Using drones for roof inspections

I’ll admit that I pretty smitten with the thought of using a drone for roof Inspections. It’s mostly the big kid in me that wants to play with a cool toy. Just wanted to get a few opinions on whether it truly is a legitimate tool for inspectors or more of a novelty.

https://www.nachi.org/drone-law-home-inspectors.htm

1 Like

I’ll most likely take the Nachi Drone course and get the FAA part 107 license.

Wondering if inspectors view it as a lesser option to actually walking the roof, or if they use it as their primary inspection technique.

I try to walk every roof. If the roof is wet, too steep or clay tile I send a GoPro camera up on a pole. Legally flying a drone for commercial purposes is too much of a hassle for me.

4 Likes

I bought a drone last year and use it only when necessary. I don’t walk roofs any more because I have a knee that will give out on me without given notice. Not taking any chances on losing my balance on a roof and becoming a statistic. I mostly inspect roofs from the ground and with a ladder when possible. If there is an area that I can’t see, I’ll use the drone to take pics and review them once they are downloaded on the computer.

I live in a mountainous area and it’s very common that the roof eave may be 60 plus feet above grade. No ladder and walking is out of the question. The drone comes in handy and not as a novelty item.

3 Likes

Which drone do you use? I was looking at the Mavic Mini but not sure if it’s good enough.

Which ever you choose, just make sure it’s compatible with wind conditions in your area. One strong gust may send it flying into structure or nearby trees.

I have the Mavic Pro. Nice and solid and flies good in moderate wind conditions. Great pictures but doesn’t have the Zoom camera feature that later models have. However I can edit and zoom my pictures once downloaded to the computer so it works fine for what I need.

1 Like

Drones are good when it’s a two story tile roof that’s wet.

2 Likes

Yes, it’s a legitimate tool. Used mine today.

4 Likes

Awesome pics Kevin. I do the same and then edit zoom into all areas. Gives a great visual for the clients.

That is a lot of roof, It looks like the roofer did a excellent job.Did you find any defects in the roof?

Think I saw a nail pop in super zoom…/JK

1 Like

A couple of flashing issues and some organic growth, Pics below I took from my ladder, other than it was a decent roof.

1 Like

I still like to walk the roofs if practical. I also have a drone (Mavic Pro Platinum).Great for those roofs like Kevin showed and great when the roofs are wet and of course in the NE Ohio winters. I also have a Nikon B500 I use on a camera pole and work remotely with my I-phone.

Each inspection is different. IMO, proper inspection of a roof is critical. Use all the tools you can! Above all be safe!

3 Likes

Near me is a guy who runs a drone shop and is very highly regarded (nationally) in drones. He does LEO training and other things like that as well with his.

I spoke with him about home inspection usage. He said honestly the mavic mini will get the job done nicely. But he’ll happily still sell me a pro or enterprise if I want to spend money or really want thermal on it. so when I get ready to move into that arena that’s what I’ll start with.

He then showed me his 20000 setup… damn

2 Likes

I finally gave in early this year and bought a drone. I just wasn’t comfortable with what I didn’t know about areas of the roof I couldn’t access. I only use it when I can’t walk a roof. I bought a Mavic Mini and really like it. 249 grams no license required. But still must pay attention to “no fly” zones.

2 Likes

Glad to hear the positive review of the Mavic Mini. I was under the impression that even though it’s under 250 grams, a 107 license is still required for any commercial use of it. Is that not accurate?

2 Likes

That was my understanding as well.

4 Likes

We only use drones, we hardly ever mount the roof anymore. We take a lot of pics, blow them up on the computer screen at home and haven’t had a complaint in almost 1000 inspections. No reason to walk them with the technology, the drone doesn’t care about pitch, product, weather, or height.

We fly a DJI phantom IV and a Mavic Pro. Both solid aircraft with 1080p cameras. I have flown in 45+ mile an hour winds. Great tool.

I can’t recommend one enough, the safety factor alone should make it a no brainer.

Hope that helps,

Rick Moore, BA CPI
Sherlock Hones Inspection & Appraisal
Mead, CO

2 Likes

Thank you. I’m sold.