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June 14, 2017

Drones & the Human Element

In the past few years, roofing companies have started to take advantage of drone technology.

drone-cam-portal-image.jpgDrones can be very useful tools. For contractors to do commercial roofing work, they obviously need to have a clear understanding of what’s on the roof surface to plan a project. Drones make this possible, without needing to have a technician actually climb onto the roof. This is not only safer, but can also be faster. Drones provide excellent before-and-after still pictures or videos (great for the roofer’s marketing activities) and can even show wet insulation (indicating leaks) when equipped with infrared/thermal cameras. Drones also allow roofers to get a good sense of the proper safety precautions they must take before getting on the roof to do a job.

Recently, the FAA instituted several rules for commercial drone use. These include: the pilot must obtain a license; the drone must be registered; the drone must not weigh more than fifty-five pounds or be flown higher than 400 feet; and must only be operated in daylight. These rules have been put in place to protect other aircraft, people and property.

roof tape measure-1.jpgMany roofing companies are using drones to take measurements and develop estimates for roofs, believing that this method provides roof information that’s as accurate as a technician on the rooftop. Drones may make it easier but, in our view, there is nothing more reliable than a tape measure, and Royalty continues to measure, plan, and propose roofing systems the “old fashioned” way. One reason for this is that drones can’t show a complete picture of the entire system, especially underneath the roof surface and the make-up of the roof deck. Understanding these areas is critical for planning the right roofing system for the facility.

There is no question that drones are a valuable asset in the roofing industry. But replacing the reliability of a person who is inspecting and measuring a roof on the surface with simple measurements and pictures from a drone does not provide building owners with the accuracy and understanding needed for an installation that can be trusted to provide watertight integrity for years. At Royalty, we are committed to customer satisfaction, and will use methods we believe will deliver the highest level of quality to those who trust us with their roofing needs.


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