Do you own a ‘remote control helicopter’, otherwise known as a drone? Perhaps you got your kids one last Christmas? Chances are you know of someone who owns a drone for personal use- but has it ever occurred to you that you probably know of a business who uses drones to enhance the work and services they offer?
According to the Financial Times, only about 150 active UK companies offered drone services in 2014. Fast-forward to the beginning of this year and that number soared to 2,380 and is set to grow. It’s not just television and film studios, who accounted for 75% of the country’s drone activity three years ago, using them to secure the perfect shot either. Today, the construction and property industries are the sectors using drones the most. Advocates of forward-thinking technology and advancements, Ploughcroft aren’t missing out on the trend!
We now offer drone surveys to inspect the rooftops of a range of building types, generating vital and insightful information for buildings as architecturally diverse as hotels, pubs, schools, churches, industrial properties and homes. Far from being a mere toy or gizmo, drones can collect rich and accurate data from rooftops and relay it back so experienced and high-quality roofers like Ploughcroft can act upon the information gathered, using the data to inform any repairs or alteration decisions they make to the surveyed roof.
Why has Ploughcroft started using drones in surveys for buildings across Yorkshire and Lancashire?
Let’s start with the obvious; developments in technology now make it possible for high-resolution, close-up film and images to be captured by the drone’s camera, painting a wholesome and detailed picture of the roof being surveyed. This reduces the need for roofers to have to be physically present on the rooftop to carry out the inspection. They simply record the data and use their professional know-how to analyse it from the ground.
If you’ve ever been up a ladder yourself you’ll know balancing on it or working from height for any purposes carries innate risks. With the roofing inspector’s feet staying firmly planted on the ground whilst they carry out the roof survey via the drone, they avoid the dangers that working from height entails.
Deploying drones do, however naturally still involve risks, which is why the government recently announced that devices weighing 250 grams and over would be required by law to have their details officially registered to promote accountability responsible usage of drones. Owners will also have to take a new drone safety awareness test to demonstrate that they are aware of UK security, safety and privacy rules.
Any roofing contractor using drones in a professional capacity should be well-versed in the current UK laws regarding drones, as our team are at Ploughcroft. More information about drone safety and laws can be found here on the Civil Aviation Authority’s website.
2) More Accessible
On top of increased safety for roofing contractors, the drone can also reach areas where access by foot would prove challenging or risky should the roof’s surface be fragile and unsuitable for walking on, and collect valuable visual information for the inspector on the ground.
3) More Accurate
On occasions in which rooftop inspections are carried out by one roofer alone, they capture the required information through their own eyes only. The inspector may forget to check a certain area of the rooftop due to human error. On the other hand, a drone can offer a sweeping view of the entire roof, as well as close-up shots. The footage can then be viewed by more than one roofing professional once the drone has returned to the ground and the roof inspector’s colleagues may catch something in the drone footage that the roofer that controlled the drone in the survey originally missed.
4) More cost-effective
Practically speaking, advantages include scaffolding, aerial lifts, ladders, access towers and cherry pickers being unnecessary. This means the time it takes to erect this specialist working-from-height equipment is saved. This time-saving measure proves especially valuable when a roof leak has already been identified as the issue with the roof for example and time is of the essence. The drone can quickly pinpoint the source of the leak and gather any other information the roofer needs before they act, enabling the roofing specialist to repair the roof quicker and prevent the damage from worsening. This, in turn, saves the property owner money.
5) Less Disruptive
As well as being cost-effective making our clients happier, the fact that scaffolding, ladders, cherry pickers and similar equipment aren’t needed means less noise, mess and disruption for the client further increasing their satisfaction with our work.
6) More Precise
Drones also boast the ability to record footage from tight or tricky angles or heights that would be difficult to achieve by a conventional hand-held camera. The increased accurate information can prove useful in showcase our roofing work in a ‘before and after’ capacity as the GPS function on drones ensures precise shots can be captured from the exact same position in the air.
Increased accuracy in images that result from an inspection can also be a huge help when evidence in insurance cases is required.
7) More Efficient
The highly efficient way in which drones operate means they can save property owners even more time. The devices can inspect a range of buildings on one site in the time that it would usually take to painstakingly erect scaffolding and ladders to inspect a single building the traditional way. The efficiency of drones is especially helpful for owners of industrial sites or commercial warehouses.
For a drone survey to inspect the roof of your commercial or domestic property contact Ploughcroft today.