Drones have been in the news frequently lately. Amazon has a desire to use them for delivery service and they have been banned in Yellowstone National Park, but more people are seeing the benefits of using these small unmanned aircraft to make life easier, like White Castle Roofing owner Luke Hansen.
Why Use Roofing Drones?
Mr. Hansen has begun using small unmanned remote controlled aircraft, commonly referred to as drones to perform roof inspections on large scale buildings. The drone comes equipped with a high definition camera which he uses to photograph and record video of potential roofing damage instead of sending workers on the roof. According to Mr. Hansen the use of drones can make tedious roof inspections on large complexes fly by in minutes instead of hours.
White Castle Roofing is not the first to start utilizing this technology for contracting and even specifically roofing purposes. Several insurance agencies have bought their own drones instead of sending someone up into a potentially risky situation. The International Association of Home Inspectors even has a portion of their forums dedicated to reviewing and discussing the use of drones.
Currently the Federal Aviation Administration holds a ban on using drones for commercial use without FAA approval. Companies like White Castle Roofing don’t seem to bothered to actually consider the legal ramifications. Mr. Hansen cites a Virginia case where a unmanned aircraft operator was fined for 10,000 dollars by the FAA but the case was overturned.
“People are really starting to leave the FAA behind.”
That quote comes from Matt Waite of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln Drone Lab.
Many people do not believe that this will create a sea change when it comes to inspections. Commercial drones are currently illegal and aren’t able to do the kind of detailed inspection that can be done by an experienced roofing contractor. They are currently being purposed to do large scale inspections to get a general idea of what kind of work needs to be done.
However don’t expect the industry to slow down at all when it comes to using drones. They are now available at a reasonable price and can save countless man hours and lessen the risk of worker injury.