An Infrared camera or Thermal Imaging camera allows infrared radiation to be seen and displays this information as gradient colors on the display screen. Being certified in Infrared technology, I use this information to look for anomalies or deficiencies in the images presented.
When using an Iron Contrast setting (as seen on the images on this page), cooler temperatures are represented in darker colors (blues and purples), while warmer temperatures are represented in the brighter colors (yellows and oranges). The differences in these temperatures is called the Delta-T.
Thermal imaging is invaluable for detecting potential moisture issues. When moisture is present in a material or surface, it is constantly evaporating. This process of cooling during evaporation (when liquid is converted to a gas), is called evaporative cooling. An infrared camera is so sensitive that it can pick up the Delta-T or temperature differential from this process taking place, and alerts me to the potential of possible moisture. This is then verified with a moisture meter to get an exact reading of the moisture content.
On the other end of the spectrum an Infrared camera is great for finding electrical deficiencies that can not be seen with the naked eye. Undertorqued lugs and terminals in electrical panels can allow conductors to overheat, without an Infrared camera this would go unnoticed.
During a home inspection a limited scan of the home is conducted, focusing on walls below grade, looking for moisture intrusion. As well as a scan of the electrical panel looking for overheated components. Infrared photos of these areas are included in the inspection report.
A Full thermal imaging inspection of the home is available for an additional fee, if desired. A Full Thermal imaging inspection can find missing insulation in walls, energy loss around doors and windows, overheated branch wiring, etc.