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Building Thermography

In measuring surface temperature variation of the building envelope, infrared cameras are instrumental in detecting thermal irregularities / patterns on the building envelope. They are therefore non-intrusive, non-destructive instruments for discovering structural problems, excessive thermal bridging, insulation problems, moisture intrusion, condensation and air leakage.


Conductive Losses

  • Missing insulation, improperly installed insulation, compressed or damaged insulation, shrinkage or settling of various insulating materials.

  • Excessive thermal bridging in studs and joints between walls an top and bottom plates.

  • Condensation damaged insulation and building material.

  • Heat loss through multi-pane windows with broken seals.

  • Leaks in plumbing.

  • Damaged HVAC ducts.

Air Leakage

  • Excessive air movement through the building envelope (walls, doors, windows, joints, etc.) significantly reduces the thermal integrity of the envelope and contributes to energy consumption.
  • In addition to energy loss, air leakage can cause also condensation to form on the walls and in the wall cavities,  which can reduce the insulation or permanently damage it, seriously degrade materials (rotten wood, structural steel corrosion, spalling concrete) and can lead to mold formation, eventually requiring extensive and costly remediation.

Moisture Intrusion

Under  the right conditions, infrared scan is a fast, non-invasive method for discovering hidden moisture intrusion within the building envelope, which can be conducive to mold, decay and wood destroying insects.

  • Leaking roof.

  • Plumbing leaks.

  • Water intrusion in basement.

Infrared thermography cannot be used to detect mold, since mold does not exhibit exothermic reaction that can be detected by an infrared camera.

Electrical Problems


Thermograms of electrical systems can detect abnormal heating associated with high resistance or excessive current flow.

  • Under-sized conductors and overloaded circuits

  • Faulty electrical contacts or connections

  • Improper grounding

  • Excessive current flow

  • Overheating breakers

Infrared thermal imaging enable us to see the heat signs associated with high electrical resistance long before the circuit becomes hot enough to cause an outage or a fire.

If you are buying a residential or commercial building, an infrared scan can help to discover hidden problems that the seller may not even know exist.

During periodic Maintenance Inspection, a thorough infrared scan can save you thousands of dollars in repair costs over the life of your building.

In detecting air leakage and insulation defects, an infrared scan can help you conserve energy and reduce your utility bills.

Even new houses can have defects in their thermal envelopes that can  cost you money on a daily basis. An infrared scan can reveal defects before your warranty expires.

missing insulation
missing insulation in ceiling

missing insulation

air leakage

leaking roof

leak in ceiling

plumbing leak in ceiling

overloaded branch circuit


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Copyright © 2005 Potomac Homes

Last modified: 03/01/2016

Professional Services: Home Inspections, Residential Inspections, New Houses Inspections, Pre Drywall Inspection, Final Inspections, Historic Houses Inspections, Building Investigations, Infrared Thermal Imaging, Maintenance Inspections, Trouble Shooting Consultations, Environmental Consultations
Infrared Thermal Imaging, Infrared Inspections, Building Thermography, Building Thermogram, Infrared Scans, Building Infrared Scan, Building Science, Building investigations. Thermography, infrared scan of electrical systems, building envelope infrared scan, energy loss infrared thermal imaging
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ):  Mold Inspections, Mold Testing, Mold Sampling, Mold Assessment, Allergens, Lead in Paint, Asbestos
Radon Tests, Electro Magnetic Fields Testing, EMF Testing, Noise Testing
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