The inspection industry has many tricks of the trade, but perhaps none is as technologically cutting-edge and versatile as the infrared (IR) camera. Learn about its history and its many on-the-job applications, even beyond energy audits, in IR Cameras: An Overview for Inspectors.
Chimneys made from bricks or stone may look sturdy but few building components can crush a building so suddenly and without warning. Especially in seismically active regions, chimney inspection should be performed routinely to check for separation from the building, loose mortar, mechanical damage and undersized footings. To read more, check out our new article, Chimney Inspection: Preventing Collapse
Pilot lights are responsible for a large amount of unnecessary fuel consumption and they can cause fires, too. Did you know that they can even cause insecticide “bug bombs” to detonate and demolish a building? To find out how they work, their dangers and alternatives, check out our new article on pilot lights.
Infrared cameras are not just for energy audits. They can also be used for standard commercial and home inspections. Because thermal imaging captures temperature differences and displays them on a gradient color scale – with hot spots shown as bright colors, and cool and wet spots shown as dark colors – using an IR camera for electrical inspections is useful for detecting and locating potentially hazardous conditions before they result in a failure or a dangerous electrical fire. Read about this application in IR Cameras: Electrical Inspections.
Do you know that there are two kinds of smoke alarms and they differ in their performance based on the type of fire they’re exposed to? Do you know the most common reasons why smoke alarms fail, or where they should be located in the home? If you don’t, be sure to read our new article on smoke alarm inspection.
The government has the right to seize real estate from private owners and use the land for public use through the law of eminent domain. Homeowners are often powerless in these situations, but they can prevent their homes from being declared “blighted”, so that they’re harder to seize. Blighted properties lack adequate ventilation, sanitation, electricity and utilities, pose a fire hazard or are otherwise unsafe. To find out more about the law of eminent domain, how it affects homeowners and what they can do about it, check out our new article on eminent domain.
Bottom Line Personal Magazine references InterNACHI exclusively in home hazards article.
Thermal imaging has many applications in commercial and home inspections. In addition to documenting air leaks and moisture problems in the interior, an IR camera can be used to find hidden moisture problems at the roof’s exterior. Read about how they work and optimal inspection conditions in IR Cameras: Inspecting Roofs.
Gases from the sewer are extremely toxic, foul and even explosive. One of its constituent gases is so dangerous that it’s actually used as a chemical weapon while another is so heavy that it will quickly displace oxygen and suffocate anyone nearby. In most cases, these gases remain in the sewer, but they can enter the living space through dried out plumbing fixtures, plumbing cracks and other sources. To find out more about the danger, how it arises and what to do about it, please read out new article on sewer gases in the home.
Thermal imaging has many applications in home inspections and energy audits. For inspecting for moisture intrusion, an IR camera, coupled with a moisture meter, can help the inspector find even the not-so-obvious problem areas before they can create significant damage to the home. Read all about it in IR Cameras: Inspecting for Moisture Intrusion.
Thermal or infrared (IR) imaging is cutting-edge technology that allows home inspectors to perform state-of-the-art energy audits. An IR camera provides the home inspector with an invaluable tool for pinpointing areas in the home that leak air or may have inadequate insulation. Learn about how IR cameras work and their various applications in IR Cameras: Inspecting for Air Leaks.
Eyebrow dormers are as pleasing to the eye as they are functional, at least when they’re constructed right. On the other hand, they’re very expensive and they more prone to defects than the rest of the roof. To find out more, check out our new article on eyebrow dormers.
Did you know that UL lists some ceiling fans for use in wet environments and others for damp, humid environments? Or that fans shouldn’t be less than seven feet from the floor? There’s more to these appliances than you might have thought, and you can find out more in our new article on ceiling fan inspection.
Kerosene is a cheap fuel and it burns efficiently, which is why kerosene heaters are popular as space heaters in the US and even a source of primary home heat in Japan. But they smell bad and they pose serious fire hazards if they aren’t constructed, maintained or operated properly. They should have a low center of gravity, for instance, so they are unlikely to top over. To find out more, read our new article on kerosene heater inspection.
Ventless fireplaces are enjoyed for their energy efficiency and ease of installation, but they’re thought by many to be a horrifically dumb idea; they vent their products of combustion, including toxic carbon monoxide, directly into the living space. Some of the critics of this fireplace design are entire countries and states that have banned them, not to mention the CDC, the EPA and various other watchdog groups that strongly oppose their use. There are ways you can prevent deadly carbon monoxide leaks, and you can find out about them and more in our new article on ventless fireplace inspection.