My basement is finished and there are signs that I have leaks or some mold. The smell is not very strong but I can feel it for the first few seconds when I enter the basement, after that it instantly disappears in the sense that I can not smell it anymore.

I am planning to rent a infrared thermal camera to see if this can help with locating the problem. Is such a camera effective in these situations ?

PS: I have also seen some DIY or consumer grade cameras which can be attached to an android phone in order to get the infrared picture. Has anyone tested these ? Any links to what you tested would be much appreciated

Here is one such a camera http://obtain.thermal.com/product-p/uw-aaa.htm

  • You usually smell mildew more than mold. What region are you in? Is it humid in the basement? – DA01 Jan 29 '15 at 17:45
  • Ontario near the lakes but on higher lands. No it is not humid. Interesting fact, as the temperature dives under zero outside the smell is gone! completely gone! weird. Must be outside originated water, very close to ground level because it freezes – MiniMe Jan 29 '15 at 23:17
  • Have you checked the usual culprits outside? (Ground sloping towards foundation, missing gutters, plugged downspouts, no splashblocks, etc). I know that won't fix the current issue but might help with future problems. – DA01 Jan 30 '15 at 0:13
  • I have tons of posts on this. I am waiting for the warmer weather to fix what I know that I have to fix or check. Disconnec the gutters from drain is one and the patio slope is the second. Epic threads posted around here :-) – MiniMe Jan 30 '15 at 1:07
  • Oh! This is related to the patio. Yea, it sounds like that's the ultimate culprit here. Fix that first! And good luck! What may be happening is water is hitting your foundation, running down to your footer, then coming under the wall at the footer. If that's the case, you may be able to just cut out the lower 1' or so of sheetrock and insulation and replace just that. – DA01 Jan 30 '15 at 1:29

I doubt it. I'd assume that any water which has made its way far enough into your house, to wet the backside of drywall, would have already acclimated. It's hard enough to find gaping holes in the exterior of a building by scanning a panel of drywall.

Thermal cameras are used to find heat gain, standing inside, or heat loss, standing outside. Suggested reading: Where do I need to drain the footing drain when I waterproof a basement from the outside? You need to somehow drain or shed rain water away from the house. See any cracks in the foundation?

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  • That is my own thread ...I posted that question. I am working on both fronts, inside and outside :-) Search MoldDog in Toronto. The guy pretends to be able to use the dog to locate the problem and to use the thermal camera to show you where is problems with humidity and water – MiniMe Oct 1 '14 at 4:53
  • A little ambitious, are we? ;) – Mazura Oct 1 '14 at 4:55
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    nope ..just being very detailed when I do something. I do it the best I can and since we are looking at a couple of good tens of thousands dollars to spend on a contractor I would rather do my homework and see what I can and what I can't do myself My feeling is that people are paying big money because they are lazy and ignorants. Digging should not be a problem, you can rent a miniexcavator for around 250$/day with operator included. Two days (one to dig, one to fill back) and the difficult work is done. Insulating properly should be doable by a DIYer. Connecting to sewers ...hmm not really. – MiniMe Oct 1 '14 at 5:02
  • If the question is if these guys could then I'd say yes. Bunch of other nifty gadgets, know-how and the thermo cam tells them spots that are X temp for mold to grow. I don't think you or I could. – Mazura Oct 1 '14 at 5:02
  • I might artificially aggravate the proble pouring cold or hot watter from outside in big volumes...then I am going to know for sure where and what. I already ordered a HD inspection camera (USB one which I plan to attach to a fish tape) ..somehow I will find out what and where ! – MiniMe Oct 1 '14 at 5:06

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