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TOPIC: Infra red cameras

Infra red cameras 10 years 10 months ago #38106

  • Jim Graham
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Hi Guys,

I want to add thermal imaging to my biz repertoire and wonder which camera you would recommend and any course you would recommend. I know the price range is broad but for the average home inspection what should I be looking at.

Jim Graham

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Jim Graham
Sentry Inspection Services
www.chathamkenthomeinspections.com

Sentry Inspection Services provides Home Inspections, Mold Inspection, and Air Quality Testing in Chatham-Kent and Windsor area including Leamington, Essex, Tilbury and Blenheim areas.

Re: Infra red cameras 10 years 10 months ago #38107

Great question. I am looking for a camera myself.

Depends on what you plans are.

Commercial, energy audits you need level 1 training, maybe BPI and resnet.

Just for general inspections you could just do some basic training. Inachi has a very easy intro to become IRCertified.

Cameras depend on what you want and how much money you have. Plan on 3 to 10K. I am looking in the 5 to 6K range.

Go over to your leaking house and read the infared threads. Dave Anderson, Bill Warner have some great posts.

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Re: Infra red cameras 10 years 8 months ago #39870

  • Dana Bostick
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Hi Guys,

I want to add thermal imaging to my biz repertoire and wonder which camera you would recommend and any course you would recommend. I know the price range is broad but for the average home inspection what should I be looking at.

Jim Graham


Hi Jim,
I've been a Certified Level 1 Thermographer since 2007.  I do not generally use the camera on regular home inspections as it would violate the SoPs and open up additional liability issues. I run it as a separate business that does well on its own.

When I bought my FLIR B-CAM SD in '07, it cost about $5000 plus the Level 1 training.  It has more than paid for itself. Several times over in fact.
The one thing I would have changed is to get something with better resolution.  The B-Cam's 120x120 resolution leaves me wanting better but it still works for what I do.

Prices have come way down now so plan for the future. Buy the highest resolution you can afford now. You will be happier in the long run.

The "Fusion" feature that many offer with a built-in digital camera is nice but can be easily overcome with 3rd party software. I use SnagIt Pro photo editor to overlay the IR image over the digital image. It works fine and since I had it already, I saved the extra money.

For Building Diagnostics, you don't really need that much camera. Your evaluations are "qualitative" rather than "quantitative". In other words you don't really care WHAT the temperature is, only that there is a visible "anomaly" that points you at a possible problem for further verification by moisture meter. Your understanding of building construction and heat dynamics is what will carry you through.  Thermography is a combination of art and science.  A thermographer is one who can operate a piece of equipment properly and then correctly evaluate the results.
Good Luck

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Re: Infra red cameras 10 years 8 months ago #39876

Don't forget that HIP can fuse for you too.

I've never heard of IR violating SOP. How do you see that happening?

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Dominic Maricic
Home Inspector Pro Home Inspection Software - CEO

Re: Infra red cameras 10 years 8 months ago #39877

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Don't forget that HIP can fuse for you too.

I've never heard of IR violating SOP. How do you see that happening?

There is a clause about not using specialized tool or methods.  We are supposed to be "generalists" and not to act as specialists.
Using IR as a part of a HI opens you up to "if you saw that, why didn't you also see this?" questions. Sort of the same thing when digital pictures became more prevalent.  You need to be a bit careful what is included in the shot.  If you happen to include something in a picture background but did not call it out in the report, you could have issues later.

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True Professionals, Inc. Home inspections and Property Consultation, Litigation Support, HOA Maintenance Consulting
www.HomeInspection-LosAngeles.com
Certified Infrared Thermographer www.MagicLeakFinders.com
www.Thermal-Diagnostics.com
All services provided in the Southern...

Re: Infra red cameras 10 years 8 months ago #39880

California is a bit of an exception, but it a lot of other states there are a LOT of inspectors using IR during inspections. Like you said, I think it'll be like photos were for awhile then become the norm.

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Dominic Maricic
Home Inspector Pro Home Inspection Software - CEO
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