infared gun, detector..thing
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Sean



Joined: 27 Dec 2006
Posts: 170
Location: Salem, MA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:38 pm    Post subject: infared gun, detector..thing Reply with quote

I was at an old house in waltham last year when they borrowed, as a trial for purchase consideration, an infared detector used to detect heat loss by insulation companies. While playing around with the device, they figured out that they could actually see the framing inside the walls.

My question is this:
is there a way a homeowner can borrow or rent one of these devices at a price within reason? Or will it come with an insulation guy attatched? I'd love a chance to see the framing in some of my walls and ceilings without having to gut the place to do it. Is this something that will ever happen?

I'll take my answer off the air.

Sean
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Sean



Joined: 27 Dec 2006
Posts: 170
Location: Salem, MA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yikes! Pricy little toys. Have to get together with someone who actually needs to use it.
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Sean



Joined: 27 Dec 2006
Posts: 170
Location: Salem, MA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It just seems like it would be a really fun (non-invasive/destructive) way to poke around houses.
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2990
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the idea of using one from the fire department. They're probably not likely to loan one out to you, but you might get them interested in coming to use it on your building if you have a project to improve the fire safety of your building. For example, determining whether or not your balloon-frame building has fire stops and where they could best be installed.

We have used infra-red cameras to determine framing details. It works best on exterior views in the winter when it's warm inside and cold outside, and best on interior views in the summer when it's cool inside and warm outside.

The "shadows" of the framing are quite distinct if there is no insulation in the wall, but still discernible if there is insulation.

Some less costly "pro-sumer" digital video cameras now have "night vision" feature that uses infra-red sensing. I wonder if that would work. My digital cams have that feature, but I've never used it. I'll try them out and let you know.

Also, I wonder what the cost of the "night vision" equipment for the para-military market is. If you buy there it probably gets you on a big-brother watch list.

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Sean



Joined: 27 Dec 2006
Posts: 170
Location: Salem, MA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to worry.
I think the whole northeast is on the Big Brother Watch List right now.
That would be great if the vid cam infared thing worked. I was under the impresssion, however, that military grade night vision stuff doesn't use infared, but rather magnifies existing ambient light? Something like that might be good for looking up chimneys.

I'm just so intrigued about the possibilities with the infared guns. It might be a good way to sell sceptical homeowners on restoring windows by showing the viny/wood heat loss comparison. Also, for architectural historians, what a fabulous way to examine framing. I think, for the most part, the only time a frame is REALLY visible is during a gut job, demolition, or removal of an old house. Bittersweet, to say the least. Also might be a good way to determine the best places to run wires, piping, heating ducts without trusting a 3 foot long drill bit to miss the vitals.

just rambling

Sean
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sunnyflies



Joined: 16 Feb 2010
Posts: 4
Location: Eastern LI, NY

PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been told that those infared thermometers work well. You simply point them at something in your house that has a steady thermal mass, like a couch, to find the ambient temp, then point it at walls and where the temps drop, there is a lack of insulation. My plumber gave one to a client who was having very high oil bills and the guy was able to locate lots of leaky spots, many were through high hat lighting fixtures.

Black and Decker makes one for about $50 according to an ad I saw, but I have yet to see one in a store. The plumber said his ran about $80, but I don't know what brand it was. I've seen lots of them for sale online, though I haven't gotten one yet.
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2990
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The infra-red thermometers are very effective for measuring the temperature of surfaces at specific points or spots, but they do not automatically build an image of the entire surface.
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sunnyflies



Joined: 16 Feb 2010
Posts: 4
Location: Eastern LI, NY

PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course, you are right, but I believe they might be helpful to locate spots that need attending to, if an infared camera is not available. And, unfortunately, I have not been able to find anyone with an infared camera in my area.

I've been thinking of getting a thermometer after my plumber recommended it because my 170 year old house probably has areas with no insulation or where insulation has settled considerably since the former owners had rockwool blown in over thirty years ago.

Rodents have certainly pulled some out as I sometimes find it piled on the ground outside (haven't found a reliable way to keep them out) and when we have occassionally opened a wall we could see that it no longer reached the top. We reinsulated as best we could by carefully removing a few laths and tucking fiberglass into the empty space before tacking back the laths and covering the wall again.

Plus, when it blows sharply from the northeast, we have some serious drafts coming in from under the baseboard trim. I'd love to find out where they are coming from.
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renaissance restorations



Joined: 15 Feb 2009
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Last edited by renaissance restorations on Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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sunnyflies



Joined: 16 Feb 2010
Posts: 4
Location: Eastern LI, NY

PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, you may be right. We moved this house many years ago and put it on a block foundation. I can't see any obvious gaps, but there might be some.

I have actually put my hand underneath the skirt next to the foundation and felt what seemed like an updraft. I have thought of using foam, but have been concerned about causing moisture problems.

I bought "Great Stuff" after reading about it, but have yet to use it. Is it low or high expanding?

I'd like to close the gaps underneath/behind the skirt that bands the house just below the shingles, somehow, because that's where the mice are getting in. I've been thinking of stuffing stainless steel wool or some sort of wire up there to keep them out as they won't be able to chew through it.
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dtotzz



Joined: 04 Mar 2020
Posts: 6
Location: Newmarket, NH

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little late to the party, but in case anyone else stumbles across this post, these cameras are still very expensive, but Flir makes one for cell phones that is $200.

https://www.flir.com/products/flir-one-gen-3/?model=435-0004-02
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