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How are drone inspections and drone surveys changing the way surveyors work?

I think it is safe to say, all building surveyors at one point or another, have been on site and looked up at the roof and thought, how am I going to know what’s going on up there?

If you’re lucky, there may be roof access or you may have pre-booked a MEWP but either way, it’s very rare that this will grant you an access all areas pass.

Guess work

Sometimes, it’s easy to see from the internal inspection where the issues are, which is fine when you’re looking at damage limitation, but what about damage prevention? Having roof access or the use of a MEWP gives you that extra advantage, but using either method, is not the holy grail of solutions due to a number of setbacks. This could be due to limited roof access, particularly with grade listed buildings, or there may be perimeter issues with power lines, overhanging trees or the need for road closures when using a MEWP. All or any of which, would result in some degree of guess work going into your report.

Drones for inspections and surveys

Utilising drone technology, can alleviate a lot of these issues for several reasons. Drones have much more of an advantage when it comes to manoeuvrability, whether it’s capturing chimney stacks from all angles, differing pitches of the roof or general close ups of end laps or guttering. As a result, drones are able to capture the vast majority of all areas in high resolution imagery, leaving little to no guess work. They’re also much more time-effective, as an example, a roof inspection of a 3000 sqft commercial unit could be completed in as little as 15-20 minutes.


There is also the matter of safety, a surveyor on a roof brings a lot of paperwork and permits, as does a MEWP, sometimes requiring a two-man crew minimum in order for permits to be granted. Whilst using said methods can be perfectly safe, making use of a drone inspection removes the human element altogether. Having feet firmly on the ground, the drone operator can do all the work required by flying the drone and viewing the ‘drone point of view’ on their monitor.

Who to use?

There are a number of drone companies that provide a drone inspection and drone survey service, but choosing the right one is key. Before looking at the quality of their work, ensure the drone company is Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) certified – they should be able to provide you with a valid Operational Authorisation (OA) to verify that they are able to fly legally. They should also have Public Liability Insurance specific to operating drones, this can only be obtained if they have provided a valid OA to the insurer.

Next, you should see examples of previous drone inspections carried out and how they intend on delivering the data/imagery to you, this way, you can confirm that they’re able to capture what’s required, rather than just ‘point and shoot’.

Why Choose DroneCam Solutions?

DroneCam Solutions are Certified by the CAA and have been for the last 7 years, we hold a valid OA and have a Public Liability insurance Limit of Indemnity of £10m. We are proud to be accredited with Alcumus as part of their Safe Contractor scheme where our Health and Safety practices and processing procedures have been scrutinised by their auditors.

DroneCam Solutions are used by a number of respected regional and national building surveyors and property management companies. Having undertaken over 500 drone inspections and drone surveys on buildings ranging from small residential properties through to 315,000sqft industrial units, we are experienced in what we do.

If you would like more information on drone inspections and drone surveys, you can contact us here.