Tools of the trade: Using a drone for home inspections

Unlike other ancillary services, drone inspection services are not a means of providing additional income to our home inspection business. Drones simply serve as a tool (a rather expensive but necessary one). Drones provide a way to inspect roofs that would otherwise be inaccessible. Often, a roof is inaccessible when it is too high, too steep, or too wet to safely access. Certain roofing materials, such as slate and clay tile are not traversed because there is a risk of damaging them. Even asphalt shingles after a light rain inhibit an inspector from safely traversing the roof which becomes quite slick especially when mixed with algae. The best way to inspect a roof is to physically climb it but when that is not possible a drone is second best and we are ready to utilize it!

In the Hampton Roads Area, we estimate that nearly a quarter of properties have inaccessible roofs. Sometimes you may climb a roof but the chimney rain and ridge caps are inaccessible – we pull out the drone.

No more apologizing to clients and referring them to a third party (roofer) for further inspection, we can get a great idea of the condition of the roof coverings, eaves, soffits, fascia, and flashing with a drone.

We see drones as a great tool to give our customers important information and provide better customer service.

Bobby Parker, the home inspector with Summit Home Inspections in Norfolk, Virginia is a drone operator and registered with the FAA.

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