Texas home inspectors are required to visually inspect accessible systems and components inside and outside the home. But what about the parts of a home you want to buy that aren’t “accessible”? Inside the walls? Under the flooring? Or in those tiny crawl spaces and attic eaves? There are two tools a quality home inspector will offer to ensure you get the most thorough home inspection possible.

Why You Need Thermal Imaging During Your Home Inspection

You can’t fix what you can’t see. A thermal imaging camera (also commonly called an infrared — or IR — camera) is a type of thermographic camera that allows firefighters to see areas of heat through smoke, darkness, or heat-permeable barriers, helping them keep small fires from becoming large ones. It’s also a fairly new and very effective tool for home inspectors.

Thermal imaging cameras enable your home inspector to detect electrical problems — like hot breakers, hot wires, and hot appliance connections – to uncover unseen issues before they become critical. They can also help him identify excess moisture in a home — moisture that can lead to damage and serve as a warm, happy place for harmful mold growth.

While thermal imaging cameras can’t see everything inside walls and other inaccessible areas, in the hands of an experienced technician, they help inspectors find defects that could otherwise go undetected during a home inspection — issues that can be very costly to fix if you don’t find them until after closing. At Stonebriar Property Inspections, we use our thermal imaging camera every week. We’ve discovered mold propagation, water intrusion, missing insulation, hot breakers, hot wires, and hot appliance connections. In some cases, we’ve also found framing defects and termite damage using this tool. Thermal imaging may not detect every hidden hazard, but it can give you peace of mind during what can be a stressful process.

Why You Need ZIPLEVEL Measurements, Particularly in North Texas

Most of the homes in North Texas are built on soils that can expand and contract up to 400 percent, creating differential movement accompanied by cracking and separation throughout a home. Sometimes, this movement can be mitigated through moisture management. Other times, it has a deeper, hidden cause — foundation issues that may require costly structural work to remedy. And because it’s easy for home sellers to cover up the cosmetic damage foundation issues cause (drywall mud and a bit of paint, please), they can be difficult to spot during a home inspection. Unfortunately, finding foundation defects after closing is one of the most expensive problems a homebuyer can experience. With a ZIPLEVEL, however, your home inspector can help.

ZIPLEVEL is the tool professional engineers use to measure elevations. And it’s a tool Stonebriar Property Inspections uses regularly here in North Texas. We take 40 to 60 foundation elevation measures between the garage and the main foundation, which tells you two things: how level the foundation is and if it’s within acceptable tolerances. It also provides you with benchmarks, so when a friendly foundation repair company tries to convince you that you need expensive foundation repairs, you can compare his measurements to your benchmarks to see if any real movement has occurred. You’ll either save thousands or know he’s telling you the truth. Either way, you can move forward with confidence.

Thermal imaging and ZIPLEVEL measurements are added services that will normally raise the cost of a home inspection slightly, but the peace of mind these two effective tools can provide are worth a lot, given the large investment you’re about to make. To learn more about them, please call or text 214-923-7304 or email [email protected].

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

About Our Licensed Dallas Home Inspections

At Stonebriar Property Inspections, Dallas home inspector Keith Boggs proudly provides quality home inspections throughout North Texas seven days a week, including evenings and weekends. Contact him at (214) 923-7304 or [email protected]

  • Licensed and insured – Texas Real Estate Commission license #9867; TDA licensed termite technician # 0572333, Certified Termite & Pest Control – TPCL# 3825A
  • Rated an A+ with the Dallas Better Business Bureau
  • 5 out of 5 stars on 99% of customer reviews
  • The most comprehensive home inspections available
  • Friendly, down-to-earth service from someone you can trust

In the end, you will feel prepared and not scared.