One particular area of the UK’s commercial drone industry that is literally ‘taking off’ is the drone inspection and survey sector.
Every working day, across the nation, hundreds of drones undertake inspection flights to assist construction professionals in their trade. Drones are being deployed to assist in everyday construction and property maintenance inspection tasks.
This recent phenomenon of drones replacing traditional inspection methods is being driven by the ability to do the job faster, safer and more cost effectively.
Lets suppose your semi detached house has water leak originating from the roof. You need to undertake a roof inspection to find out where the leak is coming from.
The options are:
Option A – Hire and erect scaffolding to enable your surveyor to inspect the roof.
Option B – Hire an elevated platform to enable your surveyor to inspect the roof.
We’ve done the math! DSR has done some research into the most optimistic prices of scaffold, platform and drone hire costs. Prices in parts of the country such as London could very likely be more. According to recent scaffolding costs, in general you might expect to pay £900 to scaffold three sides of a semi-detached house.
Based on our research the cost difference between using a drone (option C) versus an elevated platform (option B) with an experienced operator was 70.96 % cheaper. Time wise the drone saved more than 3 days of roof survey man hours.
The cost difference between using a drone (option C) versus scaffolding (option A) to inspect a roof was 85.71% cheaper. Time wise the drone saved more than 3 days of roof survey man hours.
Drones can be set up in a fraction of the time compared to using scaffolding or an elevated platform. Scaffolding requires man power to erect and dismantle the access scaffolding.
Compared to an elevated platform or scaffolding, a drone can be set up and ready to fly in approximately 20 minutes.
The usual flight operation is 30 minutes. When you compare the time required to undertake a roof inspection with a drone compared to using an elevated platform or scaffolding the amount of time saved is significant. We are talking days saved not just a few hours!
Time saving in business equates to money saving!
In many circumstances an elevated platform or scaffolding simply will not be able to provide access to hard to reach areas on a building. Sometimes it is physically impossible to erect scaffolding on parts of buildings or manoeuvre a platform into the correct operating position. Drones are easy to transport and fly effortlessly into position to carry out a detailed inspection.
Working at heights such as on ladders, an elevated platform or scaffolding creates additional health and safety risks. Utilising drone technology especially in the inspection sector reduces safety risks.
There are also some powerful safety features that are being implemented by drone manufactures to mitigate risks such as collision avoidance and return to base functions.
Drones can fly close to buildings and capture incredible high quality imagery. Surveyors can easily zoom in on imagery to investigate problem areas. Both video, still photos and other types of data can be captured.
Different sensors can be fitted onto drones in order to capture different types of helpful data including visual, thermal (see photo), infrared, NIR (near infrared).
Sophisticated software allows roof inspections to be carried out and collate all manner of information about the condition of a roof.
Drone inspections produce high quality accurate data. During a drone inspection the surveyor can be given a remote monitor allowing a live feed of the drone’s view of the building or structure.
The monitor works over the internet via a YouTube link, allowing surveyors to remain off-site or indoors. Surveyors can also direct the flight path or request more detail or time in a specific ‘problem’ roof area.
A drone roof inspection could save you hundreds if not thousands of pounds…….You could save money on scaffolding costs, elevated platform costs, insurance excess, or even by inspecting the roof to avoid undertaking unnecessary work.
Why Consider a Drone Inspection?
Perhaps you are a construction company? Perhaps you are a home owner? Maybe you have a leaky or damaged roof? Perhaps you have a roof that is ageing and requires attention? Perhaps you have been approached to have work done and you want an independent drone inspection as a second opinion.
Whatever the reason, drones are fast replacing traditional methods of inspecting roofs.