I am often asked what kind of inspection services I perform in and around Dayton Ohio. As I'm quickly going over the list, I mention new construction inspections. I am usually stopped here by the listener and asked "New construction??? Why would a brand new house need an inspection??? I can't see where anything would be wrong with a new house as everything thing should be up to code?" or some variation thereof. Then I pull out my long list of defects, past finds, and contractor oversights. While any particular home builder may be very qualified and good at what they do, the sub contractors perform most of the work and are often left to their own device in completing the job. So much is going on at the construction site that not all sub contractors can be supervised properly with quality control methods.
Below are several finds that you wouldn't expect to discover in a new house yet they were there. Some would be extremely difficult (if not impossible) to find without the assistance of infrared thermal imagery. Other images were simply used as documentation of the concerns.
Missing insulation is an all too common occurrence in new construction. This oversight can be very costly to the home owner in regards to wasted energy costs if not identified and corrected promptly. Many areas can be identified visually from the attic access, but many others cannot be seen due to the newer architectural designs like vaulted ceilings without attic access. The images below are just such an example and would not be easily identified without assistance of an infrared thermal inspection.
Often plumbing leaks are observed in new construction which can be catastrophic causing severe damage to interior finished walls and ceilings. These clients were happy I discovered these issues even before visible stains were present.
Here [above] a drain was not connected properly and leaking at the elbow union (trap) below a bathtub. I actually ran hot water in the tub ( evidenced as a glowing trap). The water that leaked out cooled enough to show on the outside under infrared. Clear water against new white PVC is difficult to see with the naked eye especially in dark conditions such as this basement.
Here [above] was a copper supply plumbing leak. This image was of the finished wall and carpeted floor where a bathtub was installed on the other side. Further evaluation identified a failed solder joint in the tub's plumbing as the culprit. It was a very small seeping leak, but mold had already begun to grow in the wall cavity.
These [above] are images of a finished ceiling in a basement. A tub was installed directly above this location and appeared that the drain was leaking. The first image shows a cool spot barely visible in the infrared that made me suspect a leak. The moisture meter indicated slight moisture at the spot. As verification, I decided to run hot water in the tub. This confirmed my suspicions as evidenced in the second image where the cool spot began to glow warm.
Roof leaks are unfortunately common as well. Infrared thermal inspections are especially important in this situation as visible stains are rarely present. Again if not corrected or caught early, severe damage and mold growth can occur.
These images were taken in a central stairway during winter. Snow melt on the roof was coming in and down the inside of the finished wall.
Here is a ceiling area of the same house. snow melt was entering here as well. The ceiling was 20 feet high and not easily accessible. No visible stains were present on the ceiling... yet!
As can bee seen through these images, I am able to easily answer why one should have an infrared thermal inspection performed on new construction. I haven't even begun to address some of the other issues discovered outside of a thermal inspection!
I am often asked what kind of inspection services I perform in and around Dayton Ohio. As I’m quickly going over the list, I mention new construction inspections. I am usually stopped here by the listener and asked “New construction??? Why would a brand new house need an inspection??? I can’t see where anything would…Read More
Insulation and air infiltration aren’t always to blame for uncomfortable rooms and high energy bills. Furnace and air conditioning systems can be a primary culprit as was the case in this home (image right). A phenomenon known as stratification was occurring where a 10 degree F difference between the floor and ceiling is present. The…Read More
As many of our Dayton area clients combat high energy bills and uncomfortable homes, wall insulation and air sealing is rapidly becoming a popular repair. Many older homes have less insulation than homes built today. Often wall insulation was commonly omitted for many homes in the Dayton area built through the 1950’s and into the…Read More
Recently a colleague of mine lost a commercial bid to perform a rather large infrared study of building envelopes for a multiple building hotel complex. His proposed fee for the task and reporting was in line, if not a tad low of typical industry fees for this type work. The building managers and maintenance department had realized…Read More
A few days ago (now several years) I had the distinct pleasure of enjoying a breakfast of sorts with my (then) nine year old son. Almost two weeks prior, the school sent an invitation home with the students inviting dads to enjoy coffee and donuts with their school children at the school for an hour…Read More
I’m not talking about the hurtful betrayal from an otherwise presumed friend.But I am talking about the quick installation method of wiring an electric receptacle that many “production” contractors employ. It’s a method of installing a receptacle quickly and efficiently, and saves contractors time when wiring a home. After all, time is money! Most 15…Read More
How to make a structural masonry home more energy efficient Rarely a week goes by that I don’t receive a phone call from a client who lives in a true masonry constructed home. As with any home, the most common complaints are uncomfortable rooms and high energy bills. Often the owners are simply seeking advice and asking…Read More
I was recently hired by a client who had entered into a contract for purchase of an existing home. I was to perform the whole house inspection for them. As usual, I arrived slightly earlier than my pre-approved scheduled appointment and noticed that the current owner was still home. It’s not common and actually a…Read More
The local electric utility company often refers their customers to me for assistance in determining the reason (or reasons) for their high utility bills. The questions I ask during the initial contact often reveal some important clues which typically revolve around their climate control systems. Overwhelmingly, Dayton area homeowners who contact me disclose that their…Read More