As a homeowner, ensuring your home’s safety, structural integrity, and efficiency is your number one priority, as it should be.

But do you know the best way to ensure each of these? Home Inspections, yes, but the home inspections become more effective when coupled with thermal imaging inspections.

Thermal imaging inspections are a powerful tool that helps uncover hidden issues that might go unnoticed even during home inspections.

During the process, inspectors use thermal cameras to find issues underlying beneath the surface. The most common issues range from moisture-related concerns to electrical hazards.

In this blog, we will talk about the issues found in the different areas of the home through thermal imaging in home inspection and how it can help make your homeownership experience hassle-free.


Let’s start with the roof first.

Thermal imaging in home inspections plays a vital role in identifying roof issues. Thermal inspections detect issues like moisture infiltration, structural damage, or insulation deficiencies with the temperature differences.

And it’s possible that your home inspector might have missed these issues during the traditional home inspection. Then, how do these appear magically during thermal imaging inspections?

We’d say that it’s not magic. It’s the science behind these.

Areas with moisture retention, such as trapped water, appear cooler or warmer than surrounding dry areas. This makes them easily detectable through temperature differences.

Below is an overview of the major roof issues found by thermal imaging in home inspections.

Moisture Intrusion

This often exists because of leaks in the roof membrane, flashing, or around penetrations like chimneys and vents.

Insulation Deficiencies

This is the second most significant issue found during thermal imaging inspections. These inspections uncover areas of insufficient or missing insulation in the roof. Eventually, this leads to energy loss and temperature differentials, building blocks for finding issues through thermal imaging.

Roof Membrane Damage

Thermal imaging also detects damaged or deteriorated roof membranes like blistered or cracked surfaces.

Structural Issues

Even though each issue is the most important, identifying structural issues in the roof is 3x more important. So, during the inspection, inspectors detected uneven heating patterns caused by sagging or warped roof decking or trusses that highlight structural issues with the roof.


Next up, we have the exterior of your home. Here, thermal imaging is also a powerful tool for detecting issues.

During the process, inspectors capture IR images with thermal imaging cameras – highlighting the underlying issues. The science behind discovering these issues remains the same, but of course, the issues vary.

Below, we discuss some of the major issues found during thermal imaging inspections:

Moisture Intrusion

Again, the very first issue these inspections identify is moisture infiltration. Just like the roofs, these infiltrations can appear in the windows, exterior walls, doors, and other surfaces.

Air Leaks

This one is new…

Thermal imaging in home inspections happens to be handy for pinpointing air leaks around doors, windows, vents, and other openings in the home’s exterior.

What makes these leaks a concern is how they let conditioned air escape and outdoor air enter. This eventually affects energy efficiency and indoor comfort.

Electrical Hotspots

Thermal imaging also helps uncover overheating electrical components like electrical panels, faulty wiring, or outdoor outlets. Identifying these is essential as they pose significant fire hazards, and you must address them ASAP.

Basement, Foundation, Crawlspace and Structure

If in any way you’re now thinking that your home inspections don’t cover each of these areas, then you are wrong. They do. But, with thermal imaging in place, detecting issues in each area becomes easier and more accurate. This means that there will be fewer human errors.

Now, what are the issues inspectors find while inspecting these areas? Below is a breakdown.

Moisture Intrusion

Moisture, moisture, moisture- you can find it everywhere in your home, and moisture is a significant concern in San Diego. Thermal imaging helps identify these issues.

Usually, in your basement, foundation, and crawlspaces, moisture indicates other potential issues like water intrusion, potential leaks, or plumbing issues.

Foundation Cracks

With thermal imaging cameras in place, thermal imaging can also detect temperature variations along the foundation walls. These further indicate the presence of cracks or voids.

These cracks are the red flags that you should definitely avoid or deal with ASAP, as they can compromise your foundation’s structural integrity – leading to settling or seepage.

Insulation Deficiencies

Your home’s insulation could be at stake from the top (the roof) and the bottom (basement or crawlspaces). But don’t worry; you’ve thermal imaging at your service here. It can reveal areas of improper or missing insulation, which can lead to energy loss and temperature differences.

And not to forget, moisture buildup and mold growth can also be the results of poor insulation.

Structural Anomalies

Thermal imaging can also uncover structural defects in your house, such as uneven heating patterns that indicate possible foundation or framing issues. During the process, thermal imaging also identifies areas of thermal bridging, where heat or cold easily transfers through the structure, affecting energy efficiency and comfort.

Pest Infestations

The most unseen and unwanted issue in your house. Don’t get us wrong; we know every issue is unwanted, but this one has no match, and you don’t want these unwanted guests intruding on your property.

And thermal imaging is again to the rescue here. It can detect the heat signatures left behind by pest activities like rodents or termites in the crawlspace or basement. And well, these issues are not only associated with intrusion, but they can also lead to structural damage or costly repairs. So, it’s better to identify these issues early on and not regret them later.

Electrical, Plumbing, and HVAC

These three are the significant areas of your San Diego home covered in a standard home inspection. Thermal imaging also plays Ellis Parker in the home inspection world to detect issues with each of these.

Overheating Wiring

When the wires overheat, thermal imaging detects the abnormal temperature patterns. This, therefore, signals overloaded circuits, faulty wiring, and loose connections, which can pose significant fire hazards.

Faulty Breakers or Fuses

Again, with the advanced technology, thermal imaging indicates potential issues with breakers or fuses. Highlighting these issues is important, as malfunctioning breakers can lead to power outages or electrical fires.

Clogs and Blockages

This one stands out to be the plumbing issue.

During the process, thermal imaging identifies the areas of temperature variation in plumbing lines – potentially indicated blockages or clogs that restrict water flow and lead to backups.

Pipe Condensation

Thermal imaging is also effective in indicating excessive moisture levels or insulation deficiencies.

A tip: Deal with pipe condensation as soon as possible, as it can result in mold growth, corrosion, and water damage.

Heat Loss or Gain

When assessing the HVAC systems, thermal imaging can detect areas of heat loss or gain in HVAC ductwork or insulation, indicating inefficiencies in the heating or cooling system. This can lead to higher energy bills and reduced comfort.

Airflow Restrictions

Thermal imaging can identify blockages or obstructions in HVAC ducts, resulting in uneven heating or cooling distribution throughout the home.

Equipment Malfunctions

Thermal imaging can detect abnormal temperature patterns in HVAC components, such as compressors, coils, or motors, indicating potential malfunctions or failures coming your way.


No wonder thermal imaging is one of the best tools in the home inspection industry. During home inspections, there is obviously a chance of human error. But, with thermal imaging in home inspections, the process becomes more thorough and accurate. Eventually, this leads you to a more peaceful homeownership.

With thermal imaging inspections, you can identify the most frequent (and hidden) issues in your San Diego home. With this advanced technology, inspectors can detect issues with the major areas of your home.

From detecting leaks and electrical faults to identifying insulation deficiencies and HVAC inefficiencies, thermal imaging enables inspectors to uncover hidden problems that may not be visible to the naked eye.

By addressing these issues early on, you can mitigate risks, prevent costly repairs, and ensure your home’s safety, comfort, and efficiency.

But, for effective thermal imaging inspections, you need a proven home inspection company like  Elite Inspections. Our standard inspection covers more than 1800 items in your home. So, make your home inspection process more thorough and contact us now.