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One of the Major Causes of Commercial Roof Damage

Machine learning picks up where human ability falls short

As thermo-diagnostic or infrared drone technology advances and becomes more sophisticated, more affordable and more readily available, it is quickly being integrated into a new class of inspections known as “building forensics investigations.”

Drones have become increasingly useful in roof inspections. By leveraging drone-enabled thermal imaging for moisture scanning and leak detection along with their building inspection skills, building industry contractors can make more meaningful and accurate assessments on roof damage.  Additionally, drone-based roofing inspections offer expediency, accuracy, and safety, in many cases eliminating the use of ladders.

Drones are a Safer, Cost-Effective Alternative

Neglect is one of the major causes of commercial roof damage.  Whether the roof was damaged due to heavy rains, snow, sleet or other weather-related events, neglecting to check and repair any damage contributes to roof failure; moisture accumulation increases the development of leaks. Waiting until the damage gets to this point will only create more damage which means more expensive repairs.

The introduction of thermal imaging on drones provides a fast and economical solution for surveying wide roofs and walls for water leaks as well as moisture barrier breaches. Thermal imaging is dependent upon “heat signatures”, with each color of the signature identifying different aspects.

Leaks – Some of the Causes

Roof leaks can be caused by any number of incidents: 

  1. unprofessional installation
  2. neglected maintenance
  3. degradation of the surface
  4. insufficient protection of the surface layers
  5. the end of the service life
  6. excessive exposure to wind

Water that collects on a damaged roof negatively affects the durability of roof cladding, leading to the degradation of multi-layers that causes leaks.  Another way is when cooler temperature water gets into the gaps between the insulation under the heat-insulating layer and flows through to the waterproof insulation causing condensation inside the roof cladding, perpetuating leaks in the roof as well as within the walls.

In most cases, the trails of leaked water are indirect, meaning you can’t expect to look straight up to locate the problem. For the most part, water leaks may continue over long periods of time, even several years, before they are discovered, causing a wide path of destruction.

Regular building inspections, particularly after a significant weather event, can help prevent such widespread damage.  Surveying commercial roofs for damage can be exceedingly difficult due to the height and large area involved. This task is extremely time-consuming and physically demanding; in most cases, inspectors will only focus on risky areas and defects that are more easily accessible.

Use of thermo-diagnostic drones

One of the most expedient, reliable and accurate means of discovering problematic areas of a roof is through the use of thermo-diagnostic drones. By localizing and providing data that can be used to assess the scope of the problem and turning it into actionable data, problems can be mitigated quickly and repairs can commence sooner.

Thermo-diagnostic drones can fly above roofs and are not restricted by ladders, unstable surfaces or elevations. Drone operators control the drone from a safe place on the ground and get an immediate view of the roof’s condition; they can zoom in on details and inspect the damage more closely.

Infrared drones have amazing capabilities

Many of the software packages for these types of drones feature settings that can change temperatures in mid-flight, eliminating the need to land. This ability helps achieve the required settings needed to locate even minor moisture defects. Additionally, many of these systems can be outfitted with GPS sensors, allowing them to store the drone’s position at the time the image was taken.

The value of infrared drones for moisture scanning & leak detection

  • Drones capture high-quality photos/videos of the entire structure and property
  • Inspections can be performed within just a few hours
  • Observe the results of the inspection from the ground
  • Prepare a detailed analysis of the data in less time
  • Virtually no risk of injury
  • Able to detect water infiltration in roofs and facades
  • Detect otherwise unobservable areas of water damage: leaks, mold, and decay
  • Ability to determine exactly which areas of a roof contain water
  • Drones can also fly extremely close to structures

If your building is showing signs of water leaks or has been subjected to a powerful weather event, the experts at Mile High Drones can help you assess the damages quick and efficiently. Call us today for a quote and let us help you get on the road to repairing your building.

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