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What’s Behind Your Walls?

What's Behind Your Walls
What's Behind Your Walls

Have you ever wondered what’s behind your walls? When people build new homes or have major renovations, they glimpse what goes on behind the sheetrock. Once the drywall goes up, however, that world is sealed off. That’s why getting a stud inspection on all new builds in Colorado is vital. But not everyone has that luxury. So, home inspectors have tools for examining what’s between the walls such as thermal imaging cameras and moisture meters. 

Stud Inspection

New homes are not immune to problems behind the walls. Poor construction can lead to moisture issues inside the walls. So, we recommend all new builds in Colorado get a pre-drywall inspection. Even the best contractors make mistakes sometimes. So, it’s crucial to have a third party evaluate their handiwork. For example, we can see if the dryer and bathroom exhausts vent to the home’s exterior.

Thermal Imaging 

So much is happening behind the walls in your home that you can’t see. Thermal imaging lets us look at things not visible in our ordinary light spectrum. Forward-Looking InfraRed (FLIR) technology takes pictures of heat, not visible light. These cameras are very sensitive and detect slight temperature differences and then display them in a gradient of colors. Home inspectors use FLIR to detect

  • Heat loss and air leaks
  • Broken window seals
  • HVAC damage and leaks
  • Overloaded electrical circuits
  • Rats and other pests in the walls
  • Stud damage caused by termites 
  • Plumbing and roof leaks
  • Wet or damaged insulation
  • Structural defects

Detecting Moisture

Mold starts growing on surfaces with 20% or higher moisture content. An inspector can use a moisture meter to check inside the drywall cavity and detect damp areas that aren’t apparent to the naked eye. There are two kinds we use—pin type and search type. 

Pin Type 

The pin method tests moisture on surfaces and building materials like drywall, plaster, and wood. Damp materials are better conductors of electricity. So, the thin metal probes go into the material’s surface to measure electrical resistance. For example, we can use a pin meter to determine if a water stain’s source is active or repaired. 

Search Type

These pinless detectors measure moisture levels behind surfaces. Since humid air conducts electricity better than dry air, search mode can use electromagnetic waves to calculate moisture levels behind the walls. For example, we can detect possible plumbing leaks around showers and dishwashers.

Where do bathroom exhaust fans vent to?

Hot showers lead to excess humidity in the bathroom. Therefore, bathroom fans must take the air outside the house. In fact, the Colorado building code requires bathroom exhaust to vent “directly to the outdoors.” If the moisture isn’t properly vented, you can end up with mold, rot, and water stains.

What’s Behind Your Walls?

Knowing what’s behind your walls helps keep your house healthy and safe. Of course, it’s easier to remedy problems before the drywall goes up. So, get a stud inspection whenever you build a new home. At First Priority Home Inspections, we have the tools and expertise to check your walls before and after final construction. To schedule an appointment, call 719-491-1520.

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