While I don’t recommend specific home inspectors since I consider that a conflict of interest, I do strongly recommend selecting one that utilizes thermal imaging.
A few years back, a first time buyer was attending a home inspection. This particular inspector referred to thermal imaging cameras as expensive toys that weren’t useful. As you can guess, this inspector didn’t use thermal imaging and assured the buyer that it was unnecessary.
Some time into the inspection, the buyer accidentally discovered a wet spot on a dark colored rug located in the corner of the basement. A considerable amount of water had seeped through from outside, dripped down behind the drywall and spread onto the rug.
I’m certain the home inspector wouldn’t have discovered the problem had the buyer not informed him.
Now consider a recent example where my client selected a home inspector that used thermal imaging. The older home had been beautifully renovated a few years earlier and nothing seemed amiss. That is until the inspector brought out his “expensive toy” and scanned the entire house.
Invisible to the naked eye, the home inspector discovered a small pool of water in the basement ceiling coming from the bathroom above. He confirmed it by taking moisture readings. Armed with this information, we notified the sellers and asked them to repair the leak.
There would have been no way for the first home inspector to discover this leak without the help of thermal imaging. It’s not like inspectors take a moisture meter and run it along every square inch of the walls and ceilings.
Granted, there are particular times of the day or year when thermal imaging cameras may not be as effective (ie. when it’s really hot outside) However, the important details they can uncover far outweigh their limitations.
To the home inspectors out there – what are your thoughts?