Thermography: Log Home Thermal Imaging
Are the slower winter months getting you down? In this month’s Experts Corner, our very own log home expert and Southeast Territory Manager, Paul Peebles, introduces you to thermography, a service ideal to offer during those leaner winter months.
Working outside as a professional log home contractor has many rewards. There are also drawbacks. The most obvious problem is those certain times you just cannot work due to the weather. Sure, many of you guys out west use tents and tarps and heaters to finish up jobs. Costs, access to the job site, and other factors make using such equipment just impractical for most projects.
But consider this: when you incorporate thermography into your services, you can extend your working season and increase your value to the homeowner.
What Is thermography?
Thermography is a simple, comprehensive test of the home using infrared cameras and blower doors. By using proper equipment, and, with some training, you can spot a pin-hole in chinking at 30 feet (this equipment is that accurate). Before this technology was available, when homeowners complained that their house had insects or leaked air, we basically had to re-caulk the whole house. I have seen this done many times, and unfortunately, the customers’ problems remained unsolved.
How does thermography add value to your homeowner customers?
Picture this: you get called to a home to provide an estimate to caulk and re-stain. You look around the place and determine that the re-stain is $20k. Then, you start asking the homeowner some questions about their home. Do you have some rooms that are hard to heat or cool? Do you have problems with insects in the winter? Have you had any water leaks? How high is your energy bill? Do you need to dust the house often? If they answer yes to any of these questions, ask if they would like you to bring in some simple equipment to help you diagnose the problems. Typically, it takes less than 30 minutes to identify enough problems in a home (and you can show the homeowner the problem on the camera right then and there) to justify their need for your work! Score! You can schedule repairs while you are there staining, during a rainy period, or in the winter when you’re not as busy. Either way, one simple “value added” service just helped secure you a job you may not have had without this equipment.
What are the costs to get into thermography?
Infrared technology used to be fairly expensive, but as with most technology, costs have fallen drastically in recent years. You can now get an add-on FLIR (forward looking infrared radiometer) device that turns your phone into an infrared camera for around $200.00. Blower doors are still expensive at about $2,000.00, but there are used ones for sale all the time for much less. Trust me, you’ll more than pay for the equipment. You’ll increase overall revenue. And, you’ll enjoy steadier positive cash flow all year long. That’s a win!
What about the training?
It’s true: learning how to read the results from an infrared camera requires training. Online classes are out there, but here are two other ways to find training: 1) Attend Zero Failures where you can network with other contractors already doing this kind of work and find some time to train with them; or 2) Call us at 800-767-5656. We’ll get you in touch with our Territory Managers, who can give you move info on the contractors who do this and can help you with the training.