It was in 1984 when courts determined that real estate brokers need to “to conduct a reasonably competent and diligent inspection of the residential property listed for sale and to disclose to prospective purchasers all facts materially affecting the value of the property”. Since then, home appraisals, as well as their subsequent sales prices, have hinged on inspections in order to protect both the buyer and the seller. From a buyer’s perspective, they want to know what they are buying from an experienced, unbiased, third-party. From a seller’s perspective, they want to know there will be no surprises, such as post-closing litigation if there is a structural issue with the home of which they were unaware.
Drone technology has ushered in a whole new era for home inspections. Drones provide better inspections, in less time, and are providing more comprehensive reporting for customers. Drones unlock benefits such as:
Enhanced accessibility and imaging
When you are standing on a roof you are looking at 30 degrees which is the maximum reflectivity of a shingle. The optimum angle to inspect a roof is from a 90 degree angle. This is not always possible, depending on the pitch of the roof. Drones literally increase the capabilities of the naked eye. In higher temperatures you may also run into mirage effect that can limit what you are seeing. There is not a roof area that exists that a drone cannot fully inspect at various angles. Drones also provide nearly unlimited accessibility for commercial spaces, attics, barns or areas that require extra time and equipment, such as ladders or scaffolding. Beyond still images, drones offer the ability to video areas or provide internal and external virtual tours for sellers wanting to enhance their property listing.
Decreased damage to roofs
Some home inspectors will argue that the only way to really inspect a roof is to walk on it, to feel it under your weight. This is counterproductive. When inspectors walk on a roof, they are compromising the quality of the roof itself, particularly if the roof has shingles. Walking on shingles removes the granules (called riders), diminishing the lifespan of those shingles.
Truly, when a home inspector physically walks on a roof, they should be also reporting on the potential damage or detriment to the shingle quality they also incurred. Drones capture and roof, of any pitch, at any angle without requiring safety risks or potentially damaging the roof surface. It’s a no-brainer.
Energy Loss and Commercial Applications
If you are inspecting homes for heating and cooling integrity, thermal drones can provide an accurate picture to buyers and sellers of a home’s ability to hold temperature and prove energy efficiency or highlight areas of deficiency. If you are a home inspector that doesn’t offer these types of inspections, this is an opportunity to open new revenue streams, as well. Using thermal drone imaging is the best way to measure infrared radiation. This is how much heat an object is giving off, and it’s impossible to measure without technology because while humans feel heat, we can’t see or feel infrared radiation. Thermal drone cameras turn infrared energy emissions into a measurable data point. For commercial customers the ability to identify areas of damage/moisture intrusion on a large roof is very important. Usually, these building owners are replacing the entire roof on a regular basis which is a major expense. Using a thermal drone to inspect these roofs can save a company hundreds of thousands of dollars in maintenance costs which is extremely valuable to them, and lucrative for the inspector who can provide this inspection.
Better property marketing
Using a drone, agents and home inspectors can quickly, easily, and safely provide high-quality images and videos at various angles and perspectives, including virtual tours of properties from both the interior and the exteriors. This means more appealing listings, better buyer engagement and extensibility to buyers who are located outside the local area. No matter the images or information your clients need, drones can capture it with accuracy and make sharing and archiving that information easily.
Drone Hangar is here to help you leverage the right drone to meet your needs and improve your business. But even beyond drone sales, we truly build a relationship with our customers and provide maintenance, service, support and education for the lifetime of your business.
If you believe you are ready to make an investment in a drone for your home inspection, business, reach out to The Drone Hangar or check out our online drone shop. Also be sure to follow along with this series on our Drone Hangar blog.