Infrared Building Inspections Ltd t/a Detect-A-Leak

Phone: 0800 DETECT (338328)

Mobile: John 0274 338 328


There Are Many Different Types Of Building Inspections

Pre-purchase Building Inspection

There are a number of Pre-purchase type building or home inspections that you should consider when purchasing a home. The main three are; Maintenance Building Inspection, Infrared Moisture Inspection, Valuation Inspection. All these inspections are often generally referred to as a Building Inspection. Other types of inspections can be required to, particularly if there are any concerns due to the age of the building or from the results of the building inspection report. These can often require further inspection from a qualified Plumber, Electrician, Structural Engineer, Builder or Invasive Building Surveyor.

Building Inspection, originally called a Structural Inspection or more commonly now called (Maintenance Inspection), as most inspectors are not suitably qualified to comment on structural issues. Sometimes these inspections include moisture testing but normally on a limited level only and would not be considered a full moisture test. Detect-A-Leak does not conduct a Structural Inspection, but often a lot of moisture issues are maintenance related and therefore moisture related maintenance issues will be checked and included in our reports.

Building Moisture Inspection - Thermal Imaging Inspection - Infrared Moisture Inspection: As moisture and related issues are such a big concern and problem in New Zealand this type of inspection is very important. Particularly if the home in question is built prior to 2005 we would recommend our inspection is completed prior to any other inspection as we often find significant moisture issues that can make completing the sale undesirable. All homes even brand new can leak if not correctly detailed and yes we are still building leaky buildings. Detect-A-Leak reports are comprehensive having both digital and thermal images along with a number of photos of the moisture levels taken at the time of the inspection. With our Pre-purchase Infrared Moisture Inspections we also inspect the exterior envelope for moisture concerns, moisture related issues and take digital photos of moisture readings for the report. IR photos can be taken of selected exterior locations if required or a IR Cladding Inspection can be added if you want additional exterior IR images. Having an IR camera as a tool to help find moisture issues is a big advantage over just using a moisture meter as the thermal images can make the moisture visible. Moisture meters only give readings on the small spot it is contacting. We sometimes have to view the anomaly through the IR camera to get the moisture meter reading at the right location. Anyone that tells you that there is no advantage in using an Infrared Camera to find moisture or that it doesn't work (as some companies advise) have not seen the results of our inspections, probably don't know or understand the technology or simply can't afford to buy an Infrared Camera.

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Cladding Thermal Imaging Moisture Inspection

Using Infrared Cameras for Cladding Inspections is a great way to show where the problem areas are likely to be within the Thermal Image or to give additional evidence to a suspected issue. Nail fixings and the framing are often visible in the images. At Detect-A-Leak we prefer to add the cladding inspection to one of our selected moisture or insulation inspections in order to get a more informed picture of what the images are showing. The additional exterior images taken are added to the report and often mirror an anomaly image taken on the inside when there is confirmed moisture. We are happy to discuss our reasoning for this.

See more about the different types of cladding.

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Health Check Infrared Moisture Detection

Have you wondered or are you worried that your home could be leaking? Then a Health Check Moisture Inspection is for you. We will conduct a full Moisture Inspection of the home. We will inspect the exterior envelope for moisture concerns, moisture related issues and take digital photos for the report. IR photos can be taken of selected exterior locations if required. Then we will conduct a full internal moisture test taking both infrared and digital photos for the report. This can be a bit like going to the dentist where it gets put off for fear of the outcome, but as we know if you need a filling and you do nothing about it the problem just gets bigger. The same applies with moisture issues; they will generally only get worse over time. So the sooner the issue is sorted the less it should cost and the better you will sleep at night. The great thing about the technology we use is early detection. Most of the issues we find that are not visible often haven't caused much damage because they are detected at an earlier stage not unlike a dentist taking an x-ray can detect a filling before you do.

Pre-sale Building Inspection

A Pre-sale Infrared Moisture Inspection is often conducted on homes built prior to 2005 to help the vendor and aid the real estate agent to sell a home that may otherwise be difficult to sell because of moisture concerns. Due to the age and type of building materials or practices used at the time the home was built a lot of homes are considered a high risk of having moisture problems or leaky building syndrome. Buyers are now much more informed about leaky building issues, sometimes moisture reports are required for the bank (see bank inspections below) and therefore want them moisture tested. When we conduct a pre-sale inspection we concentrate on moisture testing the exterior facing interior walls from within the home and around wet areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. The reports are comprehensive having both digital and thermal images along with photos of the moisture levels at the time of the inspection, giving the prospective buyer the confidence that the home has been properly moisture tested.

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Weathertightness Survey

A Weathertightness Inspection is often generalised as a Moisture Inspection. There are specific courses to become a Certified Weathertightness Surveyor I have found most are heavily focused on invasive testing, compliance with the building code, weathertight claims and remediation work and can be quite costly. If you are wishing to register a leaky home and make a weathertight claim then you need to use a Certified Weathertightness Surveyor. Consequently this type of testing can be quite expensive and not that practical for Pre-purchase or general Moisture Inspections. Most weathertight surveyors don't use thermal imaging and non-invasive testing is generally a smaller part of there business. Our method of testing concentrates on non-invasive testing only and is less involved by comparison. Detect-A-Leak is often recommended by Weathertightness Surveyors for an initial Moisture Inspection and we often recommend them if invasive testing needs to be conducted or for larger remediation work or leaky building claims are involved.

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Bank Requested Moisture Inspection

Banks are now requiring Infrared Moisture Inspections or Weathertight Inspections prior to approving or renewing existing mortgages. They have a national register that they search when you take out or renew your mortgage. Generally when a weathertight or weathertightness assessment is requested by a bank a non invasive infrared moisture inspection is also acceptable. The moisture inspection reports with the addition of the Infrared images are considered by many as the preferred option. Often after the bank has seen Infrared or Thermal Imaging Inspection Reports they will start requesting them. I would be happy to clarify this directly with your bank if need be, as I have given a number of educational talks to bank staff and regularly send them reports. Detect-A-Leak moisture requested reports have been accepted by every bank they have been presented to. If the bank has requested the report we need to also do a full cladding inspection for them.

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Pre Auction Inspection

Are you looking for a home that is going to auction and don't want the extra expense of paying for a building report on top of the inspection cost? We can offer three options for you.

Option one: We will do our normal inspection and give the information verbally but not document or take photos. This can half the time onsite and greatly reduce the cost. This is a cost driven inspection but as in today's market there are so many buyers at auction you won't always get the home you've spent money on doing pre auction inspections resulting in some customers needing to get more than one home moisture tested. There is a risk that you won't remember all the info and there is a lot of additional information that you will be missing out on if you don't get the report. The disadvantage with this inspection is if you decide later you want the report the inspection would need to be done again.

Option two: We will do our normal inspection, give the information verbally but also document and take photos so that the report can be done at a later date if you are successful at action or want the report to help negotiate a better buying price. There is a risk that you won't remember all the info and there is a lot of additional information that you will be missing out on if you don't get the report.

Option three: We will do our normal inspection, document and take photos so that the report can be written up prior to auction so that you are fully informed and prepared for the auction. This is the more expensive option but it should be remembered a lot of homes that have moisture issues are being sold through auctions.

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Targeted Leak Investigation

Do you have a leak and can't work out where it's coming from or have a strange smell or feeling of cold or dampness and don't want the whole building tested? We can come out perform a Target Moisture Inspection, use our moisture testing equipment and knowledge to help solve you moisture issue. These inspections are charged on an hourly rate with a minimum 1 hour charge. Are you tired or ringing a tradesman and not having him want to do the job or turn up because you don't know what needs repairing then give us a call? 0800 338-328

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Invasive Moisture Testing

Has someone suggested you need Invasive Moisture Testing? There is no longer a requirement for primary invasive testing you should start with a non-invasive test. Non Invasive Moisture Testing using Thermal Imaging when conducted properly can be a very accurate way to moisture test a building without cutting holes. Thermal imaging can detect where the issues are likely to be and non invasive moisture meters can be quite accurate at confirming moisture also. Once areas have been confirmed as wet the problem areas and other suspect areas can be targeted directly. Although the methodology can't be expected to find every issue and areas that have been previously repaired and dried out may not be detectable. Often a number of areas that were thought to be okay are found to have moisture issues, ensuring these areas are further investigated as required.

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Post Repair IR Audits

Leak into ceiling Gutter repair

Before timber fascia leak.

After new metal flashing.

Before sealant flashing leak.

After new plastic flashing.

It is essential that once repairs are completed they are successful and what better way to check this than with an independent Infrared Target Scan. Once repairs are completed we can come back and check the repaired areas to ensure there are no further issues and the area has been dried out properly. Sometimes as with water leaks it may be necessary to do a moisture test during the repair process in order to ensure areas are dry enough for work to continue.

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