Building Inspection Trends- What’s new in the industry?

Integrating smart home technology into building inspections is one of the most significant trends. Devices like smart thermostats, security systems, and lighting controls are becoming increasingly common in modern homes. As a result, inspectors need to be familiar with these systems and how to evaluate their functionality. Many inspectors now use specialized tools and apps to test smart home networks, identify potential vulnerabilities, and ensure everything works as intended. This extra layer of evaluation provides valuable insights for homebuyers and helps prevent headaches after moving in.

Emphasis on energy efficiency

Energy costs and growing environmental concerns, there’s a strong focus on assessing a property’s energy efficiency during inspections. This includes examining insulation levels, checking for air leaks, and inspecting heating and cooling systems to ensure they operate at peak performance. Some inspectors use infrared cameras and blower door tests to detect heat loss or air infiltration areas. They may also review utility bills and recommend cost-effective upgrades to improve energy efficiency and reduce monthly expenses.

Drone and robot inspections

vital building inspection hard-to-reach areas like roofs, attics, and crawl spaces has always been challenging for building inspectors. However, the increased use of drones and robotic inspection tools makes these tasks safer and more thorough. Drones equipped with high-resolution cameras allow inspectors to get a close-up view of roofs, chimneys, and gutters without ladders or risky climbing. Robotic cameras mounted on wheeled bases also navigate tight spaces like crawl spaces, capturing detailed images and video footage. This technology improves inspection quality and reduces liability risks for inspectors and property owners.

Mould and indoor air quality testing

Concerns over indoor air quality and the potential health risks of mould have led to increased demand for comprehensive testing during building inspections. Many inspectors now offer specialized mould inspections using advanced detection equipment and air sampling devices. Indoor air quality assessments may also involve testing for radon, carbon monoxide, and other pollutants that compromise homes or workplace’s safety and comfort. Identifying and addressing these issues early prevents costly remediation efforts and potential health problems.

3D modeling and virtual inspections

While conducting an in-person inspection will likely remain the industry standard, some companies are exploring using 3D modelling and virtual inspections. This technology involves capturing detailed scans of a property, which are then used to create an immersive 3D model that can be viewed and navigated online.

Virtual inspections offer several advantages including reviewing a property remotely and creating a permanent digital record that can be referenced anytime. However, they are not a complete replacement for a hands-on physical inspection and may be better suited as a supplemental tool.

Continued training and certification

As building inspection methods and technologies evolve, ongoing training and certification are becoming increasingly important for inspectors. Many industry organizations offer specialized courses and credentials for energy efficiency, mould testing, or drone operations. Inspectors who stay up-to-date with the latest training and earn relevant certifications demonstrate their commitment to professionalism and provide clients with a vital building inspection service. This added expertise could give inspectors a competitive edge and instil greater confidence in their findings.

While the core principles of building inspections remain the same, the industry constantly adapts to new trends and advancements. By embracing technologies like smart home integration, energy efficiency testing, drones, and virtual modelling, inspectors can provide their clients with more comprehensive and valuable services.

Karla Hall
the authorKarla Hall