Preventive Maintenance: How to Use a Drone Roof Inspection

roof inspection

At the end of 2020, almost two million drones were registered with the Federal Aviation Administered with an additional 200,000 drone pilots. The drone industry has pushed commercial boundaries. Most recently, companies like Amazon and UPS are hoping to start delivering packages with these smaller unmanned aircraft. 

How does a roof inspection fit into all of this? For starters, roof inspections are exactly what drones can quickly assess since they have 360-degree cameras and high-resolution photography. Regularly maintaining your roof can prevent costly repairs and damages from occurring. 

Do you have an interest in saving time, money, and maintenance issues with your roof? We have put together a complete guide on how a professional drone service company can help you with future roof inspections, so keep reading for more information!

What Are Drones? 

Small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) are the professional definition for a drone. You may also hear it as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and they can be utilized in various industries, including:

  • Military
  • Recreational use
  • Real estate
  • Construction
  • Marketing
  • Entertainment
  • Package deliveries
  • And more!

Drones are robot-like small aircraft that can complete tasks often difficult or impossible for humans to do. Initially, drones were designed for military use, but their unique autonomy has made them highly adaptable for other industries.

Hobbyists use drones for recreational use such as landscape photography and video. With many different sizes and prices, drones can fit anyone’s budget and interests. 

Professional Drone Services

Companies can use commercial drones for aerial imaging or drone photography. An unmanned aerial system (UAS) provides other aerial services, such as:

  • Commercial and residential roof inspection
  • Precision Agriculture
  • Thermal photography
  • Water conservation
  • Property management
  • Aerial photos and tours
  • Construction site mapping
  • Solar inspections
  • 3D mapping
  • Digital terrain
  • Infrared aerial photography

Commercial and residential roof inspections are one of the more popular areas that drone services have become useful, but how can you determine if you need a drone roof inspection?

Drone Roof Inspection

A typical roof inspection involves a ladder and professional roofing team that can safely ascend to your roof. In poor weather or areas prone to heavy rain, this becomes virtually impossible. Aerial imaging is a game-changer since it avoids potentially deadly roof inspections by hand and provides a more in-depth view of your roof. 

Some other benefits of using drone photography include:

  • Improved efficiency
  • Improved safety
  • Measure roof dimensions (e.g., drone mapping)

Precise drone mapping and measuring roof dimensions means that you can immediately purchase the roofing materials you need. Drones can inspect roofs in as little as fifteen minutes, and no one needs to risk injury by climbing up a ladder. It is also much more thorough since it provides higher-quality imaging and video that the human eye can’t catch. 

High-tech drones and certified companies have aerial thermography, which creates high-resolution thermal imaging to detect structural faults in roofs. Rather than interrupt work or home life, this simple 3D and aerial imaging can deliver fast results that allow contractors to identify problems and how to fix them quickly. 

Common Roof Problems

Commercial and residential roofs are prone to punctures, holes, shrinkage, and ponding, especially when they reach their expected lifespan. Metal roofs last longer than other materials and are usually found in many commercial buildings.

On average, metal roofs can last anywhere from 40 to 70 years. However, extreme weather, ponding water, improper installation, and lack of regular maintenance can wear it down quickly. 

When roofs begin leaking, it can damage insulation, drywall, and create a high risk of injury for residents. Rather than wait until it is too late, regular roof inspection and maintenance can avoid completely replacing your roof and fixing interior damages. 

Can You Fly a Drone?

It sounds simple enough that you may be wondering if you could use a drone for roof inspections. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has regulations and requirements for flying an sUAS. Becoming a drone pilot requires seven steps outlined by the FAA.

After rigorous studying and passing a test, you must also perform recurrent training every two years to keep your license up to date. Rather than go through the various steps and purchase an expensive drone, you can hire a professional drone servicing company. Ensure they have the proper qualifications and certifications before moving forward. 

Roof Inspection Cost

Drone roof inspections can cost you less than a typical roof contractor. You avoid hefty labor fees and extensive time spent on your roof. When using a professional service, you are primarily paying for the drone pilot’s time, ranging from $150 to $200 per hour. 

In addition, you will want someone who can provide you with detailed imaging and results, which can cost more money but will detail what your next steps should be. In the end, a drone inspection costs anywhere from $150 to $350, on average.  

How does this compare to traditional roof inspections? 

Traditional roof inspections fluctuate based on region, roof design, time, and certification. These costs can quickly range hundreds of dollars and sometimes leave you with more questions than answers. Some roof inspectors might even suggest drone imaging if you have a steep roof or instability concerns. 

Drone Services For Your Next Roof Inspection

Have you wondered what the most efficient, cost-friendly, and safest way you can perform a roof inspection is? Drones are swiftly becoming a standard method when performing difficult roof inspections. However, drones are useful for more than just bypassing ladders and on-foot inspections. 

Photogrammetry and thermal aerial photography have taken inspections to the next level and can often find problems that go unnoticed. What are you waiting for?

Contact us today and let our professional team help you out!


Find out what you need to know when hiring a drone service, and learn about creative ways that different industries use drones to improve data, reduce risk, and achieve business objectives.