We will tell you right off the bat that, as of early 2017, 3D Robotics (3DR)…
In the last few years, drones have turned into a truly useful tool in home repair, especially for roof inspections. Homeowners and professional roofers would tell you that one of the most important parts of your house is your roof. It is also, understandably, one of the more dangerous maintenance jobs that have to be done on a regular basis. Getting up on a roof is not something most homeowners cherish doing, but it is a job that nonetheless needs to be done.
Why Use a Drone for Roof Inspections?
Speed and Best Drone for Roof Inspections
Drones help you get a roofing inspection job done faster. In the time it takes you to get the ladder out from the garage, mounting it safely and climbing it with no danger of falling, your drone would already have been taking pictures of roof damage and the need for repairs. Also, the speed of a drone inspection is interminably faster than a manual one. On the average, a drone inspection can take 5-20 minutes, depending on the size and scope of your roof.
This issue speaks for itself. Getting up on a ladder and walking on your roof is not a task that any average homeowner can or should do. Drones have no bones to break and do not need medical services if they fall out of the sky. You do.
Cost and Best Drone for Roof Inspections
If you decide not to take on the task yourself, hiring a professional with a drone would cost you less than one who needs to get up on your roof and inspect it with their very own two eyes. Also, there would be no need for a professional roofer to transport costly scaffolding or other climbing gear, or to hire more men for the job. This translates to cutting out equipment as well as labor costs.
So now, how do you choose the best drone to do a roofing inspection job? All drones are not created equal. Some are more than capable of making roofing inspections while others simply are not. Many factors have to be taken into careful consideration. Size, battery life, camera range, GPS capabilities, and sturdiness, are all features that need thorough deliberation before using a drone specifically for roofing repairs.
Best Drones for Roof Inspections
To follow are a few options of the best drones in the market for roof inspections. The key is to find one that fits your specific purposes. Of course, cost is almost always on the forefront so doing extensive research is key to making the best choice. Figuring out the scope of work that needs to be done and the size of the roof that needs inspection are also ways to decide whether to do the job yourself or hire a professional roofer.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
DJI is the largest producer of consumer drones. The Mavic 2 Pro has pretty much all the features you need to conduct a successful roof inspection. The camera takes 20 megapixel images and has an optional zoom feature. A thermal camera option is also available for this model. It comes with integrated GPS, is omnidirectional and obstacle-sensing, and has an automatic return-to-home function with a flying time of up to 31 minutes.
Autel X Star
The Autel X Star boasts of an industry-leading camera that takes 4K ultra-HD videos and up to 12MP photos mounted on a quick release 3-axis gimbal stabilizer with an HD live view of up to 1.2 miles away. This model features an intelligent battery with 60-minute fast charging and a flying time of up to 25 minutes.
Yuneec Typhoon H
The Yuneec line of drones started out as a fantastic toy for hobbyists but now they are increasingly being used for commercial and professional purposes. This particular Yuneec model provides 2 controllers and a rotating 360-degree 4K ultra HD camera. It also features retractable landing gear for unobstructed view shots which may be a tremendous help when reviewing roof images. Flying time is about 25 minutes which may be slightly lesser than other brands and models, but thoroughly adequate for roof inspections.
Parrot Anafi Work
This mid-priced Parrot drone comes with a kit and is ready to fly in no time. As with the other drones on this list, the Parrot Anafi Work features great camera capabilities such as 4K HDR, 21MP, plus a unique 120-degree tilt to capture hard to reach areas. Aside from the usual items in a standard drone box (charger, controller, etc), this model comes with 4 spare batteries, a 16GB XD card, 8 propellers, Usb-A to USB-C cables and other extras. One thing to know about the Parrot Anafi Work is that it does not come with obstruction avoidance sensors. An experienced controller would not find that an issue but if you are new to drone-flying, this particular drone may not be for you.
DJI Mavic Mini
The DJI Mavic Mini is another r DJI model that makes it to the list. As with most DJI drones, the Mini is also equipped with a great camera. Weighing in at 295 grams, this fun-sized wonder features a 3-axis gimbal 2.7K camera. One does not need more than that for a standard roof inspection. The Mavic Mini also features a 30-minute maximum flight time. This important detail is huge for such a tiny little thing. Combine these features with its relatively low cost, the DJI Mavic Mini is a great budget buy for roofing inspection work.
There are a few more options to scour in the market, but these five options serve as a great start in finding your perfect drone for roof inspections. Not only do you have the drone’s features to consider, it would also be good to know what you truly want your drone to do for you. One thing to remember though is that the quality of work provided by a drone is only as good as the person flying it, so be sure to check out our other blogs on drone instruction and certification.