Drone roof surveysSteven Dickinson
Over the past 5 years, we have been carrying out more and more drone roof surveys. This is mainly because the cost of drones has come down and we now carry drones with us all the time.
Pros and cons of drone roof surveys:
- Drone roof surveys enable us to survey the roof without climbing all over it and possibly breaking tiles.
- We can also get to places on the roof that we cannot reach with ladders.
- Our health and safety risk is reduced dramatically.
- Can work out cheaper if scaffolding had been necessary to access the roof.
- You don’t get to probe the roof to see if anything is loose.
- You can’t use your weight to get an idea of deflection in a roof.
- You can’t move things and clean out gullies or valleys whilst on the roof.
Both drone roof surveys and traditional roof surveys by ladder have their places.
We always arrive with a van and ladders and will gain access to a roof by ladder, if we can safely. However, we will revert to doing a drone survey if we cannot. The fact that we now carry drones with us all the time and the cost of the equipment is relatively cheap these days. The cost to use a drone to do a roof survey is the same as gaining access by ladder, assuming access is easy and safe.
Drone roof surveys with thermal imaging
The thermal imaging drone is a costly piece of equipment and can only be used by a specialist operator. We don’t carry this piece of equipment with us daily, as there are not many drone roof surveys that need thermal imaging. Not only that, but to get a good thermal picture of the heat loss of a roof using a thermal imaging camera, the roof survey is best done in the early hours of the day. The cost of a drone roof survey with thermal imaging would start at £1,400.00 plus VAT.
Drone roof surveys for insurance companies
Often domestic customers need us to do a roof survey for their insurance renewal. Although we are not RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors), we can still undertake roof surveys that cover this specification. Insurance companies only need a roof condition report so that they know that the roof is in good condition for the next insured period.
Drone roof surveys for house buyers
RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) representatives are all ‘suited and booted’, and haven’t got the equipment to get onto a roof, so whether it’s a Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 survey, we may still need to attend to help the RICS representative to carry out their survey.
Using a drone to survey the roof and getting information from all the elevations of the roof, helps them to put together their report. If we don’t attend at the time, the RICS often add into their reports that a professional roofer should access the roof and carry out a roof survey. Again, traditionally this has been done by ladder, but now, because of the ease of using a drone, most of these surveys are undertaken by drone.
Drone roof surveys for bad workmanship on a roof
Unfortunately, we are called out many times in a year to report back on bad workmanship that has been undertaken to a roof – yes, the “Cowboy Roofer“! Some of these can be quite stressful for the customer who may have paid thousands of pounds for a new roof or a roof repair to find that they have been ripped off and the roof is still leaking. This link, to a video I posted on my YouTube channel, show you what the “Cowboy Roofer” gets up to!