Is it Homeland Security? Nope. Is it Amazon delivering your latest purchase? – afraid not.
That drone is actually being used by a professional roofing contractor completing an inspection of a building.
What is a drone?
A UAV is an unmanned aerial vehicle, which is otherwise known as a drone. A UAV or drone is an aerial vehicle that is piloted remotely for take-off, flight and landing. Most have heard of drones being used for military purposes. However, drones are finding many other uses. Many creative pilots are finding uses in different industries including the construction industry.
What does a drone carry?
Drones like their much larger counterparts are able to carry other things besides just themselves. Most likely you have heard about Amazon’s plans to use drones in the future to deliver products to their customers.
Just as Amazon plans on using drones to carry packages to their customers, others can fix a payload to a drone for different purposes. A common feature or payload for many drones are cameras.
These cameras can be linked via Bluetooth to a screen on the remote control module to allow the operator to see the images that they are capturing while the UAV is in flight. This takes the guessing game out of the flight process and insures a higher degree of flight effectiveness.
How can drones benefit you as a building owner?
Professional roofing contractors are using UAVs or drones to provide different services and benefits to customers. As drones continue to be developed and deployed, the opportunities for new services continue to grow as well.
Here is a list of three top benefits that you can realize by working with a professional roofing contractor who can deploy drone technology:
Access Hard to Reach Areas
There are many buildings and structures that are difficult to gain access to. There may also be obstructions or building features that make access difficult or dangerous. Using a drone can help minimize costs associated with accessing these areas. They can also keep individuals safely away from sources of danger during the inspection process.
Walking on a roof can be a dangerous proposition. Steep roof pitches, multi-story buildings, slippery roofing materials like slate or tile, weather conditions, wind speed, and many other factors contribute to the risk of walking across a roof. Although OSHA requires workers on roofs to wear a safety harness, not all people comply with that rule. And even when they do, a harness only minimizes risk; it doesn’t remove it. On the other hand, using a drone eliminates the possibility of a person falling off a roof.
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 and increase in safety.
Cost Effective Aerial Imagery
For many reasons building owners and managers like to have aerial images of their buildings. They may use these images for documenting the condition of the existing building for insurance coverage. The images may be used for planning and development of the property. Aerial images allow building owners and managers to be able to gain a better oversight of their property.
A primary factor in the long-term performance of roofing systems is the drainage of the roof system. Roof systems that provide better drainage and limit the ponding water on the roof system perform better long-term. Aerial imagery provides a better opportunity to assess the overall drainage patterns of the building.
Aerial imagery services can be costly. Building owners and property managers are forced to wait for the aerial imagery company’s schedule which may take several months before they are in the area of the building.
In addition, the aerial image company is not capable of interpreting the images to help determine the current drainage patterns for the building or other features of the roof system. Using a professional roofing contractor who deploys drone technology can be a quicker and more cost effective solution for building owners and property managers.
Less Equipment is Needed
Roof inspections often require a whole crew of workers who come with a truck loaded with various equipment necessary for scaling a roof – ladders, harnesses, ropes, toe boards, scaffolding, measuring tapes, cameras, and other tools. On the other hand, a drone pilot requires only a drone and a tablet or smartphone. Eliminating expensive equipment and tools translates into substantial cost savings for roof inspectors.
Detailed Inspection Reports
The information a drone gathers delivers a far more productive data set than what can be obtained manually. Where a human roof inspector would use a smartphone or digital camera to snap close-up photos of a roof, drones collect high-resolution images and video from many angles and perspectives, including panoramic views unattainable by a human with a camera. Drones can present much more detailed reports in advanced formats, along with specific measurements and careful analysis.
Downside to Drones?
As with any other technology, drones are not the answer in all situations. There is no substitute for a professional roofing contractor being able to step on your roof system and complete a hands-on assessment of your building or home.
Drones are like any other tool that a professional roofing contractor uses. They are an extension of the individual. UAVs enhance the ability of the roofer to do their job and provide quality services to their clients.