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Building Inspections & Thermal Image Reports

Thermal Image Reports in the Building Industry

We at The Studio Practice were introduced to Thermal Imaging 10 years ago on request of a Client that did not trust a building contractors underfloor heating installation and with great time, money and trust saving we could render a thermal imaging report to the need of the client. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thermal image                                                      Visible Light Image

Thermal Imaging use in the Building, Construction Industry is on the rise already since the 1970s when it was first used during the energy crisis when it became important to investigate the performance of the building structure in conserving and keeping heat within the building and to determine a Buildings Energy Ratings (BER). Today with the approval of any building plan's Energy Rating or fenestration needs to be calculated in South Africa.

Infrared thermography is regard as one of the best methods to determine areas of energy loss from buildings.  Thermal Imaging can map the distribution of energy from objects, by detecting the level of radiance emitted from an object. Used in conjunction with other technologies, thermography can identify the conduction and convection losses associated with the building envelope. Other areas of interest are moisture intrusion detection and delamination of facades, roof isolation, unwanted heat or cold, faulty electrical installations.

 

 

 

 

 

Thermal image                                                  Visible Light Image

Faulty breaker on distribution board

 

Although the technology will give a visible indication to the efficiency of the structure, care must be taken as there are numerous conditions that can indicate areas of higher or lower temperature. Depending on the client, the type of inspection and equipment available, the imagery often only indicates that further investigation is required in the areas were anomalies are found.

Other structural investigations are possible including, tunnels, concrete bridge decking, restoration work as well as the mechanical and electrical systems.

 

 

What is the Difference Between a House Inspection and a Strata (Ownership and property status report) Inspection?

If you’re considering purchasing a property, it’s vital that you have proper inspection reports prepared before you actually sign the contract. These reports can help identify problems that can be very expensive for you to fix in the future. The type of report you require would vary based on the type of property you are purchasing.

If you are buying a house you would need a building and pest inspection report. On the other hand if you are investing in a unit, you will require a strata inspection report . These are two very specific types of inspections that examine the different features of these properties and can reveal different types of details. Let’s take a look at what the differences between a house inspection and a strata inspection are:

Building and Pest Inspection

During a house inspection, the building inspector/evaluator will examine a variety of details about the site and the building itself. They will inspect various parts of the property to determine their structural condition and state of repair. Some of the areas the inspector will examine include:

  • Exterior of the structure

  • Roof exterior

  • Interior of the house

  • Roof space

  • Floor covering

  • Storm water run-off

  • Paths and driveways

  • Fencing (walls & electric fencing)

  • Detached structures such as carports, garages and sheds etc.

  • Thermal imaging of Electrical Distribution box 

The inspector will identify all the areas of damage as well as a potential problem features. They will also look out for signs of possible termite presence.  In addition, the inspection report will detail areas that haven’t been inspected and also provide the reasons why they weren’t surveyed.

Make note that a building & pest inspection will not cover certain areas such as:

  • Fireplaces and chimneys

  • Plumbing & gas fittings

  • Electrical wiring

  • Appliances

  • Air-conditioning systems

  • Foundations

These above inspections will be done by Trade Related Experts and Compliance certificates (COC's) will be issued.

Strata inspections

A property inspection involves a different set of criteria than a house inspection. Aside from the physical condition of that unit, the inspector/evaluator will also examine the status (Full Title or Sectional Title), the zoning of the property simultaneous with the content of the Title deed as well as certain aspects of the building if it is within a Home Owners Association or Body Corporate. Some of the details that will be looked at in a strata inspection include:

  • Exterior of the unit

  • Interior of the unit space

  • Status of Thatch roof if applicable

  • Insurance for the building

  • Other special levies

  • Entitlements and voting rights

  • Building reports

  • Major expenditures & proposed major expenditures

  • Whether or not the structure is harmonious

A strata inspection will also look at all the copies of the minutes from meetings such as the owners’ corporation AGM’s etc. A strata inspection report is important because the apartment unit you’re purchasing doesn’t exist in isolation. It’s subject to all the rules & regulations governing the property in which it exists.

While a house inspection report and a strata inspection report examine different details, both of these are crucial for a property buyer. The capital investment you spend on getting these inspections done can provide you peace of mind and save you a significant amount of money in the long term.

If you want to know more about our services here at Inspect contact us through our contact form and we will revert shortly.

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