How to tell if home is balloon framed with IR Camera?

Is there a way to tell if a home if ballooned framed using the IR Camera or any other method?


I normally look in the attic to determine but  attic is floored and I cannot get close enough to the edge to have any hope of looking between the studs.


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What about dropping a weight on a string from the attic and seeing if you hit something about 8 feet down? Of course there's always the possibility of X-bracing or other blocking in the way to make things confusing, but if you try a few stud bays you might get a clear idea. If you can drop 15 feet of string down in a few places you'll be pretty sure.


IR might help, but it might not. From the exterior, some buildings have a "warm rim joist" look when the walls are well insulated but the rim is not, and it's heated inside and cold out. If there's no insulation anywhere it's going to be hard to tell.

If it is true balloon you can tell from either the attic or the basement as David said. Also if the house is a 2 story the windows on the on the first and second floor will line up with each other. There are several different forms of ballon framing. I ahve seen balloon framing just between the windows. Or you can have balloon style framing from the attic to the second floor.True ballon is open from the attic to the basenent including the ban joist between the floors, which is another discussion

What am I looking for in the basement?
What you may see in the basement sometimes is the actual  outside wall framing wide open to the basement. This, at least in my NE location is not the norm.They usally are blocked off. That does not mean that the house is not balloon framed. I have dense pack first floor walls from the basement on true ballooon even if it is blocked off. Using a right angle drill you can drill right thru the plate. Some pre planning needs to be done to make sure you do not drill into the actual floor above. This is a tough application but is an option if you are out of other options



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