Dayton Infrared Inspections


Infrared inspection on new construction?

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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:

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. 

Plumbing Leaks:

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 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 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.

Roof leaks:

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.

The ceiling was 20 feet high and not easily accessible. No visible stains were present on the ceiling or wall… yet!

These are just a few of the many examples of issues discovered in new construction.

So yes, 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!

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