Roof Inspections and Drones: A Tool In Our Tool Box
If you work in the solar, insurance, or roofing industries, chances are that you’ve heard about drones. You might even be thinking about purchasing one. And for a good reason: the latest advances in drone technology are fundamentally changing the way you can measure and inspect roofs.
Falls are the leading cause of death on industrial job sites. With drones, you reduce, and in some cases eliminate, the need for ladder assists and boots-on-the-roof data collection. I believe that any time you can limit putting your staff in a dangerous situation, it’s a win. We must remember that Done’s are a tool for the inspector to do his/her job in the best possible manner for their Client and that Done’s are only as good as the person behind the controls.
Done’s are a benefit if:
(1) the roof has hard to reach areas. An example of a difficult area would be a church steeple. High pitch roofs are difficult to access. Using a drone to complete a roof inspection allows quick access to these areas without setting up scaffolding. This results in a faster assessment with a reduced cost.
(2) Cost Effective Aerial Imagery. Aerial images may be used for planning and development of the property. These aerial images allow building owners and managers to be able to gain a better oversight of their property.
(3) Aerial Infrared. Infrared technology is used to locate trapped moisture within roof assemblies. New UAVs or drones are now able to carry an infrared camera as a payload. Drones can be a cost-effective solution as the technology can be deployed locally at the site instead of flying from a remote airport. The drone can be flown for a fraction of the cost of a manned plane. In addition, the drone can hover over the target and capture more images when compared to a tradition aircraft.
As with any technology, drones are not the answer in all situation. There is no substitute for a professional, certified, roof inspector to complete an assessment of your building.