Home Inspection Professionals
This page is designed to help those in the home inspection profession understand the value of drones in the use of inspections and to provide valuable resources to those who have just added a drone service to their inspection business. While we are currently building our YouTube channel there aren’t many videos there yet, but check back often as we will be adding videos that will be covering information specific to home inspectors and remember to like, subscribe, and hit that bell icon so you are notified when we add more.
Why Add a Drone to Your Inspections?
First, lets start off with the reasons that you probably haven’t started using a drone and why those reasons to hesitate are unfounded. After this I think you will find that you have all the reasons that you need to consider adding a drone to your inspection tools.
Reason 1: Its a new Technology and I don’t have the time to learn it.
Believe it or not, learning to fly a drone is not that difficult. The technology has progressed such that they are very easy to learn and fly, especially if you buy the right one (Don’t worry we will help you will all of this).
We are here to be your resource so if you have any questions or need any help integrating this new technology just ask us, you can always reach us. We aren’t like a big box store or other drone company that says thanks for your purchase and moves on expecting you to fend for yourself, we are here to be a full service company for your aerial inspections.
Here is another consideration, you don’t need a home inspector do the drone inspection. Anyone can do it for you with the right camera and know how (which we can help with)
Reason 2: Its too expensive to get into and I would hate to crash an expensive piece of equipment.
First of all, the current drone technology is much smarter than it used to be. Because of all of the safety features that they now have, crashing a drone isn’t as easy as it used to be. In fact, like all aircraft the most common cause of a crash is pilot error (which is why the current drone technology takes out as much pilot error as it can). But don’t worry, we have you covered there too.
Being a CPS Warranty dealer we can sell either a one or two year extended warranty that covers accidental damage. You can keep renewing the warranty and they will keep fixing your drone (up to its value) as long as you own the drone and can recover it in the event of a crash. You can even transfer this warranty if you decide to sell it which adds value to your drone’s resale.
Reason 3: I am worried that I will miss things that I would catch walking a roof.
Actually, this is just the opposite, you will catch things that you will miss walking on a roof, but how is this true? Well here are some things to consider:
1.Digital cameras see in the visual to the near Infrared spectrum. This actually means it sees things that you cannot, we know this from extensive Research and Development that we carried out when we first added drones to our inspections. On multiple occasions we were seeing things on the photos that we couldn’t find climbing up on the roof (knowing exactly where to look mind you)
2. You can get at angles and viewing positions that you cannot get while standing on a roof, such as a total view of the roof, directly above a chimney, or looking up from the edge of the roof. Not to mention that you can document every inch of the roof and put the photos right into your report. If you save these photos you have a record in case someone says that you missed something, although after 2 years of doing this we haven’t had a single roof claim and we have done hundreds of roofs. We have even caught things that roofing companies didn’t catch!
I am sure that you can come up with all kinds of reasons that you still need to walk a roof but consider this, you only need to find a defect and report it and you can accomplish this with a drone. Don’t just take our word for it do what we did, fly the roof with a drone and then do your normal roof inspection until you trust it. I promise you will find that you are getting a better inspection and seeing things you never would. But one thing above all, you will reduce the risk of injury drastically since the most dangerous parts of a roof inspection or getting on and off that ladder!
What camera specifications are important to an inspector?
Sensor size is important for an inspector because it affects your field of view. A small camera such as the one on a Mavic Air will not cover as much area as a larger camera that comes with a Phantom 4 Pro or Mavic 2 Pro. With the smaller camera you will have to get much closer to your object, which means you are taking a lot more images to cover a whole roof. The larger sensor on the Phantom 4 or Mavic 2 Pro covers a lot wider area with better detail so you don’t have to get so close.
While pretty much any drone that you get today will either be recording video in 4K or 1080p, the most important thing to consider for still imaging is the megapixel (MP) rating of the camera. The camera’s megapixel rating tells you how many pixels are going to be visible, the more of them you have the larger you can make the photo. Why is this important to a Inspector? Once you take your images and put them on a PC you can zoom way in on that image and see so much more than you can from the original image. Below is an example of the benefit of using a camera with a higher megapixel rating.
Now, all digital images will allow you to zoom in on your PC, but the biggest difference is how clear your images will be at the closer views. If this photo had been taken using a smaller MP rating, The only way to achieve this kind of closeup would be if the picture was taken much closer, of course the trade-off would be how much the original image would show since it would only be covering a much smaller area.
Other important considerations
This is a very important factor for an inspector as it determines how many batteries you will need to do a roof. While something small and cheap like Mavic Air would be just fine to use (as a bare minimum) the battery life is not very long. How long the drone can operate on one battery can vary based on temperature, wind conditions, and how you fly (changing altitude and position all drains battery). Every time you have to land and change a battery will increase your inspection time and depending on the size of the roof, you may not have enough batteries for the day.