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Thread: IR Cameras

  1. #1
    Rudolf Reusse's Avatar
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    Default IR Cameras

    I like to find out about the rational why colleagues are suddenly buying expensive IR cameras to carry out "visual" home inspections. Any comment ?

    Rudolf Reusse - Toronto


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  2. #2
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    There are a bunch of threads on this. If I were not a home inspector I could see many reasons why. Being a home inspector I would only use it for my own info and knowledge.

    I would not use it to tell my clients that I can positively identify what is behind the walls. I personally do not believe in telling anyone I can see through walls.

    My belief is if this comes to pass where so many inspectors are using them that we will all be paying thousands for such a wondrous pleasure of owning one.

    Some swear by them. I think is is going one step to far. This brings you passed a home inspection and into the technically exhaustive end of things that we all try so hard to avoid.

    there is constant talk of exceeding the SOP's. Yup, this is one of them but way to far.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Some swear by them. I think is is going one step to far. This brings you passed a home inspection and into the technically exhaustive end of things that we all try so hard to avoid.
    No more than using a moisture meter does.

    If you own and use a moisture meter, or any device to help you 'see' beyond what your own eyes can see and detect, you have just put yourself out there on that same limb.

    I say that with the knowledge that the limb is quite sturdy and has supported thousands of home inspectors for decades as they advance past placing tissue paper on the walls and see if it stick or gets wet - it sticks or gets wet, yep, the wall is wet ... but wait, wasn't even that 'beyond what your eyes could see and detect'? Yessir it was. So even then you are out there on that limb with everyone else.

    Might as well go to the corner service station and 'get some protection' - starting looking at what your eyes are missing ... that is not incriminating oneself, that is protecting oneself. Go get some 'protection'.

    I believe in infrared, I also believe it is not the end all. Not quite sure that every home inspector should have one ... yet - but that day is coming. Let the better home inspectors get them and use them first.

    Brings the cost down for everyone else.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    No more than using a moisture meter does.

    If you own and use a moisture meter, or any device to help you 'see' beyond what your own eyes can see and detect, you have just put yourself out there on that same limb.

    I say that with the knowledge that the limb is quite sturdy and has supported thousands of home inspectors for decades as they advance past placing tissue paper on the walls and see if it stick or gets wet - it sticks or gets wet, yep, the wall is wet ... but wait, wasn't even that 'beyond what your eyes could see and detect'? Yessir it was. So even then you are out there on that limb with everyone else.

    Might as well go to the corner service station and 'get some protection' - starting looking at what your eyes are missing ... that is not incriminating oneself, that is protecting oneself. Go get some 'protection'.

    I believe in infrared, I also believe it is not the end all. Not quite sure that every home inspector should have one ... yet - but that day is coming. Let the better home inspectors get them and use them first.

    Brings the cost down for everyone else.
    Well stated Jerry.

    One of these CAMERAS in the hands of a Good HI Will uncover much more information on just about any Building/Home inspected.

    Its a new day. If you can get in do it. it will be a long time before any of The good camera are at some kind of a low price. I think 5 to 9 years

    A good start up unit will cost you 8K to 13K plus.

    Best

    Ron

    Last edited by Ron Bibler; 08-25-2008 at 03:38 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    I would not use it to tell my clients that I can positively identify what is behind the walls. I personally do not believe in telling anyone I can see through walls.
    Who told you that an infrared camera will allow you to "see through walls"?

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
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  6. #6
    John McKenna's Avatar
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    It is good to manage your clients expectations so they will understand that the IR camera has limitations. I always inform them that my IR camera cannot see through walls, but may find anomalies that radiate from inside the wall. Sometimes the IR camera can see them and sometimes it cannot.

    This is why proper training and experience is a MUST before selling thermal imaging to the consumer. Plus, other means of verification should always be used to confirm the IR images that you may be discover.

    The IR camera is a wonderful tool in the hands of a properly trained and experienced home inspector. It can also get you into trouble, if you don't know what your doing...IMHO.


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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Ted,

    To claim you can see through walls is misleading at best and deception at worst.

    Educate the client as to what the IR cam really sees and it's a win win for client and HI.

    If you could really see through walls you would be able to find wires pipes or whatever even if they were the exact same temperature as the wall surface. And you know you can't.


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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Well said, John. I do exactly the same thing - manage my client's expectations. If I properly explain my IR camera's capabilities and limitations my client will not expect that I can see through walls. And when I verify an indication by another means (e.g., using a moisture meter) it drives that point home.

    It is very similar to reining in your client's expectations on a home inspection. If you don't do that properly your client may think you can see through the walls on a simple home inspection.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    More time at inspection, more cost to your client. You cannot keep driving up the cost for a home inspection. If you have a camera I hope those that do are charging for it or are using it as a separate service and additional fee.
    I Included information about the IR camera on my brochures and website. The buyer calls our company because of the interest of the IR camera and some of the other information they seen. I take that call and covert it into a job. The more times the phone rings, the more opportunity I have to covert those calls into jobs.

    I paid a little over $4000 for my Fluke IR camera. Between the calls I know I have converted into jobs due to the initial interest in the IR camera plus using the cost of the IR camera as a business expense plus the exposer to Realtor when doing presentation, the camera is completely worth it.

    When it comes to mis-informing the public, that is a risk that a home inspector will have to take if he goes that direction. Just like a home inspector that doesn't disclose limitations of a home inspection.


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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Well, I must say the discourse on the original question certainly provoked a more friendly discussion than what Rudolf received in reply when he asked pretty much the same question on that other forum.

    I would like to add that I think it is a mistake to use IR on a home inspection and personally if I had one I would keep it separate from home inspections by offering it as a separate service. The standards on use as taught at the numerous courses would have to be followed in the proper use of this instrument. Not to mention how the standards of use dovetail with standards of practice for home inspections, which are based on a "visual inspection."

    What I believe it will come down to will be the evolvement of the SOP as interpreted by the courts. If IR becomes common practice by a large number of inspectors and competitors, the courts may hold you to a higher standard than the current "visual inspection SOP's". These challenges have yet to be founded in cases because the use amongst home inspectors has only recently blossomed.

    Is it a risk reduction tool? Possibly.
    Is it a liability? Yes
    Is it a requirement to have one? No.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Well, I must say the discourse on the original question certainly provoked a more friendly discussion than what Rudolf received in reply when he asked pretty much the same question on that other forum.

    I would like to add that I think it is a mistake to use IR on a home inspection and personally if I had one I would keep it separate from home inspections by offering it as a separate service. The standards on use as taught at the numerous courses would have to be followed in the proper use of this instrument. Not to mention how the standards of use dovetail with standards of practice for home inspections, which are based on a "visual inspection."

    What I believe it will come down to will be the evolvement of the SOP as interpreted by the courts. If IR becomes common practice by a large number of inspectors and competitors, the courts may hold you to a higher standard than the current "visual inspection SOP's". These challenges have yet to be founded in cases because the use amongst home inspectors has only recently blossomed.

    Is it a risk reduction tool? Possibly.
    Is it a liability? Yes
    Is it a requirement to have one? No.
    Raymond

    The new TREC contract from TREC already includes that home inspectors use tools such as x y z and even an IR camera. Don't that tick me off. It is almost like they are telling the client to expect it (shoot, they are) pretty soon all clients will believe you must have an IR camera.

    Raymond

    The discourse was better because I am such a nice guy


  13. #13
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Larson View Post
    Ted,

    To claim you can see through walls is misleading at best and deception at worst.

    Educate the client as to what the IR cam really sees and it's a win win for client and HI.

    If you could really see through walls you would be able to find wires pipes or whatever even if they were the exact same temperature as the wall surface. And you know you can't.
    Mike

    I have to say..............PLEASE. If you see a rat behind a wall, a hot spot on bad wiring, a water leak, a duct leak, you can pretty it up anyway you want. You are seeing thru walls. That is what the folks will believe no matter how much you handle and manage them.

    And no. A moisture meter should not be mistaken as something to use saying "you are already telling them you can see thru walls" I have heard that wild example repeatedly. A moisture meter is a tool where I can an will tell my clients that there is a leak and the ,moisture reading is such and stand behind it till I drop. There is no managing your client when using a moisture meter. It is a real finding and there is no doubt there is moisture that needs investigating.

    See now, got me doing it again. I think you are a wonderful guy Mike. Did not mean to slap you in the face

    My momma said be nice to everyone, it will come back to you. Forget you were born in the 50"s and are a Yankee.


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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Ted

    If TREC has set the standard then you have no choice. I just hope that TREC also put liability caps on your risks.

    My opinions are based on my area. All inspectors in Ontario follow ASHI SOP as adopted by our provincial associations. There are no provisions for the use of IR, however the SOPs do not categorically state that you cannot use one.

    2.3 These Standards of Practice are not intended to limit inspectors from:

    A. including other inspection services, systems or components in addition to those required by these Standards of Practice.



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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    From

    An definition of Flir from an Ontario Court of Appeal Case involving law enforcement use to seek out Marijuana Grow Houses.



    [FLIR technology] is currently in use by major law enforcement agencies and departments throughout Canada and the United States for various types of applications, and has grown to become a significant investigative tool for law enforcement agencies.
    Thermal infrared systems are often used to conduct “structure profiles”. These devices are passive instruments which are sensitive to only thermal surface radiant temperature. The devices do not see into, or through structures. The FLIR system detects only energy which is radiated from the outside surface of an object. Internal heat which is transmitted to the outside surface of an object is detectable. This device … is essentially a camera that takes photographs of heat instead of light…


  16. #16
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Ted

    If TREC has set the standard then you have no choice. I just hope that TREC also put liability caps on your risks.

    My opinions are based on my area. All inspectors in Ontario follow ASHI SOP as adopted by our provincial associations. There are no provisions for the use of IR, however the SOPs do not categorically state that you cannot use one.

    2.3 These Standards of Practice are not intended to limit inspectors from:

    A. including other inspection services, systems or components in addition to those required by these Standards of Practice.
    It does not say inspectors *will* use these particular testing and investigating tools. It says they *may* be using these other tools such as -------------


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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Thanks Ted.

    Also a very informative website.

    Infrared Thermography for Expert Witness and Legal Documentation

    Welcome to IRINFO - Infrared Thermography for Expert Witness and Legal Documentation


  18. #18
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    From

    An definition of Flir from an Ontario Court of Appeal Case involving law enforcement use to seek out Marijuana Grow Houses.



    [FLIR technology]
    These devices are passive instruments which are sensitive to only thermal surface radiant temperature. …
    Sounds fine to me.


  19. #19
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    At 2:30 last night my dog started barking. So I got up and look out the bedroom window. the cops were all over my yard look for some wack job. One cop was saying we have fresh blood on the ground. Now the in outter back part of the yard is a creek with deep brush and lots of places to hide. So got out my IR Camera and went out looking down in the creek to see if this wack job the cops was looking for was down there. I was glad that I could see that no one was hiding in the creek. Thanks to my IR Camera.
    The cops then went over on to the next street.

    I went back to bed and was fast asleep IR CAMERAS THEY WORK!!!

    Best

    Ron


  20. #20
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Bibler View Post
    At 2:30 last night my dog started barking. So I got up and look out the bedroom window. the cops were all over my yard look for some wack job. One cop was saying we have fresh blood on the ground. Now the in outter back part of the yard is a creek with deep brush and lots of places to hide. So got out my IR Camera and went out looking down in the creek to see if this wack job the cops was looking for was down there. I was glad that I could see that no one was hiding in the creek. Thanks to my IR Camera.
    The cops then went over on to the next street.

    I went back to bed and was fast asleep IR CAMERAS THEY WORK!!!

    Best

    Ron
    OK Ron

    SOLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That was actually a wonderful bedtime story. It should be the new advertising campaign for IR cameras everyone should own one!


  21. #21
    John McKenna's Avatar
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Try to relax.

    IR cameras see frequencies of light (energy) that are right below the visible light spectrum, that radiate from the surface being scanned. Sometimes temperatures from various conditions radiated energy that look very similar, but several possibilities may exist. Using a moisture meter, and other methods, to verify what is actually going on, is the recommended wisdom, in order to avoid making calls based on a false positives (just like you can get false positives from a moisture meter).

    The IR camera requires training, and some field use, before the skill starts to develop in the use of this technology. Those who do not understand it reveal their ignorance, when they scream opinions that are based on non-usage and no training. Try to relax. Home inspecting skills are the main priority when using the IR camera, and not the other way around. The tool is only as good as the one who knows how to use it.

    No one says you have to buy it, if you don't like it, but the IR technology is here to stay and is expanding rapidly. I suggest you become familiar with it's usage, so that you can respond in an intelligent manner when you run into it, even if you never buy an IR camera.

    It is wise to read the manufacturers specs on the IR camera and you will find that it very clearly states that the idea of an IR camera seeing through walls is the stuff that legends are made of. People making exaggerated claims about the IR camera will soon find themselves in trouble. It works wonders, but it is not magic and it is good to respect it's limitations. I do every inspection with an IR camera, but I realize that no tool is a silver bullet that can find every defect.

    Hope this helps.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    The U.S. Department Of Energy Now Recommends That A Thermographic Scan Be Done Before Purchasing A House, Even On New Homes

    EERE Consumer's Guide: Thermographic Inspections

    Thermography uses specially designed infrared video or still cameras to make images (called thermograms) that show surface heat variations. This technology has a number of applications. Thermograms of electrical systems can detect abnormally hot electrical connections or components. Thermograms of mechanical systems can detect the heat created by excessive friction. Energy auditors use thermography as a tool to help detect heat losses and air leakage in building envelopes.

    Infrared scanning allows energy auditors to check the effectiveness of insulation in a building's construction. The resulting thermograms help auditors determine whether a building needs insulation and where in the building it should go. Because wet insulation conducts heat faster than dry insulation, thermographic scans of roofs can often detect roof leaks.

    In addition to using thermography during an energy audit, you should have a scan done before purchasing a house; even new houses can have defects in their thermal envelopes. You may wish to include a clause in the contract requiring a thermographic scan of the house. A thermographic scan performed by a certified technician is usually accurate enough to use as documentation in court proceedings.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    And here is the best reason to run out and get IR camera!
    "Best Infrared Course
    Ever Written For
    Building Inspectors
    And Contractors"
    Nick Gromicko
    InterNACHI Founder
    Boulder, CO
    Plus FREE InterNACHI membership - $289 value - new members only.
    Plus $100 discount on next years InterNACHI dues for members.
    If its endorsed by Nick its gotta be good!


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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Fwiw

    I just had an energy audit done, and the inspector never used a IR camera.


  25. #25
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Oh yeah

    As far as Mr Internachi goes I sent him an email about pushing this on all "his" home inspectors. He says there must be confusion, they are no longer home inspectors, they are there to blah, blah, blah and try to sell you everything they can and represent all these things folks are selling.

    Hmm, he did not even say thanks for being a member. Gees. There was not even any acknowledgement of me being a member. Oh yeah, It took a month or so for me to get a return email and I am a member.

    Now that just plain hurt my feelings


  26. #26
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Can you spot the mistake when he pulls out his IR camera?

    YouTube - Mario 360 Home Inspections


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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Gromicko stated that Nachi has 260 million page website! Talk about embellishments. Barnum and Bailey Certification anyone?

    Censorship - Page 2 - InterNACHI Message Board

    Post 21.

    Last edited by Raymond Wand; 08-27-2008 at 09:48 AM.

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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Don't feel bad Ted. I got kicked out of Nachi and consider it a badge of honour, but Gromicko then turned around and stated that I had also been kicked out ASHI and OAHI/CAHPI which is a total out right lie by Gromicko!


  29. #29
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    John

    (just like you can get false positives from a moisture meter).


    False positive from my moisture meter. I have never found moisture that was not there. Yes never. Every wet spot I found was followed up and guess what, there was water there.

    I do tell folks that with out a doubt that if my handy dandy moisture meter finds moiture then it is there and almost all the time (and I tell them that) I can tell them where it is coming from.

    I have absolutely no problem whatm so ever telling my clients of my moisture meter findings.

    Let me see....over here dry....over here wet.....other side dry......Hmmm works pretty good!


  30. #30
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    John

    (just like you can get false positives from a moisture meter).


    False positive from my moisture meter. I have never found moisture that was not there. Yes never. Every wet spot I found was followed up and guess what, there was water there.

    I do tell folks that with out a doubt that if my handy dandy moisture meter finds moiture then it is there and almost all the time (and I tell them that) I can tell them where it is coming from.

    I have absolutely no problem whatm so ever telling my clients of my moisture meter findings.

    Let me see....over here dry....over here wet.....other side dry......Hmmm works pretty good!
    Do you tell your clients that your "moisture meter" is showing high moisture? I was just wondering if your moisture meter is really reading moisture?


  31. #31
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Luce View Post
    Do you tell your clients that your "moisture meter" is showing high moisture? I was just wondering if your moisture meter is really reading moisture?
    Hey Mr Kevin

    Read the post above. Not going to quible.

    And your question Is.

    I think I expalined that pretty well. Something has been found every time. I could give them a direct link to the cause most of the time. Pipe, toilet, roof, window, condensate line, flashing etc.


  32. #32
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Anyone can argue about anything. There are people that would disagree and possibly argue that a moisture meters does require training and expertise.

    Here something I found real quick by doing a general search. (Underline is mine)

    "Meter readings require interpretation

    Meter readings are expressed as percentage moisture content within the material tested. Most meters are calibrated with a Douglas-Fir wood standard; corrections must be made for different kinds of wood as well as other types of material, like sheet rock or concrete. Correction charts for wood are provided with most meters, but effective interpretation requires more training and expertise, especially under the diverse and extreme conditions brought on by Hurricane Floyd."

    Which can be found here.

    Advanced Energy

    Now what would happen if a lawyer would hire somebody like them. I bet somebody like them could make a home inspector that uses a moisture meter look bad.

    When it comes to detecting moisture, I don't know how many times I've seen stains on drywall where high moisture is present. Besides the stain, the moisture meter and my IR camera, many times there is no other methods to show my client that higher than normal moisture is present.


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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    And to play devils advocate....

    Now what would happen if a lawyer would hire somebody like them. I bet somebody like them could make a home inspector that uses a moisture meter look bad.
    Now lets change things around and substitute moisture meter with IR.

    Now what would happen if a lawyer would hire somebody like them. I bet somebody like them could make a home inspector that uses a IR camera look bad.
    Touche!




  34. #34
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    but effective interpretation requires more training and expertise

    I just said I was told by my significant other to not be so blunt and straight forward because it makes me appear to be argumentative.

    So this is all I will say to this statement.

    Is the general perception of the average man that the world of humans is pretty much ignorant and cannot do or figure anything out on their own.

    I would love to be in front of some cocky ass lawyer that thinks he can make the world believe what he has said is true.

    I would convince any jury that that lawyer is in fact a little cocky nobody and doesn't know a dam thing about anything except running his mouth.

    Oh man , was that bad or what.

    Sorry Honey, I'll be good.

    Not arguing gentlemen. The IR camera does have a place but please do not compare it to a moisture meter.

    The general opinion is that because one man convinces some folks or a judge that something is or is not so does not make it right.


  35. #35
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    You guys must be getting old. Like turn down that music its to loud!!!

    These Camera are not that big of a deal. They are fun. Unless you are like OLD and grumpy. I have a Blast with my Camera. The lady buyer of this house could see what was wrong with this Image. And she is not a HI. She has never saw one of these camers before today... All I had to do was let her see the image in the camera.

    Can you see whats wrong with this image ?

    If you want to get a camera get a camera. have fun and makes some money.

    If you don't then don't But please have some fun

    Best

    Ron

    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images

  36. #36
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Simple basics of thermal imaging are not hard to understand. Why so much debate
    over such simple facts? Amazing.


  37. #37
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Ted,

    Are your clients really so ignorant that they cannot understand the basic principles of how IR cameras work and that they (IR cameras) cannot see through walls? Where are you working? In the Amazon where that primitive tribe (who supposedly had never had contact with the outside world) lives? Do your clients also think that electricity is "magic" and that people are actually inside their TV?

    Like John said, the basics of IR technology are not that difficult to understand. If you understand the basic principles then you should be able to explain them in very simple terms to your clients so that they don't think the IR camera can see through walls. If you don't understand the technology then you should not discuss it with them. (Garbage in. Garbage out.) If your clients cannot understand these simple concepts (no matter how well it is explained to them) then you should consider moving somewhere with a better school system.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    This is noteworthy.

    Welcome to IRINFO - Infrared “Knowledge Management”

    Trends: The Insurance Industry

    Another trend in the industry is the growing education, awareness and success of infrared as a PdM technology. Many companies are realizing the huge Return on Investment (ROI) savings and improved production from implementing infrared inspections. This is especially true for insurance companies. Insurance companies pay out millions of dollars for claims each year and many of these claims are investigated. What they have found is that many of these claims are preventable by using infrared to identify problems and fixing the problems before they blow up or burn up. By comparing claims data of their insureds that have an accountable infrared program against those that don’t, the insurance companies have realized a major difference. When infrared inspections were done properly and accountably AND the problems identified were fixed before they burned up or blew up, they found dramatic cost savings for their insureds and themselves from a reduced number of claims.


    As this education trend grows, and more and more insurance companies realize the cost savings of using infrared, they are requiring their insureds to have accountable infrared inspections done as a basis for underwriting the insurance policy. This is great news generally for the thermography business, but it is a double-edged sword for the thermographer. Those who can capitalize on this trend by doing the inspection work required by an insurance company or by becoming a preferred infrared provider for an insurance company, can potentially increase their business without a lot of additional marketing.



    On the other hand, the insurance companies will expect you to keep a comprehensive inventory list of what you have and have not tested. With this new knowledge in the insurance companies, you might also be held responsible if you don’t do a thorough and accountable job in documenting your work. Especially in cases of a fire breaking out on the equipment you previously inspected.


    “Risk Engineers” are the best suited to see the benefits of infrared for their insureds while reducing the risk for themselves. You might need to sell the benefits of infrared testing first and then see if you can become one of their preferred infrared providers. Insurance companies are generally in the business of selling insurance and reducing their risk factors. Some insurance companies will provide their own internal infrared inspection services, others do not. For those companies that don’t want to provide infrared services for their insureds, this is a natural opportunity for established infrared thermographers to fill the need.


  39. #39
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Home Inspection

    It remains to be shown whether the copyright laws will trump the wave of home inspector licensure laws and regulations now sweeping the country. In New Jersey, for example, laws and regulations have been passed recently which make the home inspection report the property of the customer, in sharp contrast with the Federal copyright law which may have pre-emptive effect (see, e.g., N.J.A.C. 13:40-15.19). If you are employing thermography in the context of home inspection, try not to be the test case on this issue. Finally, don’t forget the record keeping requirements for home inspectors in your state, which are likely very different from the ordinary lack of regulation for thermographers, their images and reports.



    Welcome to IRINFO - Liability: Where Does It Come From


  40. #40
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post

    --seeing thru walls. .
    .
    .....
    DefenseLink News Article: New Device Will Sense Through Concrete Walls

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  41. #41
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Thars termites in those walls ... and they're moving around, so I know it is a live infestation.

    The newest tool for termite inspectors.

    There was something like this about 4-5 years ago that I saw demonstrated at a FABI meeting, except that the technology at the time limited its sensing to several inches, and it cost a lot more. It was about that same size, though.

    It actually worked, you could see them buggers moving around on the detector display - way cool!

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  42. #42
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Thars termites in those walls ... and they're moving around, so I know it is a live infestation.

    The newest tool for termite inspectors.

    There was something like this about 4-5 years ago that I saw demonstrated at a FABI meeting, except that the technology at the time limited its sensing to several inches, and it cost a lot more. It was about that same size, though.

    It actually worked, you could see them buggers moving around on the detector display - way cool!
    It is a termitrac

    I have used them. Very sensitive. That is an Item that someone should at least take an hour or so playing with, with an instructor.

    It is basically a microwave signal that detects vertical movement behind walls. There better be no vibrations in the home or the user shaking even minutely. It does work. Most folks I know that use to use them don't now. The company I was inspecting for was using them but stopped. Why did they stop. Because they did not always pic up the movement or they did not check every single area likely to have termites or did not know there was a water line coming up through a slab that the termites followed. They paid for a few treatments because they did not inspect every possible area. It was not really that either. It was more that they did not check every foot of every wall (like I say about IR cameras). To much liability for what it cost to lease and keep calibrated.


  43. #43
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    You seem to have a very difficult time understanding the simplicity of an IR camera.
    I'm sorry if I gave you that impression. I thought it was you who was having a difficult time understanding the simplicity of an IR camera.

    As for myself, I successfully completed a one-week course by Infrared Training Center in 2006 and I am a 'Level I Certified Infrared Thermographer' (Certification #28486). I own a Flir EX320 IR camera. I think I know what I am talking about when I talk about IR technology and I have not had the problems you seem to be having when I explain it to my customers.

    I'm not trying to stir things up. Just stating the facts.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  44. #44
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    The actual reason for posting my questions was to hear from other home inspectors whether or not it is advisable to employ expensive high-tech equipment to carry out "visual" inspections under our generally accepted Standards of Practices.

    It is my view that home inspectors tend to waste more and more time to operate fancy gadgets - than concentrating to simply inspect the subject property "visually." It started when home inspectors began to issue fancy computer generated inspection reports onsite with countless digital photographs to enhance their report presentation.

    The more gadgets are being used - the more attention has to be given to properly operate the fancy equipment and/or to interpret the results. This can become a distraction - which might result in an oversight of a defect that could have been easily detected by the naked eye.

    The trend to invest voluntarily in "highfalutin" inspection equipment becomes even more ridiculous if the going rate for the average home inspection remains stagnant at about $300.00 - and the fee is not being raised regardless of the "added values."

    In comparison - the average commission collected by the real estate fraternity from each home sale in Toronto/Canada is now at least $19,000.00 without having ever added any improvements whatsoever to their entrenched self-serving services for decades.

    RUDOLF REUSSE - Home Inspector since 1976 - TORONTO




  45. #45
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Rudolf Reusse View Post
    The actual reason for posting my questions was to hear from other home inspectors whether or not it is advisable to employ expensive high-tech equipment to carry out "visual" inspections under our generally accepted Standards of Practices.

    It is my view that home inspectors tend to waste more and more time to operate fancy gadgets - than concentrating to simply inspect the subject property "visually."

    If you use any tools of any kind, you *are not doing a truly "visual" inspection*.

    Thus, the issue then becomes "Which tools do I want to use to allow me to do a better job?"

    And that argument has gone on from the beginning of time for the very first home inspector and still rages today.

    Do you use *ANY* tools of *ANY* type to help you do your inspection?

    If you do, then you are no different than the inspector who choses to use an infrared camera to help them do a better job. *NEITHER OF YOU* are truly doing a "visual inspection".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  46. #46
    Robert Hausvik's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: IR Cameras

    [quote=Ted Menelly;55478]Raymond

    I am really not being foolish on this subject. I may have not said it as eloquently as you but this is the kind of thing I am talking about.

    The fact of the matter is the IR cameras are very close to seeing thru walls. To close. When I said in one of my posts earlier and probably most, it is beyond a home inspection. It is leading in a direction that it will become a have to as far as using an IR in a home inspection. The liability will soar. The need to document every square inch of every wall and saving those findings will be a must. Miss an item that is the cause for a home burning and then try to live with it.

    Since the inception of folks using IR cameras in home inspections I have been saying the same thing and no one seems to get it that does use their IR in a home inspection.

    You are pushing the friendliness and generalist aspect of a home inspection out the window. If you tell folks of one finding behind one wall in the home you better find every item behind every wall. They are being used by police and such. Why? because of their accuracy of what they see behind walls. Please folks, don't get mad, it is just a term, but true.

    To do a complete scan of every wall and ceiling and document it and save those pictures (thermograms) fill out a report, go over it with a client etc. You will be spending as much times as some home inspections and increasing your liability many fold.

    Hi I am currently a HVAC/sheet metal worker who is considering starting his own business and including a IR camera as part of my test equipment. My experience with mechanical inspections is the inspector only has so much time to get his inspections done and does not have time to look at every little thing unless he finds cause to do a more thorough inspection. It seems to me that any tool that allows us to be more thorough in less time, should reduce any liability not increase it. High costs and the increased need for training leads us to more specialization (cost of equipment and training needs to pay for it'self in a reasonable amount of time). Luckily the price is coming down and I am looking forward to using one in the near future. Hey we now use battery drills instead of screw drivers and air nailers instead of a hammer when ever there is a big job that needs to be done in a hurry. Time and money is the bottomline.

    Last edited by Robert Hausvik; 07-07-2010 at 08:42 PM. Reason: to highlight quote and correct spelling

  47. #47
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    [quote=Robert Hausvik;136503]
    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Raymond
    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post

    I am really not being foolish on this subject. I may have not said it as eloquently as you but this is the kind of thing I am talking about.

    The fact of the matter is the IR cameras are very close to seeing thru walls. To close. When I said in one of my posts earlier and probably most, it is beyond a home inspection. It is leading in a direction that it will become a have to as far as using an IR in a home inspection. The liability will soar. The need to document every square inch of every wall and saving those findings will be a must. Miss an item that is the cause for a home burning and then try to live with it.

    Since the inception of folks using IR cameras in home inspections I have been saying the same thing and no one seems to get it that does use their IR in a home inspection.

    You are pushing the friendliness and generalist aspect of a home inspection out the window. If you tell folks of one finding behind one wall in the home you better find every item behind every wall. They are being used by police and such. Why? because of their accuracy of what they see behind walls. Please folks, don't get mad, it is just a term, but true.

    To do a complete scan of every wall and ceiling and document it and save those pictures (thermograms) fill out a report, go over it with a client etc. You will be spending as much times as some home inspections and increasing your liability many fold.

    Hi I am currently a HVAC/sheet metal worker who is considering starting his own business and including a IR camera as part of my test equipment. My experience with mechanical inspections is the inspector only has so much time to get his inspections done and does not have time to look at every little thing unless he finds cause to do a more thorough inspection. It seems to me that any tool that allows us to be more thorough in less time, should reduce any liability not increase it. High costs and the increased need for training leads us to more specialization (cost of equipment and training needs to pay for it'self in a reasonable amount of time). Luckily the price is coming down and I am looking forward to using one in the near future. Hey we now use battery drills instead of screw drivers and air nailers instead of a hammer when ever there is a big job that needs to be done in a hurry. Time and money is the bottomline.
    I would also like to add that if you are adding value to your service you should receive compensation for your investment if the market will bear the added cost of the added service. Maybe IR cameras should be considered an add on service to a visual only inspection if needed or desired by the client.


  48. #48
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    IR cameras are indeed just a tool, but there are times when they can save a lot of time and frustration - here's a recent example of a water intrusion inspection where IR allowed identification of the correct area of the ceiling to open much more quickly (and likely. accurately) than a moisture meter alone, this whole process took around 20 minutes, and IR got me started at the right spot on the first try..

    Attached Files Attached Files
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  49. #49
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Michael,

    Where did you buy that radio locator gizmo? Cost?

    Thanks,


  50. #50
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Michael,

    Where did you buy that radio locator gizmo? Cost?

    Thanks,

    Products - Loc8tor - Don't lose it, locate it!

    I use 1-3 transmitters to located leaks on the other side of roofs/floors/wall (each receiver can be programed to tack any one of 24 transmitters) and have others attached to the wrist straps of on the IR camera, moisture meters, etc.. VERY useful if one slips out while you are crawling the attic, and ends up "somewhere" under 18" of blown-in insulation:

    ----> loc8tor ----> $400 meter ---->

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 08-06-2010 at 08:46 AM.
    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  51. #51
    Robert Welch's Avatar
    Robert Welch Guest

    Default Re: IR Cameras

    It seems we have to keep pace with the technology or get left behind.

    Robert
    Houston Home Inspection - Houston Home Inspectors - Robert Welch


    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    There are a bunch of threads on this. If I were not a home inspector I could see many reasons why. Being a home inspector I would only use it for my own info and knowledge.

    I would not use it to tell my clients that I can positively identify what is behind the walls. I personally do not believe in telling anyone I can see through walls.

    My belief is if this comes to pass where so many inspectors are using them that we will all be paying thousands for such a wondrous pleasure of owning one.

    Some swear by them. I think is is going one step to far. This brings you passed a home inspection and into the technically exhaustive end of things that we all try so hard to avoid.

    there is constant talk of exceeding the SOP's. Yup, this is one of them but way to far.



  52. #52
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Products - Loc8tor - Don't lose it, locate it!

    I use 1-3 transmitters to located leaks on the other side of roofs/floors/wall (each receiver can be programed to tack any one of 24 transmitters) and have others attached to the wrist straps of on the IR camera, moisture meters, etc.. VERY useful if one slips out while you are crawling the attic, and ends up "somewhere" under 18" of blown-in insulation:

    ----> loc8tor ----> $400 meter ---->
    Wish I had pursued a patent on the idea I had for this years ago...

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  53. #53
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    I inspected a house that had been previously inspected by someone using IR. The deal fell through when IR had detected a "hidden" water leak in the corner of the kitchen ceiling. My clients had obtained a copy of the IR image from the seller, who was willing to pay for repairs at this point, just to sell the house.

    Upon inspection of this area, I could not see any signs of water damage on the ceiling or the walls or the base boards or the floors. My moisture meter did not detect any moisture either. When I placed my hand on the spot I did notice that the sheet rock was quite cool as compared to the rest of the house,, I also noticed that the AC vent was blowing right into this corner. I closed the AC vent, and left this area to pursue the rest of the inspection. When I returned a few hours later, the sheet rock was no longer cold at all. There was no water leak.

    I tell this story to all the potential clients asking about the use of IR. It has its place, and if they have a water leak whose source is not visible, or a flat roof that could contain hidden water deposits, then IR should be able to help, but I do not recommend it for standard inspections.

    Tom Comstock
    Tex-Pro Residential & Commercial Inspections in Houston, Texas


  54. #54
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    It has its place and as with any instrument is only as good as the operator and interpretations.

    Until the wall is opened its anyones guess.


  55. #55
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Comstock View Post
    I tell this story to all the potential clients asking about the use of IR. It has its place, and if they have a water leak whose source is not visible, or a flat roof that could contain hidden water deposits, then IR should be able to help, but I do not recommend it for standard inspections.
    No reason *not* to recommend it for standard inspections.

    Unless you treat moisture meters the same was, as in "I do not recommend it for standard inspections"

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    any instrument is only as good as the operator and interpretations.
    As with a moisture meter, or any instrument as Raymond says, "any instrument is only as good as the operator and interpretations"

    There is nothing wrong with using in IR camera, or a moisture meter, or a flashlight, or a hammer, as long as ... you know and understand how to use it and use it for the purpose it was intended.

    There are a lot of HIs who use IR cameras and don't know how to use them, likewise, there are just as many (maybe even more) who do not use or recommend IR cameras because they don't know how the IR cameras should be used. I suspect more errors are made in *not* using the IR than in using the IR incorrectly.

    Do you use a ladder to access the roof, or do you use binoculars to see the roof from the ground? It is personal choice, but not using tools and instruments to your advantage is possibly worse than using them and not fully understanding them - "not fully" means I am not comparing not using them to their use by someone who has *no idea* how to use one.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  56. #56
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    1. Manufacturers do not explain all of the limitations.
    2. Moisture and water leaks can not be found unless conditions are right for evaporative cooling.
    3. You won't detect air leakage without the right conditions to induce a pressure change.
    4. You won't see an insulated cavity's insulation profile unless the cavity is in temperature transition.
    5. You will probably have imperfect conditions and confuse water leaks and air infiltration.
    6. Have seen statements where users state 'see through walls'. Its not an xray device.

    You will not obtain good outside results during the day particularly in hot weather.
    Users of IR unless fully qualified will be eaten alive in court as the experts show that you failed to follow ASNT procedures, or goofed in your interpretation.

    IR can be a powerful tool if you have the course and understand its limitations, and follow the standards in its use.


  57. #57
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Sorry Jerry, but I do not use moisture meters the same way they use IR cameras. They could use IRs the same way, but they usually don't.

    I do NOT use a moisture meter on every wall in a house, on every ceiling or base board. I only use it when my visual inspection tells me there may be a problem. If they used IR the same way, there would be no discussion. But that is NOT how it is primarily used.

    So comparing using a moisture meter with an IR camera, unless you actually test every wall and ceiling in the house with your moisture meter whether there is reason to or not, isn't really valid.

    I agree IR can be a useful tool when used and read correctly, and I said so, but the interpretation is problematic at best. Too many errors are possible, as the one I mentioned in the post above, for me to want to rely on IR in every inspection.

    Tom Comstock
    Tex-Pro Residential & Commercial Inspections in Houston, Texas


  58. #58

    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Another method to look for a suspected leak is to run "hot" water for about 5-10 minutes!
    As previously stated the IR cameras is a tool and just like hammers some people hit their fingers, not the nail!

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

  59. #59
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    Last summer I bought Tramex's Wet Wall and Roof moisture meter - no cheap toy! It does have it's advantages over my other meters but also its limitations. Now I'm considering the jump to an IR camera and the one I have my eyes on is pretty far up the cost ladder. This is not necessarily for the HIs but rather for the mold and moisture investigations I do. What is hanging me up is that it makes sense from a business perspective but not so much from a financial one.

    Another consideration is that conditions can be found with equipment and knowledge that many contractors are not going to have. It's why I retired my CO detector - too many contractors and fire departments were unable to confirm my findings. Sometimes you can get so far off the "common page of knowledge" that people begin to wonder if you know what the heck you're talking about.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  60. #60
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    An IR camera is a tool and as with all tools they are only as good as the quality of that tool and the ability of the operator. Last week I needed an IR camera to see if a water stain on a 30' high church ceiling was wet. No way to get to it without a boom lift. I ended up calling an inspector friend and buying him lunch and a bottle of single malt to help me out. Turned out the stain showed up as being wet or colder.

    I had a B-Cam up untill last December, I sold it for what I payed for it to an electrical contractor who needed one for a job as it was part of the bid/contract requirement. I have not re-purchased a new one but I'm thinking about the new E series by FLIR. I will have another IR cam as I have seen their value, but I never did see it produce much if any extra income.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  61. #61
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    The use of an IR camera in NOT the last word on any issue. What I mean is; when you spot a possible issue it must always be followed up with another tool or method/means of trouble shooting in an attempt to reduce the potential issue down to only a couple of possibilities.
    Unless of course its an obvious leak, 400 degree disconnect etc... not much need for additional testing there...IMO
    I dont know how we did this job before without it. I do not feel this is a liability, just the opposite.

    The MAZZA INSPECTION GROUP
    www.mazzainspections.com
    Level III Thermo-picture-taker-er...er

  62. #62
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    Default Re: IR Cameras

    It appears many inspectors bought IR's thinking it would be a revenue generator or as an ancillary service. Some even included it in the inspection charging a small additional fee or as part of the inspection.

    From what I understand that has not happened and from time to time you will see the cameras up for sale.

    I can't recall the last time anyone asked me if I had a IR let alone wanting an IR scan done.

    Its an expensive device for limited use, not to mention the cost of becoming proficient in its use.


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