Drones & Inspections

Hi interNACHI members!

My name is Derek and I’m writing this post to introduce myself and Up Sonder. I’m CEO of Up Sonder, a national drone services company, and I love all things drones. This year, InterNACHI and UpSonder.com teamed up to offer a special reduced rate to interNACHI members through the rest of 2018. You can read more about this special offer at the official press release. Up Sonder has thousands of commercial drone pilots across the United States standing by to help with your next roof inspection. If you have been curious about using a drone for your inspections but didn’t know how, now is the time to start using this powerful tool into your workflow by searching for certified drone pilots in your area at UpSonder.com - Search by location, review pilot listings, and book. It really is that simple.

I’ve been reading forum threads and I’m excited to be working with this amazingly talented group. Full disclosure I’m not a roof inspector :shock: but I am a drone expert :D. So for the rest of the year, I look forward to learning about your needs and giving you access to some powerful technology. I’ll be here to answer any questions.

Also, for those that love drones as much as I do, I’ve included a link to Time Magazine’s special report, “The Drone Age.” It’s a great read and will give you an idea on how drones are dramatically changing our world.

Hello Derek, I am considering getting a drone as I often cannot get on a roof. The problem I have seen with the two drones I looked at is having a wide angle field of view when I need a zoom due to the fact that drones cannot get very close to an object. I have not looked into cropping a high res image to serve my needs yet. Please advise me on your recommendations for a drone with a camera that works better for close up photos of items like roof jacks, valleys, flashings, etc. Thanks - Alan


Hi Alan,

The best drone to get for roof inspections is the DJI Phantom 4 Pro (P4P). It has a 20MP camera and shoots video in 4K and provides the most accurate data and measurement results compared with lower resolution cameras such as those used with the DJI Mavic Pro or Inspire Series. This is the level of detail you need. The P4P safety software is excellent too, which will allow you to fly close to the rooftop (if needed) and that will improve your chances you don’t crash it if you don’t have much experience flying. However, one thing I do want to make you aware of is that it is illegal to fly commercial operations with any drone if you don’t have your Part 107 license issued by the FAA (most people don’t know this). If you don’t want to go through the process of becoming a certified drone pilot you can hire an Up Sonder professional pilot. All our pilots are FAA certified, insured, and have their own drone. They can meet you on location and fly for you legally. I hope this helps. Feel free to follow up with any additional questions.

I operate a Mavic Pro Paltinum for roof inspections and its more than enough for the task of defect recognition and checking condition, and a 12.3mp camera is powerful enough to see ants crawling across the shingles. Its only a 2x zoom but it’s a drone…just fly closer. Granted there are some construction programs out there for measuring roofs that may require a camera with different capability but for purely inspecting them its not needed. (Yes, I’m part 107 certified). Granted, when you throw in extra batteries and other things needed to fly you enter the same price range quickly so I think price is a minor factor over safety, but the Mavic has been stellar so far.

At what cost will a pilot do this?