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Should you get a drone roof survey?

  1. 01 February 2023
  2. By Jeremy Greer

Many surveyors are now using the latest drone technology to carry out roof surveys. Novello Chartered Surveyors take us through how it works and if it could be right for you.



Few aspects of a home are more essential than the roof, but it’s also one of the hardest places to spot any signs of damage or disrepair. Leaving a roof in a poor state can cause serious problems. A loose or cracked tile could lead to water coming into your home, damaging battens & rafters and staining walls or carpets. And the longer you leave it, the worse it will become and the more expensive it will be to fix.

What is a drone roof survey?

A drone roof survey involves an experienced, qualified operator flying an unmanned aerial vehicle up to and around the roof to capture high-quality video and photos which can then be assessed to identify any damage or areas of concern. It can be a useful way to find out about the state of your roof, quickly and easily.

Traditional roof survey versus a drone roof survey

Traditional roof surveys, carried out by surveyor, tend to be more time-consuming, costly and potentially hazardous; requiring people to work at height and navigate hard-to-reach areas.
 
Using drone technology, however, roof surveys are quicker and more cost-effective, and can offer more detailed results than a traditional survey. 
 
Whereas with a traditional roof survey, you may need to pay for scaffolding to be erected to safely access and investigate the roof, with a drone survey, a qualified and certified surveyor will fly compact drones up to the area that needs assessing. This is particularly helpful if your roof is fragile or in an especially poor condition. It also means a drone survey is much less disruptive, the opportunity for accidents such as objects dropped from height is minimised, and their simplicity means it’s less labour intensive and quicker to complete. 

When do I need a drone roof survey?

If you think your roof may have sustained some damage or needs some TLC, a drone roof survey is a good way to get an accurate and clear picture of any damage and what needs to be repaired.
 
There are also other scenarios in which a roof survey can prove valuable. For example, if you’re buying a new home and you suspect there may be issues with the roof, or you want the full picture of the property’s condition before you buy, a survey will give you the information you need.
 
If your roof has been damaged and you’re trying to claim on your home insurance, a roof survey can provide clear, impartial evidence of the damage to help your claim. Maybe you also want peace of mind that your roof is in a decent state of repair, such as after a recent heavy storm. 

The benefits of a drone roof survey. 

Compact drones can capture 4K videos and high-quality photos of a roof. The surveyor can also zoom in on any areas of concern, even in hard-to-reach areas that a standard roof survey could miss. This enables your surveyor to produce a highly detailed report covering all roof elements, including guttering, flashing, parapets, flat roofs and chimneys. The survey will provide a thorough insight into the state of your entire roof, giving you critical information such as:
  • The expected lifetime of the roof
  • The condition of the tiles
  • Any potential future problem areas
  • And any immediate issues, such as roof sag or leaks
A drone roof survey will detail the extent of any damage and repair costs and explain the cause of the problem, making it easier for you to claim on insurance, plan any repairs or renegotiate an asking price. 
 
If you think a drone roof survey is right for your needs, look for RICS-qualified surveyors with experience in flying drones. It’s essential that the survey is carried out by a properly qualified professional who follows all the appropriate guidelines, so insist on a pilot who is Civil Aviation Authority certified and an authorised drone operator.
 
Thank you to Novello Chartered Surveyors for providing their insight into the latest advancement in roof surveying. 
 
 

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