Skip to main content

Infrared (Thermal) Imaging Detects Missing/Defective Insulation

It's that time of the year again. It's getting colder outside and Infrared imaging can now detect those insulation defects that the summer months didn't allow for a Delta T (difference in temperature). Most homeowners do not realize that a difference in temperature (cold on the exterior and warm on the interior or vise-versa in the Summer months with air conditioning) must be established in order for an IR camera to detect faults in their homes. It's now getting to the point where exterior temperatures are lowering and the heat is being turned up. That gives me the perfect setting to detect those insulation voids in your walls and ceilings.

Check out the IR images I have captured in the past...

infrared line
This ceiling appears to be fine, but infrared detects missing insulation
insulation missing

infrared line
This wall appears fine, but my infrared camera detects settled insulation
insulation settled

infrared line
Thermal imaging detects cold air infiltrating the most outer portion of this wall
wall infrared

infrared line
Visually... you see an open window, but infrared detects major heat loss
window is open

infrared line
Infrared detects all sorts of inefficiencies throughout this finished attic cathedral ceiling
ceiling thermal

infrared line
This upper wall appears fine, but thermal imaging detects missing insulation
insulation gap

infrared line
You see a wall that appears fine, but infrared detects Termite activity
infrared detects termites

infrared line
It's impossible to fully inspect radiant heating coils without my infrared camera
infrared detects radiant floor coils

infrared line
This attic access looks fine, but infrared reveals inadequate insulation
attic access missing insulation

infrared line
Look great visually, but thermally, I detect inadequate insulation
missing insulation

infrared line
Exterior wall appears to fine, but infrared detects efficiency issues
insulation voids

infrared line
This is an exterior wall with no insulation issues. The structural member locations are clearly visible (with infrared) from colder studs conducting onto the interior drywall.
insulated wall cavities

infrared line
During the colder months, a perfectly insulated wall will contain cold structural members (see image above). In this home, the studs are warmer than the cavities. This is clearly indicative of "no insulation" in these wall cavities.
wall missing insulation

infrared line
This is another home with the same situation...empty wall cavities. This uninsulated wall is equal to leaving your windows and doors wide open.
infrared detects missing insulation

infrared line
The attic cavity above this particular ceiling was not accessible. Access openings were not installed for my inspection. That didn't stop me from investigating further. My infrared camera has no problem detecting a shoddy installation of insulation. The heat loss here would be significant.
ceiling insulation missing

infrared line
This lower ceiling surface looks great visually, but my thermal imaging camera detects an excessive void at the wall and ceiling cavities.
skylight ceiling uninsulated

infrared line
This newly constructed home had insulation missing in several wall cavities
wall insulation voids

infrared line
These outer ceiling cavities are allowing excessive cold air to enter living area
uninsulated ceiling cavities

infrared line
This wall looks fine until my infrared camera detects settled insulation
settled wall insulation

infrared line
My thermal imaging camera detects more settled insulation
wall insulation settled

infrared line
Infrared detects cold air infiltrating at lower left window framing and all outer floor cavities
window wall uninsulated

infrared line
A client inquired about ice damming on their roof. You can clearly see the voids at the rear portion of these two skylights. This void allowed interior heat to escape and melt the snow on top of the roof (above this area) and cause major ice damming.
ceiling skylight not insulated
skylight wall not insulated

infrared line
The soffit around this particular skylight contains recessed lighting that does not allow insulation contact (Non-IC lighting) per manufacturer. An upgrade to more expensive recessed light fixtures (allowing insulation contact - IC lighting) are no option, in order to properly insulate these type of ceiling cavities and prevent ice damming on the exterior roof edge.
skylight insulation voids
gaps in ceiling insulation

infrared line
The stud cavities around this window were obviously not insulated.
window wall not insulated

infrared line
Cathedral ceiling cavities are impossible to inspect visually, but thermal imaging has no limitations. My infrared camera detects missing insulation throughout one side of the gable. The heating bill in this home will be costly until it's insulated.
cathedral uninsulated

infrared line
The cellulose insulation in these wall cavities has settled quite a bit
settled cellulose insulation

infrared line
More settled cellulose insulation. Infrared also detects heat piping inside this wall at the top right of IR image.

cellulose insulation settled

infrared line
My infrared camera detects shoddy installation of cellulose insulation in concealed wall cavities above this main door.
wall insulation not complete

Thermal imaging detects insulation voids under this glued-down plywood in an attic

Infrared scan detects shoddy insulation application in outer ceiling cavities

This wall set-up looks great, until my infrared camera detects uninsulated wall cavities behind the flat screen television

Thermal imaging detects many insulation voids throughout this upper wall

Thermally scanning an attic detects heat loss from the living area below

The builder disclosed that every wall (in this rehabilitated home) were fully insulated. But...not according to my infrared camera.
wall insulation not complete

There is no perfectly insulated home out there. I will always detect imperfections in a building. I've even detected openings in foam insulation. As tight as you would think foam insulation might be, it's not a perfect insulator, as I will discuss in my next Blog.

If you're interested in scheduling an Infrared scan and you reside in eastern Massachusetts or South Eastern New Hampshire, please contact me at 978-683-4984 to schedule your Infrared (Thermal) Imaging scan of your home.

Massachusetts Infrared (Thermal) Imaging


Popular posts from this blog

Optional Home Inspection Services

  INFRARED (THERMAL) IMAGING This optional service is totally amazing. I basically utilize my infrared camera to detect hidden issues behind the finished surfaces of your building. If there are finished walls or ceilings in the living areas, basement or attic that are situated on the exterior shell of the structure, my IR camera can detect insulation voids or concealed issues that can be revealed without destroying or removing the wall/ceiling material. It’s simply an infrared imaging and measurement camera that can actually "see" and "measure" thermal energy emitted from an object. I can then map out and interpret these thermal readings which can reveal serious issues that cannot be seen by the naked eye or with any conventional or digital photography. Infrared Scanning - $150.00 an hour ($150.00 for a professional IR report )   DRUG TESTING Yes, you are reading this correctly. I can actually test your prospective home for drug residues with


Lead Paint New LEAD LAWS enacted on April 2nd, 2010 All building contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes built before 1978 must now be EPA certified and must follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination throughout your home. Before you hire any building contractor that will be distrurbing suspect lead paint, please have your home professionnally tested for lead paint. If your home  does have positive results of lead paint, your renovation contractor must be LEAD-SAFE Certified before touching anything in those areas that tested Positive. Simply look for the LEAD-SAFE CERTIFIED logo before you hire any renovation contractor ... LEAD - WHAT IS IT Lead has been mined, smelted, and compounded for thousands of years. Lead is a neurotoxin metallic element that was historically used in paints, gasoline and plumbing materials for many years. Lead was easy to work with for a variety of purp

My World Travels

(Click map for larger view)   ARUBA - PHOTO ALBUM Baby Beach California Lighthouse California Dunes Colorado Point Guadirikiri Cave Manchebo Beach Natural Bridge - which is now destroyed Natural Pool Palm Beach San Nicolas Santa Cruz Yamonta Hill   AUSTRALIA Berrima Village and Wildlife - PHOTO ALBUM Koala Encounter - PHOTO ALBUM Sydney - PHOTO ALBUM   BAHAMAS PHOTO ALBUM - 2009 PHOTO ALBUM - 2019 Pig Beach - PHOTO ALBUM Swimming with the Sharks - PHOTO ALBUM Balmoral Island - PHOTO ALBUM Atlantis Compass Cay Exuma Nassau Paradise Island Staniel Cay   BELIZE - PHOTO ALBUM Belize City   BERMUDA PHOTO ALBUM - 2010 PHOTO ALBUM - 2018 Royal Navy Dockyard Church Bay St. George's Hamilton   BORA BORA - PHOTO ALBUM Aqua Safari Helmet Dive - PHOTO ALBUM   BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - PHOTO ALBUM Mostar   BRAZIL - Rio De Janeiro Boating in Brazil - PHOTO ALBUM Carnaval 2017 - PHOTO A


This picture is a perfect example of the problems that are associated with Aluminum wiring. Note letters A and B (the insulation jackets are melted), which I will explain "Why" in the third paragraph and C (mixing copper wiring with aluminum wiring on the same breaker). Aluminum wiring can not be mixed with copper wiring and breakers can not be double tapped with two wires, unless designated by manufacturer and the breaker connnection will contain a special clip for double tapping. Aluminum wiring is very easy to identify due to it's obvious aluminum color. Aluminum wiring is not to be confused with tin coated copper which looks similar to aluminum wiring but aluminum wiring has distinguishing characteristics and is a solid conductor. During the 1970's, aluminum (instead of copper) wiring became quite popular and was extensively used throughout the United States. Since that time, aluminum wiring has been implicated in a number of house fires, which caused jurisdict