What I'm Seeing Now

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Busted!

Early last winter a client called me to do a thermal image on her bedroom cathedral ceiling.  It seems the room was really hot in summer and really cold in winter.

While it is hard to align thermal images, this is both sides of the cathedral ceiling at one end of the bedroom. 

The other side looks pretty similar.

For the purposes of this blog, cooler temperatures appear as lavender, blue and purple.  Warmer temperatures appear as orange and yellow.

I can select from many palettes, and I choose this one because it seems to be logical for me to not only understand, but use to instruct.

The problems you see in these images weren't the only problems we found, but these are common.

One of the most common complaints from people who live in houses with cathedral ceilings, particularly when they are on the upper level of a multi-level house, are temperature swings summer and winter. 

Often the multi-story houses suffer from stratification, where one level is dramatically warmer than the other(s) all year.

With my report and various images, my client hired an insulation contractor to come solve the problems.  That was the point after all!

She called me back, suspicious, because in her bedroom she felt little, if any, change.

She is not far away, so I just popped over there - no charge.  For this call, I was a friend and not an inspector.  My payment is usually a sweet hug, or cookies!

This is one example of what I found!

Compare this image to the one on the right above.  We have a near mirror image!  What was cold is now hot!  And the same duck pattern is in the image!

The duck pattern matches exactly!

BUSTED!

The contractor did nothing.  Nothing that I could see anyway.

My client was grateful and, um, let's just say, FULL OF PURPOSE!

To quote B.A. from "The A Team" (80s TV show) - "I pity the fool!"

My recommendation:  the mental paradigm has not shifted yet such that the public, and even the Realtor world, understands the value of thermal imaging.  For years I have said that all home inspections would soon come with thermal imaging as an expected part of the inspection.  AND FOR YEARS I HAVE BEEN WRONG!  But, nonetheless, when you have a problem, call a thermographer!  And, again, as always, you'll find we are all really cute.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 26 commentsJay Markanich • May 28 2012 04:43AM

Comments

Hey Jay... who did she call to get the duck out of her attic? :-)

Have a Happy Holiday today!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 6 years ago

Some daffy guy Fred, no doubt.  When she saw that mirror image I had to duck!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

This thermal camera of yours is pretty nifty! Providing an education and a public service at the same time!

Posted by Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl, The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate (Samsel & Associates) over 6 years ago

W&J - I have had it for about 9 years and find it to be the sharpest arrow in my quiver!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Hi Jay,

Good find. Without the use of the "Thermal imaging" you would have never found this by a visual inspection.

You earned your worth on that inspection.

have a good day off today and enjoy some Parades as well.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 6 years ago

Thanks Clint.  I think the only parade I will see today is the one that goes back and forth in my back yard.  I will be following a float on wheels as it rumbles along cutting my grass.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

How dumb. Didn't the contractor think if you found it once, you would find it again. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 6 years ago

Maybe she didn't show him the images to let him know what she knew Jim.  I don't know.  But I pity the fool...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Jay, Things are about to get ugly really fast for some contractor.  Wonder if she'll keep it to just him, or file a complaint with the state?

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 6 years ago

nice post.. if we are going to pay the contractor, um, we should expect some if not all the work to be done!

Posted by Mark Loewenberg, KW 561-214-0370 (KW of the Palm Beaches) over 6 years ago

Jay, That is a great story. You are the best. Do you travel out of state to do inspections? I could use you here at the NC coast from time to time.

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) over 6 years ago

No know Bliz!  I suspect the contractor will be coming back soon.

That is why we hire people Mark!  And this guy was supposedly a specialist.

Thank you Tom.  I have a son at LeJeune and he owns a house in Wrightsville.  That's on the coast, right?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Jay - Both you and your camera are pretty cool. A thorough inspection is just that and should provide the information necessary for a buyer to make an "informed" decision. Judging from you posts, I'd say you are about as thorough as one can be. Hope you and yours had a great weekend.

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) over 6 years ago

As the prices of IR cameras keep dropping, we're getting closer and closer to this becoming standard on home inspections.  Maybe in ten years?

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) over 6 years ago

Jay, Wrightsville Beach is a suburb of Wilmington NC. It is a beautiful beach with some of the most expensive property on the East Coast.  I live about 2 hours north at Atlantic Beach. I am about an hour from the main gate at LeJeune. If you ever come to see your son I would love to get together with you.

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) over 6 years ago

Some contractor! She must not have been home when he "did the work" or she might have noticed that he didn't bring in any materials.

I hope she maks him pay - and gives him plenty of that good old "word of mouth advertising" we all value so much.

Thanks for another great post - I always enjoy seeing what your fancy camera can do.

Posted by Marte Cliff, your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 6 years ago

Thanks John for your kind words.  I worked in the yard and garden all day, and primed spots on my house.  It was hot!  The camera is part art, and part science.  And thermographers are all cute.

Don't know Reubs!  I have been wrong on that count for a long, long time!

Thank you Tom.  I will let you know.  They don't allow me there much, but if I go I would probably just stay in his house.  He rents the rooms out to other Marines.  So there may not be room!

Marte - with the internet these days, there are lots of things consumers can do I think.  Whether she was home or not, this is an older lady and surely would not go up to the attic to check things out.  That's why she called me!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

you would think in this sometimes tundra area of the country, this would be a normal inclusion in our inspections...not...and that is unfortunate !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 6 years ago

They are getting cheaper S&D, but still, compared to most home inspection tools, are very expensive.  And the training is expensive too.  And the liability while one is learning to use these things.  But still, I am glad to have mine and for what it can do for my clients.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Jay, every time I have seen thermal imaging of a property, we have learned things we wouldn't have learned otherwise.  It is a great tool.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 6 years ago

Jay -- any idea what is causing the duck image in the picture?

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 6 years ago

That has been my experience too Chris.  And when the images look like ducks it is even more fun!

Steven - that's the pattern of insulation falling away, or improperly attached, to the attic side of that wall.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Jay,

Don't that make you just shake your head.

I hate when people do that sort of stuff.  If you are going to do a job , then do it and do it right!

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

I expect this guy will be getting a phone call, or more, Don!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Jay - It is amazing that other professionals don't use infrared. Guess they feel its not worth the investment.

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) over 6 years ago

I agree Eric.  Then there are those that think that everything brings liability.  Liability is the last thing I am thinking when I'm using it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

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