unless there was some very very good explanation as to why they did not insulate the high ceiling, we would have to pass on this one and keep looking!
This is a much more subtle case: At left the front wall looks all OK to the naked eye. At right, the infrared image shows that the front wall actually is well insulated, BUT there is also a single panel about 10 feet high that has no insulation.
This happens all the time! What happens is: If the construction crew runs out of insulation and they are anxious to finish the sheetrock work, they will be very tempted to just put up the sheetrock rather than waiting for a roll of insulation to arrive at the job site…. after all, how would anyone ever know? Well, when you work with Andrew Taft as your Realtor, YOU will know!
Stud and Joist Spacing:
When you walk into any house, wouldn’t it be nice to know if the Builder followed the appropriate code for the stud spacing in the walls and joist spacing in the ceilings/roof?
Well, here’s your answer — The infrared camera will instantly show us all the joist and stud spacing.
AND — this is why the infrared camera is sometimes called the world’s most expensive stud finder! At left: it looks like the usual nice clean wall. At right: there’s the studs.
At left: the infrared image shows overheating breakers in the electrical panel box. At right: an easy test for a tankless water heater is to take successive infrared photos as additional faucets are turned on, to see if the tankless heater can maintain the correct output temperature
This infrared image shows 117 degrees on the output side, which was an 8 degree drop in just a few minutes. If a tankless water heater is correctly sized and working properly, it is supposed to maintain the designated output temperature continuously, without any temperature change.
When you enter a house you’re considering buying, wouldn’t it be convenient to know if the A/C and Heating systems are working properly? While the infrared camera can’t answer all the questions, it can instantly show what temperature the HVAC system is delivering.
At left we can see the heater is delivering air at a temperature of 106; and at right we can see the A/C is delivering air at 48 degrees. While this cannot be taken as a comprehensive test for an AC — a proper temperature differential from the incoming air to the supply side air is the first indication of whether the system is or is not working properly.
This could be caused by various factors, including something as simple as a dirty air filter. But in any case, we’d like to know of this problem as we evaluate the house: Such as, if the Owners let their air filters get clogged up, then what does that say about how well they have maintained the house over the years?
And More Interesting Information You’d Like to Know:
If you buy a rural house that has a propane tank, it’d be nice to know if the tank has much propane left in it.
In this case the Seller claimed the tank had just been topped off – but the infrared camera clearly shows that it’s less than half full….. oops!
So as you can see: the infrared camera can also serve as a
Lie Detector Test !!!