Drones For Roof Inspections

Drones For Roof Inspections

Roof condition inspections for large and complex structures can be expensive and risky. Regardless of this, developers and owners must still comply with the relevant building codes and regulations. Drone roof inspections are a great way to complete these quicker and safer.

Risks to the traditional roof inspection methods include collapsing sections of roof and falling off ladders or access equipment (especially when you are trying to take photos and notes as well as maintain your balance).

These risks can be eliminated by using drones for the roof inspections. Drones not only eliminates the working at heights risk, but they are also quicker, cheaper, and in my opinion provide a better output.

Unfortunately if there are repairs to be done on a roof, then a drone can not complete these (yet!). However, they are able to highlight areas that are likely to be damaged or dangerous before anyone steps foot on the roof, so any workers can take extra care in these areas.

Here are some of the main benefits of using drones for roof inspections:

1. Provides safe roof inspections

Complex designs, steep angles, damaged or weathered sections all create additional risks on a roof. Drone roof inspections eliminate these risks associated with working at heights.

Collecting data without adding any risk is one of the major benefits of using the drones to inspect commercial or residential roof structures.

drone roof damage inspection
Damage can be inspected without anyone getting on a roof.

2. Drone technology help you to get the job done faster

A traditional roof inspection can take anywhere from a day to many weeks to complete, once you include the set up time of scaffolds, climbing ropes and anchors or elevated work platforms. It can take more than a day before anyone even makes it onto the roof!

Conversely, with a drone, the team can turn up on site and be underway within half an hour. Depending on the size of the roof, the inspection could be completed in under an hour. All the footage and images sent back to the office ready to be reviewed and compiled in a report.

We have completed drone roof inspections of industrial buildings in less than 2 hours from when we turn up to when we leave site.

3. Drone inspections provide better data

As an engineer, I am always looking for better data to make decisions with.

Using a drone for a roof inspection means that you can access almost any part of the roof, and once you are there you can take high definition images, video and even thermal inspections. All of this is recorded with time and location stamps, so if you repeat the inspections every couple of years you can create good trends of the roof condition. This can then be used to plan for maintenance and large cost repair projects (rather than having a catastrophic failure that you weren’t expecting).

The quality of the images provided are excellent, so any engineer or reviewer will have no problem seeing any issues.

drone overview image
From an overall zoomed out image
drone zoom image
To a detailed zoomed in shot of damaged areas.

4. Drone roof inspections are much cheaper

The time savings mentioned in the earlier point translate into significant cost savings.

No scaffold or EWP hire, no gear delivery or set up time and costs.

Instead of taking a couple of guys a number of days, the site inspection is complete in a matter of hours. Other than scaffolding, labour is almost always the next most expensive item.

5. Less interruption to building tenants

Whether you are managing a residential block of units, or a commercial building, there are likely tenants involved. Blocking off large sections of car park or access ways so that work platforms can be maneuvered around is a hassle that is not required when using drones.

Certainly, there may be areas that are excluded during the inspection, but this might be a matter of hours, not days. The risk of a tile coming off and falling on an employee is just not there when using drones.

With all of these benefits, there really is no reason not to start using drones for roof (and other hard to reach) inspections.