How Drones can help your roofing business

A new breed of roofers focuses on building trust and providing more value to their customers. They are working diligently to become trusted partners, delivering improved transparency and high-level customer service. By making strategic investments rather than cutting costs, they are adding value to their relationships with their customers.

These roofing companies are making a major investment in drone technology or unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Drones are a much safer and more comprehensive method to complete roof assessments and ultimately provide customers with quality, proactive service.

Traditional Methods

Traditional methods of inspecting roofs are cumbersome, and frequently involve manual surveys that require a person to physically climb the roof and write down a report. A study in 2014 by Moore & Wagner found that residential roofing is a major ongoing source of fatalities and that no matter how many precautions companies take to adhere to safety standards it still happens and contributes to the negative perception.

Since manual inspections are costly and dangerous for roofers, they do not occur regularly. Lack of maintenance, especially preventative, is a common roofing problem, and only leads to neglect and other types of damage. Without accurate assessments and preventative maintenance to address problems up front, property owners can incur larger repair costs, leading to distrust between roofers and their customers.

One disadvantage with people scoping damage on a roof is the consistency in the quality of work. Sometimes a new hire may miss areas of damage, or other times a lazy employee chooses to cut corners to get the day over with.

Many companies have found alternative methods of generating estimates using satellite & aerial photos generated from airplanes like Eagleview. While sometimes effective they’re not able to cover all properties due to outdated maps or poor coverage. Accuracy can vary greatly while using services like this and are typically within a few feet of all sides which can add up and even sometimes miss sections of the roof entirely.

Drone Technology

Today’s drones can perform a roof assessment quickly and accurately, providing real-time data and extensive details. These drones eliminate human error, including bias from an adjuster or inspector, delivering a more transparent and comprehensive analysis of roof conditions with 99.9% accuracy. This systematic, proven approach to inspections puts the customer first with trustworthy information and reliable reports, which leads to a much higher degree of assurance when making decisions and addressing repairs or highly accurate estimations.

Drone usage combined with machine learning can drastically reduce the time it takes to submit a claim or get an estimate. Speed is critical in the roofing industry, especially during storm season. Speedy roof repair is beneficial for your customer, allowing them to protect their homes from further damage. Additionally, this will allow you to conduct inspections faster, allowing you to inspect more roofs in a day. Contractors no longer need to send their employees on the field to do preliminary work of inspecting, analyzing and measuring the roof. With fewer people on-site, less time is spent working, especially including the double-checking of measurements or reassessing the conditions, which is often inevitable. The drones can simply fly over the building, take photos and upload to the cloud for processing all in a few minutes.

There are also many buildings and structures that are difficult to gain access to. There may also be obstructions or building features that make access difficult or dangerous. Using a drone can help minimize costs associated with accessing these areas. They can also keep individuals safely away from sources of danger during the inspection process.

Aerial Imagery

For many reasons, building owners and managers like to have aerial images of their buildings. They may use these images for documenting the condition of the existing building for insurance coverage. The images may be used for the planning and development of the property. Aerial images allow building owners and managers to be able to gain better oversight of their property.

A primary factor in the long-term performance of roofing systems is the drainage of the roof system. Roof systems that provide better drainage and limit the ponding water on the roof system perform better long-term. Aerial imagery provides a better opportunity to assess the overall drainage patterns of the building.

Using a drone service provider that is capable of roofing measurements & Inspections can knock out two birds with one stone and get you the aerial photos during the same job.

drone roof aerial

Marketing

Before-and-after photos & videos are powerful marketing tools. Put them up on your website, show them to potential customers, and demonstrate the difference you can make through your top-quality product and installation. There’s a reason why drone technology has become common in real estate marketing: it adds spice for potential buyers!

Sky Fellas Solution

SkyFellas is an Uber-like service for drones where we offer a range of different services and have a large fleet of pilots to ensure a reliable and quick turnaround. For roofing specifically, we can produce a report that includes square footage, pitch, surface area, slopes and more with an accuracy of within a few centimeters. To get this data we take a few hundred photos of the building completely autonomously that typically takes 5-15 minutes with results 0-5 hours later. All property photos can also be accessed as well as additional services like Before & After photos and progress videos that you can offer as an upsell to your customers or for marketing purposes. For more information, example roof reports, and an interactive demo please see our roofing service page.