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  1. #1
    Bob Hart's Avatar
    Bob Hart Guest

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Infrared Equipment

    I think they are great, but I don't want one in my tool bag.

    If you get dragged into court say for termite damages, and the attorney know you have this type of equipment, you have no leg to stand on.

    Can't claim you just could only perform a visible inspection for that particular client when you had the equipment available to see within the wall.

    Then they find something else with the camera like mold, its all over for your career.

    Never mind trying to use the comment that its an added service at an additional cost to the client. Won't fly in court.

    I had a Boroscope once that can be used within wall voids to see termite infestations. The one and only case I've ever been to court on, the judge asked me why I didn't use the tool when it was available to me. I told the judge that it takes more time for use and the client did not want to pay the extra charge.

    Do you have a signed agreement stating the service was available if they had chose that option?

    No, I said.

    Guilty. He said.

    1250. out for treatment on my part.


  3. #3
    Vince Santos's Avatar
    Vince Santos Guest

    Default Re: Infrared Equipment

    Every tool we use brings a level of liability. Heck, stepping foot in that door does that. If you want to add the service make sure you are educated on how to use it and get yourself a good contract to go with that service.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Infrared Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Can't claim you just could only perform a visible inspection for that particular client when you had the equipment available to see within the wall.
    I know what you are saying, but that's the problem, people THINK you can "see in the walls", you can't. ALL YOU CAN SEE 'is the surface of the walls'.

    Same thing with a moisture meter if you have one and don't use it.

    Bad analogy on your part, EVERY TOOL you have and don't use will get you to lose in court if that were true.

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

  5. #5
    Harvey Hempelstern's Avatar
    Harvey Hempelstern Guest

    Default Re: Infrared Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Do you have a signed agreement stating the service was available if they had chose that option?
    Sounds like a small claim judgment that could have been successfully appealed to a Circuit Court, introducting the contract with the understanding that the inspection was to be conducted in accordance with a SOP that specified the inspection to be non-invasive.

    Was this a small claim court?


  6. #6
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Infrared Equipment

    I'm sure I'm in the minority, but the only tools I use during an inspection is a 6 way-screwdriver, and circuit tester, and a flashlight.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Infrared Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I'm sure I'm in the minority, but the only tools I use during an inspection is a 6 way-screwdriver, and circuit tester, and a flashlight.
    No ladder?

    No moisture meter?

    One of those $5 three light testers?

    Man, I carried around about $10k worth of tools in my tool bag, and more in my van.

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

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Infrared Equipment

    Jerry,

    Your comment about tools.

    If you own a moisture meter and don't use it, yeah in court they'll wonder why you chose not to.


    Harvey,
    Why waste the time in more court. Settle up and move on to better things.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Infrared Equipment

    Rick,

    Be sure not to carry a screwdriver, wrenches and pliers on your inspections. Those tools could be used to dismantle the furnace allowing you to find defects that may not be visible in your "limited, visual" inspection.

    What's that? You exclude dismantling furnaces from your inspections? Ahh!

    So how is that different?

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

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Infrared Equipment

    Bruce,

    You people are twisting what I'm trying to say.

    All I'm saying is if you use highly specialized type tools or advertise that you do, then you should either charge extra for their use and have it documented that the customer sign a release stating they choose not have you use them.

    I knew of an inspector that had a company picture of himself with all his tools of the trade layed out on a driveway to show clients.

    Well he had a problem with a client on moisture issues. He claimed it was hidden in a wall void and he had way of knowing.

    The clients attorney used his advertised picture with a moisture meter right there in the display against him.

    By the way, opening some of the HVAC equipment requires a specialized license in some areas.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Infrared Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    I'm sure I'm in the minority, but the only tools I use during an inspection is a 6 way-screwdriver, and circuit tester, and a flashlight.
    Like Jerry said, moisture meter and ladder?

    I use a mirror once in a while.
    I've been know to use a camera too.
    I also use my Robo-grips everyday, as well as my water pressure gauge.

    JF


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Infrared Equipment

    I'm with you on this Rick. Every time I think about adding a specialty tool to my inspection bag, I say to myself "based upon the readily accessible and visible conditions that exist at the time of the inspection".

    Infrared cameras? Great tool, don't want one. The last thing I want is somebody to think I can see through walls.


  13. #13
    Gary Cox's Avatar
    Gary Cox Guest

    Thumbs up Re: Infrared Equipment

    As prices come down over time, I think Infrared cameras will be an essential tool of the trade. I think those without one will be lost in the dust. Those with them, will simply make adjustments their contracts. If you have the tool in your bag and you did not use it and are under fire because you did not...just simply say you did not think you were qualified to use it at the time under those circumstances.
    Have a nice day.

    These cameras are an amazing tool to add to our arsenal.
    Makes our moisture meters look like toys.

    The one I want is that dang BX320 FLIR model. Man I saw that one in action.
    About $15K.

    ...while I'm on the subject...I noticed over at the NACHI site FLIR has a $1,000 discount off there units for NACHI members....Come on ASHI!

    Gary Cox
    ASHI Associate


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Infrared Equipment

    I've accompanied a number of people using IR tools on inspections - including HIs who have some experience with their equipment and also people who have been exclusively in the business of IR analysis for years.

    Here's my take: medical imaging is a good analogy- just about anyone can detect a dramatic fracture on an X-Ray, reading a mammogram is is much dicier proposition.

    Similarly, just about anyone can understand the images of overheated electrical connections and clearly-defined areas of water damage on the home pages of of the IR camera sites (after all, they have had the opportunity to choose from thousands of images) but interpreting the actual results obtained in structures - in terms of both false positives and negatives - is a much tougher proposition.

    So the question you have to ask yourself is: "Is liability for the positives I'm going to miss a big enough so that it outweighs the advantages of the otherwise hidden positives I'll find?"

    Last edited by Michael Thomas; 07-08-2010 at 03:01 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Infrared Equipment

    In my opinion an IR evaluation is not needed for the typical 'visual' inspection of a property related to a resale. It can however be very usefull for more complex building evaluations related to water penetration, air leakage and so on.

    Like any complex technical tool though, its utility is only as good as the skill level of the user and in many cases an IR camera is as likely to get the user into trouble as it is to keep him out of it. Accurate interpretation of result requires training and experience.

    An IR camera may one day become as common to an inspectors tool bag as a moisture meter is today but that day has not come yet.


  16. #16
    Chuck Lambert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Infrared Equipment

    I have one, a FLIR E-45 I use it when necessary and I (and my clients) love it. They are truely amazing.

    Chuck Lambert

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Infrared Equipment

    Chuck,

    Let me guess - that's a radiant ceiling - right?

    I'm kind of with Phillip on this, but not entirely.

    I think it comes down to what you want to do with IR, what you are trained to do with IR, and what IR equipment you are using.

    In my opinion, for HI work, the fancy ones are not needed, and the 'basic' ones are not quite there yet. I found that my infrared camera, which was not a fancy FLIR camera, served my clients and myself well for what I was looking at and for. I've used and tried out some of the fancier IR camera, and found that they required too much 'adjusting' to see what you were looking for. I liked my Infrared Solutions (bought by Fluke a year or two ago) performed very nicely with its automatic setup.

    Would mine have worked for more specific scientific work? Of course not. But then, I was not doing specific scientific work, was I?

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

  18. #18
    Chuck Lambert's Avatar
    Chuck Lambert Guest

    Default Re: Infrared Equipment

    Yes, radiant ceiling heat. It only comes out of the case when needed and or hired.

    Chuck


  19. #19
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    Thumbs down Judge Taliban

    I think we all need to line up at the court house and sue the living heck out of every hospital and doctor you and your family have ever been to because they didn't use their MRI, CT Scanner, PET scanner, XRF, EPS, EKG, EEG, etc., etc. When I leave there, I'm headed to my car dealership for more of the same treatment. Then I'll be targeting all those slobs who worked on my home. I always thought that little punk down the street should have been testing my soil before he mowed my lawn and testing the ph after salting in winter....

    This judge is the kind that is killing America. He ought to be reported to the Bar Assn. and recalled.

    BTW, did you possess a drill with bit, spackle, sandpaper, paint, brushes, caulk, etc. for patching all the holes in the walls? How do you know where to drill to look for termites? Need an IR scanner? Combustible gas sniffer? hire my Beagle? Ok, no termites---what about all the other bugs, creeping crud, goobers, and things that go bump in the walls? Where can I get the training to sample and test for the presence of all these perils? Not just some--ALL? Where is the ASTM standard for wall interior inspection and surface analysis?

    From now on, ya'll need to mail out your contract 30 days in advance so the other party has sufficient time for their attorney and their Realtor's attorney to read it over and see if it meets with their approval. Once they have signed the contract and had it notarized and recorded at the courthouse, they can have it Fed Ex'd to you with a signature receipt. Once your inspection has been videotaped, there will be a fourth party verification inspection and review of the video tape to confirm compliance of the contract. Once this verification is notarized and recorded, you can then submit your invoice to their accounting firm for an audit before payment is made. Only once the auditor has received a pay voucher from the 4th party inspector, will payment be made, of course with a 15% retainer held for 90 days in case there is a dispute at settlement. Once the 90 day period has lapsed, the closing attorney will verify receipt of notarized affidavits from all parties involved then recommend the final disbursement be made out of escrow, less his handling surcharge.

    This rant is no more absurd that this idiot judge.

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Infrared Equipment

    I am a general contractor and I am considering purchasing a camera. I work around a lot of old buildings so I can see the benefits of having one. I also plan on taking the training course provided by the manufacturer.
    I do not really plan on using the camera in the official home inspector capacity unless they want to pay for it. I plan on using it to further my work as a general contractor and also to help my clients find problems with their building. This may sound contradictory but I am more interested in the building science spectrum than trying to use it for home inspections. I do not really do home inspections now and I can pick and choose my clients since HI is not my bread and butter.
    I think this can be a ground floor opportunity for the use of Infrared cameras in finding air leaks, moisture, and other things such as defective equipment. Does anyone have any suggestions otherwise?


  21. #21
    John McKenna's Avatar
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    Default Re: Infrared Equipment

    I find so many things with my IR camera, it scares the hell out of me to think of not using it now.

    http://texas-inspection.com/thermal/thermal

    I use it on every home inspection.


  22. #22
    Robert Hausvik's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Infrared Equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell Meeks View Post
    I am a general contractor and I am considering purchasing a camera. I work around a lot of old buildings so I can see the benefits of having one. I also plan on taking the training course provided by the manufacturer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell Meeks View Post
    I do not really plan on using the camera in the official home inspector capacity unless they want to pay for it. I plan on using it to further my work as a general contractor and also to help my clients find problems with their building. This may sound contradictory but I am more interested in the building science spectrum than trying to use it for home inspections. I do not really do home inspections now and I can pick and choose my clients since HI is not my bread and butter.
    I think this can be a ground floor opportunity for the use of Infrared cameras in finding air leaks, moisture, and other things such as defective equipment. Does anyone have any suggestions otherwise?


    This is me too I am more interested in energy audits and helping the customer choose which areas they wish to invest their money on home improvements and repairs. When I bought my home I waved the professional home inspection. Sounds like some of these people are expecting way too much from a resale home inspections.


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