Drone Roof Surveys by Chartered Building Surveyors
Other companies may offer drone roof surveys, but most simply sub-contract the work and then have to rely on somebody else to interpret the results, which could take several days.
Our surveyors know what they are looking for, so typically the drone roof survey team will arrive on site and while one flies the drone, the other will remotely operate the camera and focus on any faults that might be present – in effect, the survey is being done in real time, by the person on the ground.
This approach saves considerable amounts of time and allows the drone survey team to assess footage on site and relaunching the drone if necessary to re-examine any areas of concern.
This is particularly important on larger fragile or high level roofs where access is difficult and of course, it avoids ambiguity and the need for revisits to site.
Typically, few drone pilots have professional experience of industrial roofing issues and tend to carry all kinds of work from video production, film making and surveys.
Our drone pilots are building surveyors, so can identify defects and faults quicker, providing a full, one-stop service to our clients that removes any ambiguity and provides full professional indemnity insurance as standard.
A drone roof survey provides the client with HD quality video footage as well as 4K quality photographs and expert professional commentary, so is ideal for acquisition surveys, dilapidations claims, condition surveys as well as stand-alone roof fault identification surveys.
Please note that this service is suitable for larger roof structures and buildings outside of congested areas.
In all cases, CAA regulations will apply and drones will only be flown if it is 100% safe to do so.
These surveys are also weather dependent and cannot take place in rainfall or winds over 12 MPH.
About Drone Roof Surveys
Using a zoom lens when conducting a drone roof survey is safer, because the drone does not have to fly close to the roof surface, which reduces the risk of collision with hidden wires or structures on the roof surface.
Many safety features are built into the aircraft and our pilots will only fly when it is legal and safe to do so.
Typically, the drone will fly well above the roof surface, in order to avoid any obstacles such as flues, telephone or electrical cables and trees.
A flight path will be pre-programmed into the aircraft to enable it to record an initial video of the roof. This may involve several passes along the roof (at height), to provide an accurate representation of the surface.
We usually fly for no more than 12-15 minutes at a time, preferring to change batteries well within the recommended limits, though the safety system will ensure that the drone returns to the operator if battery power is low.
In all cases, two surveyors will be present. This is an additional safety measure that allows us to keep visual contact with the aircraft at all times, as well as providing an extra pair of hands to photograph more complex roof structures.
As you would expect, we carry drone-specific third party and professional indemnity insurance for our drone surveys and will be happy to provide full information upon request to all clients. This is in addition to our professional indemnity insurance that all surveyors have to carry.
General Restrictions to Performing Drone Surveys
As licensed operators, we have to abide by the rules and regulations, which means that certain permissions must be granted before we can fly a drone.
This means that we require around a weeks notice before we can accept a drone roof survey instruction, as we need to consult air maps, weather forecasts and local Ordnance Survey maps to ensure that the survey can be completed safely, within the regulations.
If your building is within 50 metres of other buildings, you will need to inform your neighbours and obtain the permission necessary for us to fly, before we attend site.
We cannot fly over roads, motorways or heavily populated areas, including schools, hospitals, sports arenas and town centres.
If it is not possible to complete a survey by drone, we can make alternative arrangements to use a suitably sized cherry picker.
Why Conduct A Roof Survey?
If you are experiencing problems with a roof on an industrial or commercial property, an independent roof survey is highly recommended, as this will ultimately save you considerable amounts of money, since you can’t usually rely on roofing contractors to provide an objective opinion.
This is especially true of older asbestos cement roofs, where there are a number of viable solutions available that might not involve roof replacement.
We have conducted hundreds of commercial and industrial roof surveys and have managed many large scale roofing repair, cleaning and replacement contracts on behalf of our clients nationwide.
Our expertise in this crucial area is unsurpassed and our expertise is often called upon by other surveying firms as well as our direct clients.
Please remember that a person with a drone, is not necessarily qualified to carry our a roof inspection. A person operating a drone for commercial purposes (any paid work), must, by law, have a CAA licence for doing so, together with necessary insurance. Our details are available upon request.
We also provide detailed commentary that explains the overall condition of the roof, the extent of any problems, along with a menu of remedial options along with associated budget costs.
Project Management Service
An optional follow-on to our roof survey, is our project management service which is designed and proven to reduce your involvement and costs when roof works are required.
This comprehensive service is charged on a percentage fee of the overall cost of a project and includes the following:
- Specification of required works
- Management of the tendering process
- Appointment of contractors
- Health & Safety (including CDMC duties)
- Inspection of works throughout project (including before / after drone video footage)
- Progress meetings
- Management of contract valuations
- Issuance of guarantees & other required documentation
Often, our clients achieve considerable savings just by formally tendering the works, but the real value of the service lies in the fact that the entire process is managed from start to finish by qualified and experienced individuals who are acting completely in your best interests.
If you would like to learn more, please call us on 0121 711 7110.