What many people do not realise is that on a typical brick veneer house, the external walls do not provide structural support to your house. The brickwork could be removed and your house would remain standing. It is in fact the internal timber frame that provides the structural integrity for your house. Subsequently evaluating these walls during the course of an inspection is very important. So how do you evaluate these supporting wall structures when concealed by internal linings? Will Thermal Image Cameras do the job needed?
A building inspector is never going to be able to give a guarantee that there are absolutely no potential faults lurking within a concealed wall or ceiling cavity, however an experienced building inspector can often see the tell tale signs that may allude to possible faults concealed by the linings. Moisture detection meters and thermal cameras can also provide some benefit in evaluating potential faults concealed by internal linings. Action Property Inspections utilise the latest thermal image technology and moisture detection equipment on every inspection we undertake and it has proven beneficial, however it does have its limitations.
Some Brisbane Building and Pest Inspection companies claim that their thermal image cameras are so advanced that they have almost x-ray like qualities providing them with an unsurpassed means of detecting faults potentially lurking within your walls. What a load of rubbish. Whilst the thermal image cameras are certainly beneficial and provide a secondary means of diagnostic evaluation they are not a guaranteed method of detecting faults concealed behind linings. Various factors such as weather conditions and the reflective nature of the item being evaluated can impact on the effectiveness of a thermal camera.
My advice is to be very wary of any company you engage to undertake your Building or Pest Inspection that claim their thermal image cameras are guaranteed to expose faults lurking within your wall or ceiling voids. Whilst I am a fan of thermal camera technology, it is not foolproof.