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How Much Does a Drone Roof Inspection Cost?
Life and Style Daily
November 14, 2021
7 min

One of the most critical parts of a home or a building is the roof. The roof protects the people from many things, especially from the different outside elements, such as the effects of varying weather conditions. A good roof also adds tremendous value, proper ventilation, sound insulation, and prevents leaks. And when your roof is in good shape, your family is comfortable and can give you peace of mind. Hence, since it is an essential investment of your home, it is crucial to have it checked at least twice a year or after a natural disaster such as a storm. Always ensure it is always in good shape and has zero damages.

Traditionally roof inspection is done by climbing up the roof and checking if there are leaks that would cause wood rot, mildew growth, or molds. However, climbing up can put an inspector or even the homeowner at risk of falling. Rooflines these days are becoming more complex and challenging to navigate physically, making traditional roof inspection harder to do. Good thing, the new technology has introduced an even easier and more convenient way of checking the roofs. One of them is through using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)or drones.

Drone roof inspections are becoming popular these days as drone prices are now affordable and more convenient. It is a new way of checking roofs by using a flying device called a drone operated by an FAA certified licensed drone pilot. The inspection depending on the purpose will typically include captured photos of the roof perimeter and reports on the damages.

Why a Roof Inspection Is Important for Homeowners


One of the most important parts of your home is the roof. That is why having it checked a couple of times a year is necessary. It can help spot leaks and other issues that may ruin the entire structure. Some of the problems that need to be checked are:

  • Missing shingles

  • Crack in the roof

  • Buckling or shingles curling

  • Drooping or sagging of the roof

  • Granule loss due to weather conditions

Regular inspection is important to understand the condition of your roof and help you know if there are parts that need to be fixed to avoid further damage. This will extend the life of the roof and the entire structure as well.

The National Roofing Contractors Association advises doing a roof check twice a year.

It is essential to check the roofs during fall to prevent problems before the winter season. Then, any repairs will be done easily before the ice or snow hits and avoid damages inside your home during cold months.

It is also better to do a roof inspection in spring to make sure that there are no damages caused by the snow or ice and to check if there are ice dams on your roof. Other basic reasons why you should do an inspection are for the purpose of real estate appraisals, roof repair estimation, insurance adjuster claims, solar panels, and regular home maintenance.

Why a Drone Roof Inspection is Better Than a Traditional Inspection


There is no substitute for a trained professional’s eye when it comes to inspecting a roof’s damaged areas or building components. If you are a homeowner, pulling the ladder out may seem the simplest and easiest way to inspect your roof — but it’s not.

The conventional methods of inspecting a roof are inefficient and dangerous. Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are better for conducting roof inspections. Doing an aerial inspection is safer since an inspector no longer needs to climb and manually check the roof. Instead, inspectors will only control the device while taking a video or shot of thermal images. In addition, drones perform faster inspection speeds and results, which is different from traditional ones since it may take several days to check the areas, especially if it is a vast roof house.

That said, let’s look at some of the other reasons why roof drone inspections are better than a traditional inspection:


Most roof inspections would take 45 minutes and 4 hours or more. Using drones can save costs in a lot of ways. It lessens the need for equipment, time, and labor.

Lessens safety risks

It is not easy to do a traditional roof inspection. The challenges increase depending on the roof design and height of the structure. Risks include falling, collapsing of the roof, electrocution, or getting stuck in confined spaces. The drone-based inspection removes the need to physically climb the roof and risk one’s life or health. Usually, drones only require photos, video, and thermal sensors to finish the inspection. Additional options such as gas detectors and GPS may be included.

Comprehensive data gathering

Other than being cost and time-efficient, drones also can collect more accurate, useful, and comprehensive information. Thus, making it more ideal for solar installers, contractors, construction firms, marketers, and insurance companies. There is also a wide range of tools companies can use for analysis and give them enough insight for better decision making and planning.

A physical inspection is also a good option for roof checking. However, as humans, we tend to miss some details sometimes and this may cause you to neglect the issues that need some fixing. Meanwhile, because of technology, drones can detect problems that are not visible to the naked eye. These machines can collect more accurate, useful, and comprehensive details.

Typical Drone Inspection Procedure


Roof inspections require drones that can maintain stable and reliable flights. Before starting the examination, there are main factors to consider. Some of these include:

  • Stability. Drone with excellent flight stability must withstand the prevailing weather conditions including winds.
  • First-person view capability. This allows the controller or pilot to see the images that the drone captures in real-time.
  • Built-in GPS features. It is easier to manage a drone with a geographical positioning system. The autonomous flight lets the pilots concentrate on the camera positions, roof inspection, and important activities.

Types of quality sensors

High-quality cameras are essential in creating clear and better images. Therefore, it is vital to choose a device with the perfect thermal, video, and image cameras as well as other sensors based on the desired output.

  • Reasonable flight time and range. Lasting batteries means more flight time. Most commercial drones can operate between 20 and 40 minutes. The longer the battery life of a drone is, the better since it can complete the inspection without it crashing or landing to change the battery or recharge during the inspection.
  • Flight range. The drone’s flight range is another factor to consider since there is a need to inspect structures that are a bit far away.

How Does a Drone Roof Inspection Work?

After checking the reliability of the drone and the pilot, the inspector can start defining the mission objective and deliverables. This will determine the type of flight to conduct. For example, checking the tuck-pointing of a chimney would need a different kind of flight than an overall image of a big commercial warehouse.

Once the pilot is done defining the deliverables, they can start the Flight Planning. Flight planning is important so the pilot can determine the overall flight area, the number of flight missions to completely capture the essential images, airspace restrictions, and weather.

Drone technology is also essential. For a basic inspection of a home, most drones can capture high-resolution images to check the damage of debris. The choice of the pilot is typically a drone with flight automation. Possibly technology that has the ability to avoid obstacles automatically and with mapping missions sensor with a global shutter.

After the inspection, you will receive a report that includes:

  • Introduction: address, time, overall conditions, and general findings
  • Scope of work: consists of the areas that are not covered and the areas that were covered in the inspection
  • Itemized findings: Photographs with descriptions
  • Recommendations: the actions or repairs need to be done, sometimes with a price quotation
  • Optional statements: insurance notices and safety guidelines

Other than the report, a single-page certification letter will also be provided. A contractor will certify the shape and construction that will hold up between two and five years. A roof certification, however, is not a warranty. It is just a professional opinion on the lifespan of the space.

Average Cost of a Drone Roof Inspection


On average, roof inspection costs around $220, so most homeowners pay between $120 to $330 for a drone roof inspection. However, the given price range can get higher as $600. The price range may differ depending on specific types of investigations. Roofing certification can cost you between $70 to $250 and differs from an inspection in many ways. For example — in roof inspection estimated cost ranges between $120 - $300. The cost will depend on the purpose and sequence. When it comes to roof certification, it will cost a price range between $70 to $200 and with the same factors — purpose and sequence.

You might spend around $75 to $125 based on the drone pilot’s drive time, review, and post-editing of the drone pictures and video.

For roof information, a $200 drone roof inspection report will already include an inspection report which summarizes the details and findings on the problems. However, this report is different from certification, which also comes at different prices.

Traditional Inspection vs Drone Roof Inspection Cost

The most common price range of examining the roof is between $70 to $250. Hiring a certified roofing professional or a licensed and certified drone pilot is a must. The total price may increase, especially if the area is heavily forested or the roof is huge. Meanwhile, drone roof inspection costs differently. The price may range. Also, roofing companies offer this service for free, while others may charge depending on several factors.

The advantage of using a thermal inspection is delivering the needed information in a few minutes and providing accurate information. Drones can access difficult-to-reach areas. In its thermal imagery, the drone can estimate where both surface and insulation need a replacement. Plus, it is suitable for finding leaks.

The operator will not need to be present on-site to touch its integrity. Instead, the drone’s infrared rays will do the assessment. It will determine the high and low temperature of the roof. The leaking of heat in some areas will indicate wear and weakness on that side of the room.

Does a Drone Roof Inspection Help Your Insurance Claim?


Drone inspection is a big help for your insurance claim. Insurers know that accurate analysis, actionable insights and improved data collection can help them better understand, manage and reduce operational costs. By giving a detailed damage report, there is a higher chance for your insurance claim to be approved.

Who Performs the Drone Roof Inspection?

david-henrichs-72AYEEBJpz4-unsplash Doing your own drone inspection is doable. However, it is better to hire certified roofing professionals. When hiring a drone pilot, make sure that the pilot has a valid and current FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot certificate. You should also check that the drone they are using is registered with the FAA since there are strict FAA regulations when using drones for commercial use.

Final Thoughts

Drones have changed the way roof inspections are done. They are much safer, cost-effective, and require less equipment. It even offers more detailed inspection reports through 3D models, which will help you file an insurance claim in the future.

Drone roof inspections are worth every penny. Besides, a roof inspection is only done twice or thrice a year. Nothing beats the safety, cost-effectiveness, and speed of a drone.

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