With all of the ice dam inspections we’ve done, we’ve looked at a ton of leaking houses. For each photo in the series below, we created a duplicate of the original image, then overlaid a thermal image on top of the original. It’s pretty easy to identify the wet areas in the thermal images, but they’re not apparent in the original photos. The homes shown below had roof leaks from ice dams.
If you like these images, you can find more on Reuben’s Blog post about infrared inspections.
Hot Spots In Attics
Warm attics cause snow to melt, which is what causes ice dams. We’ve found an infrared camera to be invaluable while troubleshooting the causes of ice dams.
The photo below shows a warm spot in an attic that we never would have identified without an infrared camera. The culprit was a flush-mounted light fixture with light bulbs that had too high of a wattage. We don’t make a habit of taking apart light fixtures to check the wattage on light bulbs, but we’ll do it if something tips us off.
Uninsulated ductwork in an attic is also a problem; the heat loss is quite obvious with an infrared camera. The photo below came from an attic with an insulation value of R-60. Who would have thought it?
Recessed lights are a huge contributor to warm attics, whether they’re airtight or not.
This is one of the most obvious uses for an infrared camera. The photo below shows an attic access panel that wasn’t properly insulated.
This next image shows an interior wall that was very cold, because there was a missing section of insulation in the attic behind this wall.
The photo below shows the same section of wall, as seen from inside the attic.
In the photo below, there is an obvious cold spot where the insulation was missed or improperly installed.
If a radiator doesn’t heat up properly, it will be quite obvious with an infrared camera. The photo below shows a radiator working properly.
If there are voids or leaks in heating tubes for in-floor, in-wall, or in-ceiling heat, an infrared camera will probably find them. The photo below shows an inconsequential gap in the tubing at this heated ceiling.