The applications for drones within the roofing industry are growing. In this cased study we conducted an aerial roof inspection for RCS Roofing and Sheetmetal out of Ft Worth, TX on a roof replacement project in Flowermound, TX for a church, with some beautiful architecture. We provided the client with an aerial survey grade map of the entire property as well as the inspection of the roof. In this case study, we will explain the process we go through, what we were able to capture and deliver to the Roofing company, how they were able to put this information to practical use, and what we learned for improvements on the next project.
The first thing we have to do is get clearance from the FAA to operate in class B airspace for this particular project. Once we had been granted authorization, we flew a DJI Phantom 4 capturing 230 12 megapixel images, fly at approximately 300ft of elevation. Each photo has a GPS location and elevation used to help determine measurements, heights, square footage and more from the final processed photo. We were able to stitch these photos to create an aerial map of the entire property. Once this is completed, we deliver a digital interactive model as sampled below:
Deliverables to the Roofing Company
The above interactive model is the kind of deliverable you would provide your repair team or provide to the client. It is not editable but provides all the information either needs to see to get the job done. The drone services provider and the roof inspector have access to make notes and annotations to the roof how ever they need to. Providing square footage, pitch, highlighting specific areas of concern and showing different images that review those areas. Here are more details to what we highlighted from this roof inspection:
- (UAV Report with Measurements) This is a full report of the roof systems annotations, pitch, square footages based put together by us. This study was compared with an Eagle View report (Eagle View Report with Measurements).
- (RCS Roof Export with Notes) Here is a PDF report of basic measurements, notes on problematic areas, and overview of the roof showing where the problematic areas are located.
- Along with the RCS Export, we deliver up close high resolution images giving you a visualization of the problems described in the PDF export. (sample images are for review below)
In this particular case, we were testing everything. This roof had seen serious hail damage and just about everything was destroyed on both the shingled and TPO roof systems. We could have marked up this entire roof with problems but highlighted a few to show you how the system works. Here are the ways the deliverables created value for the roofing company:
- Roofing Company could review all the images captured to include both up close and far away images that were captured to put together this inspection and model.
- This inspection saved about 4 hours of labor spent on the top of a roof and reduced liability. It also allowed for review of areas that were un safe to actually reach or look at in person like the areas that had a pitch of 18 on the shingled portions of the roof.
- We were able to provide a delivered inspection that was reviewable as many times as necessary without putting someone on the roof multiple times, thus reducing liability.
- We provided a full report of the measurements and annotations needed to help calculate a quote for the project with calculations of all the necessary materials needed.
- We were able to provide both a digital and printable overview and report of issues with different images of those issues for review by the repair or replacement team and the actual owner of the property.
What We Could Do Different
This was a big learning curve for both us and the roofing company. We were able to provide a lot, but here is how we think we can improve our product to deliver something consistent, reliable and valuable that our roofing clients will need on every project they work on moving forward:
- Capture far away images for general review, capture 3 different levels of oblique images around each structure being reviewed as well as the direct over head images we captured. Flying at a lower level gets us better quality close up photos to inspect the small details of a roof.
- We did not do this for this project, but given your information and numbers, we can calculate roof replacement estimations based on types of roofing material and your labor costs to make the quoting process easy to pass on to your clients.
- Next time, we found more value in separating the roof inspection from the aerial map of the whole property. It will be better to focus on just the roof and structure from the clients perspective.
To learn more about how Aerial Roof Inspections can be a great added value to your business, give us a call at (214) 842-6000 or click here to learn more from our website.
Images of damaged areas in high resolution from the digital export: