This made me laugh.  Today I was speaking with a pest inspector who was not aware that I had some background knowledge of infrared thermal imaging.  And this is just an indication of the deceit that is perpetrated upon the uninformed.  Perhaps he thought he had to impress me by being Superman!

The family home or any investment property purchase is undertaken at huge expense and any reasonable person would want to protect that investment. So it is only natural that they would employ the services of a professional inspector to help them with that by doing what they cannot adequately do themselves.  It is recommended that even if there is termite control works installed on the property, this is definitely the best assurance that you are doing the best for the building but it is by no means perfect and anything can fail. Because of this, as I understand it, this type of installation is no longer legally referred to as a “barrier” but ‘works’, or ‘application’, or ‘installation’, etc. and if an installation does fail (and there are numerous reasons why one may) it can cost multiple thousands of dollars to repair any termite damage sustained.  Therefore it is always highly recommend (imperative, really) that a regular annual inspection is carried out for wood destroying pests, i.e. termite, borer and fungi-rot.

Anyway, I digress.  The inspector I was talking on the phone with thought he had a woman with no knowledge on the subject, so when I asked him to describe how he carried out his inspection he told me he does thermal imaging which is the same as X-ray. I asked him to clarify that again “Are you saying that thermal imaging is the same as X-ray vision?” I said. “Yes”, he replied, “I can see through walls!” “Are you serious?” I asked. “Yes”, he responded. Wow, this really took my breath away.

X-ray could probably see through walls (don’t really know, never tried it), but I KNOW infrared thermal imaging is not the same as X-ray. Thermal Imaging is like a heat detector and will detect the difference of temperature between materials.  For instance, if there is moisture on a Gyprock wall that even the naked eye cannot detect, the thermal imaging camera can detect moisture and can give a reading to show that there is a difference in temperature because part of the wall is cooler and part of the wall is warmer. It is a very valuable tool in that when it detects differences in temperature it can create suspicion that there may be something more to be inspected at a deeper level.

To suggest that a thermal imaging camera is the same as X-ray vision is, in my opinion, deceitful as it gives a client a false sense of security and is blatantly not true anyway. It is not expected that the general public who want the best inspection and protection for their home should know all the ins and outs of the equipment used by the professional.  Engaging an inspector to do this work is a matter of trust.

With the knowledge I already had, I knew I would not trust this man. If he would try to deceive me in this area, how could I trust him on his word.  No. He blew it for me, I would not employ someone like that.

So next time someone talks to you about thermal imaging, listen to their language because it is by their language they are trying to win your trust and without the above knowledge you may well be lulled into thinking that this person is trustworthy when they may not be.  By the way, anyone of us can purchase an infrared thermal imaging camera and there are many different types and prices, and calibrations. Make sure the person who is carrying out thermal imaging for you is a Certified Thermographer!

Chris  (Oh… and I think he said his name was Chris too!)  Every day is interesting!!

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