Camera on pole or ladder

I am wondering what % of roof, chimney and gutter inspections are done using cameras on a pole instead of a ladder?
Is it possible to continue in this business after a fall from a ladder by using only a camera?


I do it all the time.
Get a Sony HX5V.

Thank you Bob.
What kind and how tall is the pole you mounted the camera on?
How can you see on the ground what is the camera really seeing?


Get yourself an extending 28 fott window washers pole and attach a tri pod by rigging up a PVC coupling and nipple to clamp on the tri pod.
Set the camera to video which is why I recommend a good quality HD vid camera like the Sony.
The handle on the tri pod sticks out and acts like a aiming site and allows you to scan just fine.
Pull down to review with your client and go back up if you think something got missed.
You will find that you actually get better looks at things than if you were up there however you still need to get in that attic .
Great for looks at window flashing’s and top of A/C through wall units or looking down on chimney caps and gutters.

Get close up to the edge to see how many layers and aim it towards flashing boots ,etc.
Takes about 3 minutes of video and sharp slope roofs mean nothing anymore.

Thanks BOB great information

Thank you Bob.
I was looking at all kinds of similar ideas. (3" aluminum telescoping flag poles, custom fiberglas and aluminum masts and fiberglass painter’s poles).

The fiberglass products seemed too flexible and I thought that the camera would wobble in the slightest wind.
The aluminum ones (which would be my preference for rigidity) could pose an electrical ehock hazzard (lightning)

A tripod is a must but those are expensive and I would put some weight on the legs to help with stabilizing the pole.

If I understood it correctly, you are “sending” the camera up in video mode and hope that you adjusted the angle correctly.
The pan action can obviously be adjusted by turning the pole.

I found telescoping mast systems for aerial photography with remote viewing capability and pan & tilt, but they are very expensive (could be in the high thousands).

What is the highest wind you operated the camera in and the maximum height you achieved (could you reach the full extension of the pole @28 feet)?
How much is a pole and tripod like you bought in your area and what kind of tripod did you get?

I was looking at custom and land surveyors’ tripods.



PS if it’s not too much, could you post a picture of your setup?

I have a web camera connected to my tablet via usb. I use it on the end of a painters pole. Get one with built-in lights and long usb extendtion. You can view the sceen and touch to capture.

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Hey Bob,
Do you have a pic of what your contraption looks like?

I prefer the ladder. It would take me 3 hours and most likely impossible to see all the things I see when on the roof.

For me it about the client getting the best and it also benefits me for time. Win/win in my opinion.

I use a remote helicopter, fly’s the entire roof and takes data and records it while I inspect other parts of the house.:):wink:

Hi John

What is the maximum length of USB cable extension that you use?
Is it a regular USB cable or a Firewire/CAT5 conversion?
What web cam and pole are you using?
What is the maximum height that you have reached with the cam?



Hey Gabe
I have been using the 16 foot Painters pole with a old tripod mount that extends it another 3 feet, Been using this for a long time Btw about 3.5 years . i simply use the little cam to record, then i can take still pictures from that. works great.
even if i have to i will still use the ladder to get higher.
I was thinking of getting a van with a bucket Ladder . But that is just a thought right now.

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24’ + extending pole from ‘The Depot’
Battery powered video camera from X-10

Provides big pictures for the client and the inspector plus recorded on lap top for later review .

I call it “Roof-cam” ( where did I ever come up with that name?:D) and use it as part of my mall display too.

Thank you Wayne
Maybe you can post a picture when you have the time.


Thank you George
Which X10 camera did you get?
What is its resolution and range?
Can you get decent results after magnifying the image (let’s say x4)?



Gabtriel Just go get the 28 foot washers pole and trust me that I am telling the truth.
I live in Chicago guy.
Start reading the forum more as my roof shots are all over and you probley think I was on the roof.
Hope I have it focused? Just try it as you are making up issues that do not exist.

Just trying to help but I really do not need you to believe me.

Here are a few of the hundreds of job pictures from the last year or so.


Bob, what do you think of the webcam idea?

Full HD (1920x1080p) video (vs) webcam.:shock:

I don’t know what made you think that I don’t believe you…
I have no reason not to believe you.
Anyway, living is Chicago and being able to use the camera is a good reference.
Where did you get the pole from?
Thanks for the pictures in the following post btw.