|Patent-Protected Technologies and Methodologies|
Patents - Overview:
HomeSafe's groundbreaking approach to building inspections has been approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), granting HomeSafe exclusive rights to utilize the procedures and equipment that we've been developing and refining for more than 10 years. These patents cover the use of an infrared camera to locate many thermal anomalies - including, but not limited to, air quality and energy issues, water intrusion problems and electrical and wiring hazards.
The USPTO's approval of the patents means only HomeSafe franchise operators or HomeSafe SIRI (Specialist -Infrared Residential Inspector)-certified licensees are permitted by federal law to use these patented procedures and technologies in home inspections, energy inspections or energy audits, indoor air quality inspections or termite inspections. Any competitors using these methods or technologies are subject to legal action for patent violations. Inspectors performing home inspections, energy audits, air quality and pest control inspections using infrared and/or acoustic equipment should consult with a patent attorney to determine if they are violating HomeSafe's patents.
Although HomeSafe offers its own high-powered, specially customized IR cameras for home inspectors, please note that HomeSafe does not require anyone to purchase or use a particular IR camera or other technology. We encourage residential inspectors to buy the highest quality IR camera, and we encourage camera manufacturers to build cameras to the specifications that our research shows are optimal for these types of inspections.
To learn more about optimal IR camera specification for residential use, CLICK HERE (.pdf).
HomeSafe's Home Services' Approved Patents:
Patent No. 7,369,955 - Residential Indoor Environmental Quality Inspection Method: This patent covers the usage of an infrared camera to locate any thermal anomaly - including but not limited to an uncontrolled or hidden water intrusion - in conjunction with obtaining data relating to indoor air quality, including visual confirmation of mold, collection of mold samples, measurement of relative humidity, installation of a constant air/gas monitor system and/or other measurements including air pressure measurements. A thermal anomaly is an unexplained difference in temperature from one area of a house to another, often indicating a problem that can't be detected by ordinary means. Thermal anomalies signify a problem with faulty wiring, hidden moisture, missing insulation, heat/energy loss, termite infestations and more.
Patent No. 7,445,377 - Non-Destructive Residential Inspection Method and Apparatus: This patent covers HomeSafe's method for creating a "thermal window," that is, preparing a house for an IR inspection by creating a temperature differential between the inside and the outside of the house, followed by obtaining temperature profiles of the house's interior and exterior components. These temperature profiles are then analyzed to uncover thermal anomalies indicating problems such as moisture intrusion or electrical issues. This method helps to create more optimal conditions for efficient usage of IR and better interpretation of IR data in the inspection process.
Patent No. 7,385,483 - Infrared/Acoustic Method to Detect Termite Infestations in a Structure: This patent covers HomeSafe's four-step procedure for uncovering termite activity in a building, including: 1) a traditional visual inspection; 2) infrared detection of hidden moisture that may indicate the presence of termites; 3) usage of a moisture meter to confirm the presence of moisture in the "suspicious" area identified by IR; and 4) usage of HomeSafe's pattern recognition software to analyze and confirm termite signals on the spot.
Patent No. 7,434,990 - Additional Methods to Detect Termite Infestation in a Structure: This patent covers the use of infrared scanning to detect moisture associated with termite infestations followed by other methods, i.e., a microwave motion detector, gas detector or termite-sniffing dogs, to confirm the presence of termites.
Patent No. 7,271,706 - Termite Acoustic Detection Device: The patent covers HomeSafe's acoustic termite detection device which utilizes powerful acoustic (listening) sensors to literally hear termite sounds that are beyond the range of human hearing. Paired with IR scanning to find hidden moisture associated with termite infestations, the acoustic device pinpoints the exact location of a termite nest behind walls rapidly, accurately and non-destructively.
Patent No. 7,429,928 - Method to Prevent Termite Infestations by Modifying Termite Behavior: This patent covers HomeSafe's method to prevent termite infestations in a house by generating very low-amplitude acoustical vibrations within the house's interior walls. These vibrations, which are inaudible to the human ear, disturb and repel termites and them out of the house. The specific vibrations have a custom-selected frequency and amplitude experimentally proven to be highly effective at modifying termite behavior.
Additional Patent Applications Currently Under Review:
11/158,109 EIFS and Moisture Inspection with Infrared
To learn more about our patents, simply visit the USPTO’s Web site and perform a search at http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.htm.