Inspecting for Moisture Intrusion
Detecting moisture intrusion problems is an excellent application for thermal imaging or infrared (IR) cameras. Moisture intrusion may be identified through basic visual inspection if it has lead to obvious defects, such as staining or mold growth. By the time visible evidence has presented itself, however, significant damage may have already been done. In many cases, moisture or water intrusion may have been developing for a while before obvious signs become apparent. By employing thermal imaging and a moisture meter, inspectors can locate moisture issues before they become large problems and lead to serious damage, as well as gather details in cases where moisture intrusion has already become obvious.
Important Areas to Check
When inspecting for moisture intrusion, there are many areas that may be more obvious than others to search, such as below-grade window wells and basement walls. It can be helpful to consider several areas that may be at risk so that a thorough inspection can be conducted without overlooking less-obvious areas.
Thermal imaging can be employed effectively to find moisture:
- in the kitchen around the sink, under the dishwasher, behind the ref rigerator, and under the cooking range, as well as around vents and exhaust fans;
- in bathrooms around plumbing fixtures and outlets, shower and bathtub enclosures, fixtures and vents, the toilet and bidet, and windows;
- the HVAC system;
- the water heater;
- in the attic, including roof pass-throughs and penetrations, connecting walls, vents and fans, and recessed lights;
- in the basement, including walls, ductwork and crawlspaces;
- in the laundry area around the washer and dryer hookups, drip pans and exhaust vents, as well as utility sinks.
Consumers should always seek inspectors who are Infrared Certified.