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A damaged roof, while potentially costly to repair in itself, could lead to other problems with the property if not caught in time. Traditionally roof inspections have involved someone getting onto the roof itself, which requires having the correct training and equipment to ensure safety of the inspector, as well as anyone inside or close to the property. Therefore, it cannot be done by just anyone and can be a time consuming and costly process. The roof inspection cost is typically considerably lower than the traditional method. The more widespread availability of drones and at a reasonable price can make this process much easier for property owners.

There are some things to consider when using a drone roof inspection. Firstly, be clear about what you aim to achieve in sending the drone up. This might just be taking a few photos or perhaps taking a video, which can either be played back to maintenance specialists live on the ground or recorded to be sent to them later. Images alone may be enough to determine what, if any, work needs to be carried out, but a live video can be incredibly helpful since a maintenance specialist may notice something which should be investigated further. Any further investigation can be carried out straight away, alleviating the need for an additional inspection.

It might be that you have noticed a tile has fallen in recent bad weather and you are sending the drone up to find where the tile has fallen from. It is worth taking the opportunity to check for any other damage which cannot be seen from the ground at the same time. Make the most of your drone flight and check out the whole property, as it is a good idea to carry out regular inspections regardless of whether you are aware of or suspect damage. This way you can pick up on anything which needs, or will soon need, attention.

Make sure you have the right drone for the job. It will need to be easy to control and manoeuvre around the property, but it should be heavy duty enough to remain under control. If the drone is too light, a small gust of wind could take it off course which could be potentially hazardous. The drone also needs to be equipped with the correct type of camera, ideally one which can switch between still images and video easily and which can be controlled from the ground, just as the drone’s movements would be. The drone pilot should also be sufficiently experienced in operating the drone to ensure safety and to make the most of the flight.

With these things to consider, you may wonder whether it really is better to use a drone for a roof inspection. Using a drone does not eliminate the need for a specialist since the drone itself cannot determine what work may need to be carried out. However, drone inspections are much safer and can be carried out much quicker than a manual inspection. This means that more inspections can be done in the same period of time. A drone is also much more portable than ladders, harnesses and other specialist equipment, meaning that an inspector should no longer require a large vehicle to travel between inspection sites. 

A drone may also be able to inspect areas which are inaccessible to a human being. Many companies are now using drones for inspections at height for these reasons. As a property owner you may employ a company to carry out the inspection on your behalf, or if you have a drone you may do the inspection yourself. In either scenario, if you discover any work which needs to be carried out, it might be advisable to get a second opinion and it is always a good idea to obtain quotes from more than one company.

In the digital age the drone can back up photos and videos directly to the cloud or send the information to the property owner at the same time as the inspector receives it. If you cannot physically be at your property while the inspection is carried out, you can at least be there virtually.

InventoryBase has now launched their new drone inspection service, in partnership with Drone Safe Register. Book a professional drone inspection or photography service now with a qualified and certified drone pilot easily with InventoryBase Workstreams.