When it comes to purchasing a new home, having a professional inspection done is a must. Traditionally, this has involved an inspector walking through the property and making notes by hand.
However, technology has revolutionized how home inspections are conducted in recent years. With the advent of new tools and gadgets, inspectors can now identify issues that may have gone unnoticed before, increasing accuracy and efficiency while improving safety for inspectors and homeowners.
The Benefits of Technology in Home Inspections
The benefits of technology in home inspections are numerous. First and foremost, it allows for increased accuracy and efficiency during the inspection process. Inspectors can now use specialized tools like thermal imaging cameras to detect leaks and energy loss, moisture meters to detect water damage and smart home devices that can be used to monitor systems remotely.
This increased accuracy means inspectors can identify issues that may have gone unnoticed. This is particularly important regarding safety concerns such as faulty wiring or gas leaks. With the help of technology, inspectors are better equipped to keep homeowners safe by identifying potential hazards.
In addition to increased accuracy, technology improves safety for inspectors and homeowners. For example, drones can be used for roof inspections, eliminating the need for inspectors to climb up on ladders or walk across steep roofs. Thermal imaging cameras can also be used from a safe distance to identify areas of heat loss without requiring an inspector to touch anything physically.
Examples of Technology Used in Home Inspections
There are numerous examples of technology that are used in home inspections today. Here are just a few:
Inspection Report Writing Software Apps: These apps allow inspectors to write reports quickly and easily without manually typing out notes on paper. Using a smartphone, an inspector can make inspection notes and snap a picture of the defect.
Certified Master Inspector Hubert Miles states that Software like Spectroa allows inspection reports to reside online and include videos of issues that would otherwise be difficult to photo or explain verbally. Spectora (and similar programs) can manage every aspect of the home inspector’s business, provide home inspection cost quotes, and even schedule inspections with clients online.
Thermal Imaging Cameras: These cameras use infrared technology to detect areas of heat loss, which can indicate issues like poor insulation or air leaks. They can also be used to detect water damage and identify areas of insect infestation.
Inspection Drones: These unmanned aircraft can provide aerial footage of home exteriors, such as roofs, chimneys, and siding. This eliminates the need for inspectors to climb ladders or walk across steep roofs.
Other wheeled drones are also being used to access crawl spaces that would otherwise be considered inaccessible.
Moisture Meters: These handheld devices can detect the presence of moisture in walls, floors, and ceilings, allowing inspectors to identify potential water damage. The Flir MR160 moisture meter with a low-resolution infrared camera. For a higher-resolution image, try the Flir MR265
Smart Home Devices: Inspectors can now use smart home devices like thermostats and smoke detectors to monitor systems remotely and identify potential issues before they become major problems.
Electrical Testers: These devices allow inspectors to test electrical outlets and wiring for safety hazards like faulty or overloaded circuits.
Radon Detectors: These specialized devices can detect radon gas, a dangerous carcinogen that can seep into homes from the ground below.
Potential Drawbacks of Using Technology in Home Inspections
While there are many benefits to using technology in home inspections, there are also potential drawbacks that should be considered. Here are some of the most common concerns related to using technology in home inspections:
Cost: Some of the more advanced technologies used in home inspections can be expensive, which may increase the home inspection cost for buyers.
Reliance on Technology: While technology can provide valuable insights, it is important not to rely too heavily on it. Inspectors should still use traditional methods and their own expertise to assess a property.
Data Protection: Technology can also leave home inspection data vulnerable to hacking and other cyberattacks. Inspectors should use secure systems to protect private data from unauthorized access.
Technical Difficulties: Like any technology, devices used in home inspections can malfunction or experience technical difficulties, which could lead to inaccurate results or delays in completing an inspection.
Lack of Standardization: There is currently no standardization for the use of technology in home inspections, which means that inspectors may have different training or experience with certain technologies.
Privacy Concerns: Some technologies used in home inspections, such as drones or 3D scanners, may raise privacy concerns for homeowners who do not want their property photographed or scanned without their consent.
False Sense of Security: While technology can provide valuable data about a property’s condition, it cannot guarantee that all issues have been identified. Buyers should still cautiously approach purchases and consider hiring additional experts if necessary.
In conclusion, technology has significantly impacted the field of home inspections. From thermal cameras and moisture meters to drones and 3D scanners, these tools have made it easier for inspectors to identify potential issues with a property and provide more accurate assessments to buyers.
However, it is important to recognize that technology does not replace traditional inspection methods or human expertise. Inspectors should still use their knowledge and experience in conjunction with these devices to identify all potential issues.
Additionally, there are potential drawbacks to using technology in home inspections, such as increased costs, technical difficulties, and privacy concerns. Buyers should know these limitations before relying solely on technology during the inspection.
Technology has revolutionized home inspections by providing new insights into a property’s condition. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect even more advanced tools and techniques to emerge that will further improve the accuracy and efficiency of home inspections.