How to use drones for roof inspections

How to use drones for roof inspections

The following visitor put up was written by Andrew J Kobza, CEO of Professional Drone Solutions, which makes use of drones for roof inspections. Kobza’s enterprise has grown to have inspected greater than 500 roofs over the previous three years.

Drones have turn into an enormous asset within the roofing trade. In truth, it’s onerous to discover a roofing firm at present that hasn’t at the least experimented with drones. Using drones for performing roof inspections can save as a lot as an hour per roof for a single household residence, and roofing firms are more and more utilizing drones to find out if roofs are in want of substitute.

With so many drones being flown by roofing firms, a drone pilot could ask, “Why ought to I even attempt to promote roofing inspections? After all, aren’t the roofers simply going to return and take your lunch?” There are nonetheless accessible markets on the market, and even when you don’t run or work at knowledgeable roofing firm, you may nonetheless get in on the roof inspection sport as a drone  pilot your self by means of totally different avenues, together with:

  • Working instantly with the house owner: Homeowners need their very own set of pictures to test the work of the roofer and to have available if there’s a dispute.
  • Working for a normal contractor or developer: Contractors that rent roofers want aerial views to point out purchasers progress and use for guarantee disputes and data.
  • Working for an insurance coverage adjuster: Insurance Adjusters want drone knowledge to assist them doc roofing circumstances. 
drones for roof inspections Florida Professional Drone Solutions

With many alternatives clearly forward, how does a drone pilot go about delivering a superb product to allow them to proceed to tug in roofing income?

There are 4 key facets for producing aggressive, high-quality knowledge when utilizing drones for roof inspections.

  1. Learn to determine roofing points.
  2. Stay out of authorized hassle: Document the problem, however watch out about stating that it’s undoubtedly a problem until the pilot is certified to make that evaluation.
  3. Don’t miss a spot.
  4. Have the precise gear.
drones for roof inspections Florida Professional Drone Solutions

How to make use of drones to determine roof points

The pilot ought to know what they’re really in search of of their inspections. Think of all of the issues that would go mistaken with the roofing envelope. Here are among the issues you must search for:

  • Rotten, lacking, or broken fascia
  • Curling shingles
  • Cracked or lacking shingles
  • Cracked tiles
  • Dents and bowing within the roof
  • Broken or lacking gutters
  • Missing or broken ridge caps
  • Broken or lacking vent
  • Damaged flashings
  • Missing shingles
  • Damaged chimney
  • Excessive particles, dust, or rubbish left
  • Grout joints to not spec
  • Improper Lapping of tiles or shingles
  • Improperly detailed hips
  • Wavy valleys
  • Unstraight Ridge Caps 

Not certain what a hip on a roof is? Where is the canine that laps tiles up? Sometimes it may be as straightforward as researching for your self on Google. For extra detailed info, go to an trade web site like FRSA  and perform a little research. Learn the lingo. Study. Fall in love with the concept of looking at tiles for hours on finish.

How to remain out of authorized hassle when utilizing drones for roof inspections

While inspired to study the lingo, there may be one factor a pilot ought to undoubtedly NOT do: Do not give recommendation or opinions. Any recommendation or opinions given to a consumer that leads to litigation can imply getting pulled into courtroom and even getting sued for numerous causes.

So how do you have to current the details with out stepping into hassle? First, don’t discuss something you aren’t certain of. If a consumer asks, “how does it look?” and also you suppose it appears to be like positive, then a stable response might be one thing like, “It doesn’t seem any totally different from the previous few roofs that I’ve seen, however I’m not certified to present an opinion on the roof. I don’t recall seeing any apparent cracks or suspect areas.”

Note the phrases there: obvious, recall, apparent, suspect. Words akin to these clearly symbolize you’re giving an inconclusive opinion primarily based on little prior data of roofing.

Even specialists use phrases akin to obvious, as a result of if the circumstances find yourself in courtroom, the protection can’t level to his notes and declare that you just got here into the case with an agenda. If the mould seems to be mildew or algae or dust, your credibility shouldn’t be known as into query. Even when you have seen over 100 million {dollars} of roofing points in homes, you continue to don’t definitively give an opinion with out details. 

Saying, “there was a cracked tile on the chimney” versus “there gave the impression to be a crack on the tile of the chimney” leaves a pilot’s credibility intact when that crack seems to be a pine needle. A wise pilot will construct a relationship with an professional and know when to defer their opinion to that professional.

How to make sure you don’t miss a spot

Use proceduralized checklists similar to precise pilots use throughout manned flights. Some of those checklists are written and a few are memorized, much like the well-known GUMPS pre-landing guidelines in aviation (fuel, undercarriage, combination, prop, seatbelts).

At Professional Drone Solutions, we shoot a normal “Front, Side, Back, Side, Top down” set each inspection, each time, no matter what a consumer tells us and whatever the scope of the inspection. It ensures that there’s 80-90% of a roof documented instantly, with at the least a good degree of decision. Then comply with that checklist with personalized photographs relying on the scope of labor desired. 

It’s additionally a good suggestion to discover a workflow that reveals the pictures in a logical method. If a consumer has to spend extra time determining the place {a photograph} is than it could take to go take pictures themselves, they doubtless received’t be getting many repeat purchases. Try beginning additional away from a suspect situation and taking pictures a far, medium, shut photograph set of it. This will give purchasers a method to perceive what they’re taking a look at. 

The finest gear for roof inspections

With the drone manufacturing trade always evolving, know your funds earlier than deciding what gear to purchase.Most drones lately have an satisfactory sensor for inspections.

Drones just like the Mavic Enterprise 2 Dual supply a comparatively reasonably priced method to break into thermal inspections, however beware, there are lots of issues and elements to contemplate so as to produce a usable thermal deliverable. 

Here’s a listing of specs to search for,  damaged down by non-negotiable, nice-to-have, and pointless with out a big funding in time/cash:

Non-Negotiable Specs:

  • 20MP sensor
  • Adjustable EV
  • Low ISO (100 or decrease needs to be accessible)
  • High Shutter Speed (1/200 or faster needs to be accessible)
  • Flight Time 25+ minutes

Nice-to-Have Specs:

  • Built in storage (forgetting an SD card not sinks a pilots flight)
  • Large Sensor (1/2in +)
  • Global Shutter
  • Inconspicuous Size, Shape, and Color
  • Hand Launchable (nice for building websites)

Unnecessary Specs:

  • Thermal sensors: Study Thermography and the compolications earlier than buying an costly thermal sensor. 
  • Huge Drones: All large drones do is scare the neighbors and inhibit a pilot’s capability to freely navigate round obstacles.
  • Zoom: A small and secure platform with a 20mp+ sensor will permit a talented pilot to get all of the element one may need. 

Drones that match the invoice for roof inspections

Mavic 2 Pro:

Pros: 20MP, 1in shutter, inbuilt storage, Small Frame, Stable, and Inconspicuous

Cons: No Global Shutter, Hard handy launch

Phantom 4 Pro: 

Pros: 20MP, 1in Global shutter, Medium Frame, Hand Launchable, Stable, and Inconspicuous

Con: No inbuilt storage, Larger, and points with DJIs compass will be irritating with the P4P

Mavic 2 Air:

Pros: Cheap, Storage inbuilt, Small Frame, Stable, and Inconspicuous

Cons: No 20MP Camera, no 1in shutter, Some could discover it appears to be like an excessive amount of like a toy.

Keep in thoughts that once you get a name from a consumer to conduct a drone roof inspection, there are a number of elements to contemplate to verify your pictures hit the mark. Keep your communication together with your consumer skilled and clear and don’t overstate your data on roofing until certified to take action.

-By Andrew Kobza.

Andrew Kobza is a FAA-licensed drone pilot and personal pilot. He has been flying Cessna 172s for over 10 years and has operated his drone firm for over 5 years. Prior to hurricane Irma, Andrew developed a drone program at a building firm in 2014, branching off into Professional Drone Solutions in 2016. Since then his firm has logged over 500 hours flying drones with over 500 drone roofing inspection missions being flown.