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Thermal Cameras as a Tool for Building Inspections

Wednesday May 4th, 2022

From damaged insulation to problematic moisture intrusion, there’s a whole host of possible issues happening inside the walls of your building. What’s more, any undetected, persistent problems could be costing you serious cash in the long run. Thankfully, affordable technology is available to help eliminate some of your concerns.

Thermal imaging cameras (sometimes referred to as infrared cameras) can see inside the spaces you can’t, helping detect possible issues before they become full-fledged problems. In this post, TherCam, a leader in thermal imaging solutions, explores how to use infrared cameras as a tool for fast, affordable building inspections.

two men and one woman inspecting a buildings machinery

Why Go Through the Inspection Process?

A commercial building inspection helps determine the condition of a property and estimates the cost required to make the necessary repairs. For owners looking to sell their buildings, know that potential buyers often request an inspection and use it to negotiate a lesser price point or have repairs made before the sale is closed.

While the exact components of an inspection vary among buildings based on size, location, and functionality, nearly all building inspectors will look at:

  • Electrical wiring
  • Mechanical operations
  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Plumbing

Though inspections may seem like an arduous process for building owners, they are essential for ensuring the safety and security of anyone who enters the property. What’s more, regular inspections can alert you to any potential problems or damages inside the building that might otherwise go unchecked for long periods of time. And, when facilities meet inspection standards, owners realize numerous benefits, including:

  • A better understanding of property value
  • Confidence in the quality of all necessary building systems and functions
  • Safety transparency for those living or working in the space
  • The ability to sell at a higher price
  • Time and money saved at the close of sale

Of course, building inspectors aren’t like your family doctor, and calling one in for regular wellness visits isn’t something you’re likely to prioritize. However, with proper thermal imaging technology and an understanding of inspection basics, you can thoroughly check your building for potential problems and address them routinely and simply.

Electrical Inspections

Because thermal cameras read an object's heat signature, they can easily detect any abnormalities that may be occurring with your electrical systems. Electrical hotspots—typically caused by poor connections or overloaded circuits—can quickly lead to massive power outages or, in some extreme cases, explosions.

Regularly scanning outlets, circuit boards, and electrically-dense parts of your building's infrastructure can alert you to any problematic connections that could lead to more significant issues. Properly functioning electricity will have an equal heat distribution among parts, and any significant variations will be relatively easy to spot using thermal cameras.

man working on electricity switch board

Mechanical Inspections

Similar to electrical inspections, using infrared cameras for mechanical inspections can help you quickly identify any issues with your machinery and other equipment. Unlike typical inspections that require each part to be manually assessed, infrared technology can safely scan an entire machine, even during peak operation.


Identifying issues, however, is only half the battle. After confirming a problem is present, engineers and other repair professionals can make the necessary fixes and check their work using thermal cameras. Plus, if you invest in technology that records and stores its findings, you can review past footage if a problem reoccurs to better understand the issue at hand.

Heating and Air Conditioning Inspections

Thermal cameras are a vital tool for finding and fixing issues with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. These systems play a critical role in keeping a steady airflow within a building. Therefore, it’s crucial that you conduct regular maintenance inspections to ensure adequate ventilation and temperature control within your space.

Infrared cameras can help you find a variety of issues within an HVAC system, including:

  • Water leaks
  • Mold formation
  • Electrical and mechanical failures
  • Fluctuations in airflow


Ultimately, addressing these problems upfront can save you money, eliminating the need for more extensive, costly repairs. Additionally, a properly working HVAC system can help you save money on energy bills.

Plumbing Inspections

Infrared technology is essential for a thorough plumbing inspection. It gives you a way to see inside your pipes and quickly locate clogs, leaks, and breakages without having to dig into your walls or flooring. Undetected issues in plumbing can become costly, so regularly checking your pipes with a thermal camera can save you money down the line.

grey pipes

Choose the Best Tech for Your Building Inspection Needs

Whether you’re getting ready to sell your building or are simply hoping to conduct more regular maintenance, investing in a quality thermal imaging camera is critical. Keeping your building functioning at its most optimal level is crucial for ensuring your business runs efficiently, and infrared cameras can help aid in regular, thorough inspections of all systems.

If you’d like to make your inspection process more efficient, visit TherCam’s product page to browse our line of thermal cameras. Alternatively, head to our blog to learn more about the various ways infrared cameras can improve your daily operations.