About Thermography

Hugh Johnson Building Inspector & Level 1 Certified Thermographer

Key West, FL

About Infrared Thermography

Thermography is the use of an infrared imaging and measurement camera to “see” and “measure” thermal energy emitted from an object. Thermal, or infrared energy, is light that is not visible because its wavelength is too long to be detected by the human eye; it’s the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we perceive as heat. Unlike visible light, in the infrared world, everything with a temperature above absolute zero emits heat. Even very cold objects, like ice cubes, emit infrared. The higher the object’s temperature, the greater the IR radiation emitted. Infrared allows us to see what our eyes cannot. Infrared thermography cameras produce images of invisible infrared or “heat” radiation and provide precise non-contact temperature measurement capabilities. Nearly everything gets hot before it fails, making infrared cameras extremely cost-effective, valuable diagnostic tools in many diverse applications. And as industry strives to improve manufacturing efficiencies, manage energy, improve product quality, and enhance worker safety, new applications for infrared cameras continually emerge.

The technology has real implications for how real estate home inspections will be conducted. The industry is slowly being transformed from a “visual” inspection service to a “technology” powered service that can satisfy even the most robust seller and buyer questions. The implications are so great that the perception that home inspectors can “kill” a deal will be thing of the past because with technology answers can be provided quickly, non-destructively (no tearing into walls), and in budget (hundreds of dollars versus thousands).


Fear of the unknown is one of the biggest deal killers. It is not the methodology or the information that scares the buyer; it is the fear of what lies beneath the surface.

Infrared can provide more information which can help buyers and sellers to negotiate a resolution, if any problems are detected, rather than deciding to part ways.

For example, a buyer notices a musty smell in one of the rooms but otherwise is in love with the home, their valid concern is that there may be a mold problem in that room. Before infrared technology, the buyer would pay for multiple inspections(general home inspector, mold inspection and testing, leak detection specialist), possibly removal of drywall, or other destructive style testing to get meaningful answers. After infrared technology, they make one phone call to a full service home inspection firm powered by infrared technology and for less than 4 hours of inspection time and $500.00, you get some real answers – that is the power of technology!