What’s in an Infrared Home Inspector’s Toolkit?

Infrared home inspector toolkit via flickrWhether you’re someone who wants to buy a home to live in or a real estate investor, it’s more than likely you have walked through plenty of properties. You may have seen so many homes, you don’t even remember what they look like. When you find one you want to buy, that essential last step – the home inspection – is important if you want an expert’s take on that property’s true condition.

Every great home inspector has the right tools. Here’s what is in my toolkit:

1. Infrared Camera

I use a high-resolution Flir infrared camera. All of the home inspections I perform are enhanced with thermal imaging technology because I believe in the difference it makes. Infrared thermal imaging technology helps me detect hidden problems that simply cannot be found with standard visual inspections.

2. LED Flashlight

Not all of the properties I inspect have the power on, and even when they do my job is to look into those hard-to-reach places in the crawlspaces, attics, basements, and corners to find out what’s in there. These low light spots are also the places where issues like to hide, so I make sure to shine a lot on them. A nice, bright flashlight makes a big difference in every home inspection. I also carry a mirror for getting a view behind things.

3. Moisture Meter

Traditional home inspectors carry these, but there are many conditions that will give a false reading. Metal flashing under a vinyl surface on a wooden deck, for example, will cause the moisture meter to read off the scale. Still, I find it useful as a first line of defense. I back up any moisture issues with infrared photos so we really know what’s going on.

4. Screwdrivers

Plenty of situations require the use of either a flathead or Phillips screwdriver: taking electrical panel covers off, for example. Some traditional home inspectors will use a screwdriver to poke or prod weak spots in a wall, but that can cause damage. I use the infrared camera to see what’s going on with that wall instead.

5. Electrical Circuit Tester

With the power on, this is a good initial check to test the outlets and verify everything is working well. Outlet testers let me know important things like whether the ground wire is connected and lots more. I back up the circuit testing with infrared photos of the electrical panel too because it’s the best indicator of overheating that is not visible to the naked eye and could cause significant problems later.

Lots of Other Tools

Of course, I have plenty of other tools: a ladder, gloves, tape measure, and more too. As an experienced home inspector, I arrive with all of the tools needed to do a full and thorough inspection of your property. When I’m finished, I put together a thorough home inspection report and include the infrared photos that are of concern.

Andrew MacDonald is experienced in infrared home inspections for homeowners and real estate investors across Algonquin, Elgin, Hoffman Estates, and surrounding towns. Give him a call today at 888-852-8298 to schedule your infrared inspection today.