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Thermal Imaging Camera for DIY'er?

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  • Aug 29th, 2018 12:25 am
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Deal Addict
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Dec 10, 2008
4693 posts
1149 upvotes

Thermal Imaging Camera for DIY'er?

I'm in the market for a new home. Home inspections around here are $500/each and usually include some thermal imaging photos. I'd like to buy a thermal imaging camera to do my own "inspections" when I view homes to see if I even want to explore the home further.

What product(s) should I be looking at?
Let's hug it out
9 replies
Deal Addict
Feb 26, 2016
1025 posts
226 upvotes
Vaughan
I'm interest as well. silly question but can thermal cameras check for moisture? i.e. wet wall/ceiling, possible leaks, etc.
Deal Addict
Jun 8, 2004
1479 posts
397 upvotes
Oakville
A thermal camera can detect possible leaks on the principal that wet spots will have a different thermal temperature then dry spots for the same material. You have to be experienced enough to properly interpret what you see on the thermal scans.
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 15, 2007
5115 posts
2531 upvotes
At the rate your going you’re never going to find a place lol
Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again. - Andre Gide
Banned
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May 12, 2004
9759 posts
4113 upvotes
Ottawa
I have a flirone for ios and it works well. Not as feature rich as a $800 flir but does the job. A little slow to start up not sure if that’s normal. If you lived closer i’d lend it to you as i don’t use it very often.
Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it.
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Aug 23, 2004
201 posts
18 upvotes
moisture sensors can be picked up at Princess Auto round these parts. I think I paid 20$ for mine.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
9163 posts
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Paris
I have a Milwaukee one for sale. They aren’t cheap. It was a demo.
Newbie
Oct 15, 2015
15 posts
7 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
If you only want to use it here and there, try to rent one from Sunbelt or similar. If you are going to use one often, make sure it has proper resolution. The basic Flir One is 80 x 60 IR (4800 pixel) resolution which is nothing. I have a nearly 10 year old Flir B300 and it has 76,800 pixels which is still decent by todays standards. Current Flir E8 has similar specs to my old one.

Think about what you will use it for and go from there.
Deal Guru
Mar 22, 2004
13110 posts
3572 upvotes
RFD
RCGA wrote: I'm in the market for a new home. Home inspections around here are $500/each and usually include some thermal imaging photos. I'd like to buy a thermal imaging camera to do my own "inspections" when I view homes to see if I even want to explore the home further.

What product(s) should I be looking at?
So this may help you.

Last year my brother bought a home. First inspection he went with Mike Holmes Inspections. I think it was like $800+ before taxes for the level with thermal imaging camera. Was very thorough and came with a report. Just very expensive. Used the thermal imaging camera in every room. It ended up catching a chunk of water damage in the garage ceiling. The garage was very dark and hard to notice with the available lighting, the thermal image camera picked it up very nicely. Turns out the main floor toilet was leaking water down. Had mould spots upon further inspection. Saved my brother potentially thousands to fix that mess. He passed on that home. The inspection paid off. Only con is that he didn't go on the roof, just looked at it from afar with his camera, that sucked.

Next home my brother wanted inspected, he found a company called Quantum Home Inspections. At the time it was $300 flat rate (cash, no tax) for a home under 2500 sq ft. At first I thought it was too good to be true. Anyway we find out it's actually a one guy operation (nothing wrong with that). I suppose you can consider him a recent graduate (maybe explains the low price), though I recall him saying he's done it for a number of years. Anyway this guy had an even larger thermal imaging camera than the guy with Mike Holmes Inspections. And we asked him to use the thermal imaging camera in every single room, he obliged without any fuss and went with us showing us the image in every room and explaining in the process what it was showing. This guy also didn't go on the roof to inspect, though he had large binoculars and scanned the roof and asked us to look through his binoculars to scan the roof as well. I just checked his website and it appears he increased the price and now charges a flat rate of $350, which I still think is worth it for the thermal image camera alone. P.S. the guy gave us a detailed report and it was the same layout/software Mike Holmes Inspections used.

I have no affiliation with these companies, so you can decide for yourself if its worth a try. IMO it is. $300 cash was an excellent price. Now with the increase to $350, its still pretty good. Check on Homestars for reviews.

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