Are Drone Inspections Better Than Traditional Roof Surveys?

By John Brook AssocRICS on and updated on

Whether you need a roof survey before committing to buying a house, to claim on your insurance for damage or purely for peace of mind, it’s essential that you have the most thorough inspection possible to be sure you’re clear on the implications of any work that needs to be done. While this could be a time-consuming and expensive manual process in the past, the emergence of drones has reduced the complexity associated with having a roof survey. They could even give you a clearer view of the state of this crucial part of a property. So, is a drone survey the best option for you and what can you expect if you opt for an aerial survey?

Traditional Roof Survey vs Roof Drone Survey

Roofs are an integral part of any property, and if a survey identifies any signs of damage or highlights possible future issues, you must undertake further investigations. This way, you will not only be clear on the extent of the damage, but you can also estimate how much any issues will cost to resolve.

When it comes to getting a detailed insight into the state of a roof, there are two main options, a traditional roof survey or a drone survey.

A drone roof survey offers several advantages over the traditional approach; it is safer and quicker and offers high-quality data on all aspects of the roof.

Whereas with a traditional roof survey, you may need to pay for scaffolding to be erected so experts can 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, without the need for other people to get involved and without having to access the roof itself – it’s simply a case of identifying a safe take-off and landing site. This also means a drone survey is much less disruptive, the opportunity for accidents such as objects dropped from height is minimised, plus their simplicity means that they’re more cost-effective, less labour intensive and quicker to complete. Also, if your roof is fragile or potentially features asbestos, surveying the structure from a distance simply adds to the safety benefits.

Drones can survey properties quickly and thoroughly without anyone having to leave the ground, saving both time and money. They also produce high-quality photos and videos, enabling the surveyor to zoom in on any areas of concern so they can see them. If an unexpected issue is spotted, it’s easy to fly closer or zoom in, even if parts of the roof are difficult to access, ensuring your surveyor can produce a highly detailed report covering all roof elements, including guttering, flashing and chimneys. The detail of the images also means they can revisit any areas of concern to reassess them offsite, so you can be sure you get accurate information on the condition of your roof.

The Novello Approach

When opting for a drone roof survey from Novello, we give all our surveyors Drone training, so you will benefit not only from having a RICS-qualified, impartial and experienced surveyor; but you can also be confident that your expert is Civil Aviation Authority certified and an authorised drone operator.

Using compact, lightweight drones, we can get right up to the areas that need inspecting and take real-time, ultra-clear 4K videos and high-resolution photos to show exactly what your roof looks like. This enables us to access narrow spaces and hard-to-reach areas that a standard roof survey could miss.

We’ll then deliver a comprehensive report in a matter of days that includes the in-depth data received during your aerial inspection. We’ll explain the construction of your roof and the state of critical aspects such as flashing, guttering, tiles, chimneys and more, and we’ll highlight anything that could cause a problem in the future. This level of detail will ensure you don’t have to pay for unexpected costly repairs once you’ve completed a property. Plus, you’ll have all the information you need should you renegotiate an offer based on the survey results.

If you’d like to find out how a drone survey can help you understand the true state of your roof, or you’d like to learn more about our comprehensive Private Client Surveying service, contact us today.

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