How Drones Impact the Roofing Industry

roof inspector flying drone during inspection

How Drones Impact the Roofing Industry

In the 21st century, technology is advancing at an expeditious rate. From smartphones to algorithms, to AI and voice, technology is ever changing and re-shaping how our society functions and performs tasks. Drones are no exception: cameras are getting better, thermography has improved, and control via waypoints make it easier to control a drone. This technology has permeated the roofing industry—and it’s here to stay. Drones are affecting the roofing industry and changing the way a roof inspection is performed.

Easier Roof Inspection:

Not all roofs are easy to walk. Drones are allowing realtors, contractors, insurance adjusters, engineers, and roofing consultants to perform a roof inspection that used to take specialized inspectors. From steep-slope roofs to spires that are 200 feet high, and from exterior building facades, the inspector of the building envelope has another set of eyes that they didn’t have before.

Large Scale Surveying:

Commercial roofing systems, multiple buildings, and HOAs have numerous or large roofing systems. It can be intimidating for a single inspector to go over a 2 million square foot warehouse or inspect 95 condo buildings in one setting. A drone can allow an inspector to do an initial survey of the roofing system or property by setting up waypoints for the drone to follow and take pictures or capture video accordingly for the roof inspection. An inspector can then take that information and prioritize his/her roof inspection process while finishing their assessment more efficiently for the client.


Thermal scans are an important tool when it comes to tracking leaks and assessing moisture saturation in roofing systems. Typically, these inspections were done by night with a roof consultant or engineer on a roofing system. The challenge with this method ties a consultant or inspector to a night time roof inspection; they need access to the building, and their view from a handheld thermography camera is limited. Conversely, with a drone, an inspector can show up at their leisure without inconveniencing the client, and gather an aerial thermography scan of the roofing system more quickly and efficiently, allowing an inspector to interpret the data more quickly and form an opinion.

Drones and Roof Inspections

The points mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential of drones and UAV technology. According to most experts in the industry, the many applications of drones are unknown at this time, but, technology is improving in this area on a monthly basis. Will drones replace consultants, engineers, etc.? Probably not. They will relieve the burden of going into hazardous situations, but a trained eye will always be needed to interpret the data brought in by drones and to complete the roof inspection. Drones certainly have a future in the roofing industry, and it will be interesting to see how they change and evolve.

If you need a partner to inspect your building’s roof, the roof consultants and experts at Alliance would love to help. We’ll inspect your roof and explain in understandable terms what’s going on with the condition of your roof. Sound like a plan you can get behind? Contact us today to schedule your roof inspection.

submit a project button