Drone Infrared Roof Inspections

Aerial drones, or small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), have become increasingly common for commercial purposes—especially for building inspections. Commercial drones are extremely safe and are nothing like those $200 models in toy stores. Commercial sUAS use advanced GPS systems that track up to 18+ satellites at one time. They have onboard optical avoidance sensors, redundant backup systems, and some even use dual D-RTK antennas to withstand strong magnetic interference.

Commercial roof maintenance is best done proactively. Performing an inspection of your building’s roof once a year is recommended. This will catch minor penetrations before they have a chance to escalate into costly repairs. sUAS inspections can significantly reduce the time and expense of commercial roof inspections when compared to conventional methods.

Building maintenance personnel usually rely on either self-performed visual observations during a walkover inspection, or management will hire a professional roofing contractor who often refers the job to a third party roofing consultant. This proves to be costly and often ineffective. Unfortunately, roof inspections are often overlooked until someone reports a problem.

We offer several types of roof inspection services depending on the roof type, location, and client needs.

The first is a visual photographic inspection using professional grade camera equipment to capture high-resolution digital images. These images can be provided in a traditional PDF report format that outlines our concerns found during the inspection as well as recommendations for proper repairs. Alternately, the digital images can be uploaded to our cloud reporting platform that can produce a large format stitched image or a 3D model. All cloud services can easily be annotated, measured, and shared with other construction managers, building owners, or the appropriate repair personnel.

Another option depending on the roof type and site conditions are high-resolution infrared thermography. FLIR Systems, the world’s leader in thermal imaging equipment, developed a thermal imaging camera system that mounts to a commercial drone. This service is performed just after sunset and works on the premise that any trapped moisture under the roofing membrane will heat up during the daytime heating  of the roof’s surface also called solar loading. After the sun sets, the roof’s surface will begin to cool, but the trapped moisture will maintain its warmth making it easily detectable using sUAS aerial thermal imaging. These areas of moisture are then documented for further investigation and proper repair recommendations.

Our FLIR equipped sUAS features a Zenmuse XT 640×512 resolution radiometric infrared camera that is capable of producing the same high-resolution images and video that our clients are accustomed to seeing. Aerial sUAS thermal infrared roof inspections are ideal during due diligence of commercial or multi-family property acquisitions. This service does not require roof access or disruption to the occupants of the building.

We are FAA Authorized Commercial sUAS Remote Pilots with a current inventory of four aircraft specially equipped with high-resolution camera systems. The FAA has also granted BDG a 14 CFR 107.29 Daylight Operation Waiver allowing us to perform nighttime aerial operations. This waiver will allow us to perform aerial infrared roof inspections throughout the United States.

Contact us today to discuss your next project.