Sometimes roof damage is very apparent. You’ll see visible damage to your shingles or you’ll experience an active leak that you know is coming from your roof. Sometimes, however, it is hard to know whether or not your roof is damaged or in need of repair.
If you would like to get a close look at your shingles, vents, or chimney, you might think you need to haul out a ladder and climb up on the roof. But if you don’t have a ladder or if you have a bad back, climbing up on your roof might be impossible.
That’s where technology comes in. Drones can help you check your roof while your feet stay safely on the ground.
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Drones as a tool
Drones are unmanned aircrafts that human pilots navigate with a ground-based controller. While militaries have been using drones since the 1840s, the 20th century introduced smaller and cheaper drones that can be used by anybody. You’ve probably seen them sitting on the shelves at most major retail stores.
Even smaller, cheaper drones can take photos and stream video. This makes it easy for you to check your property from way up above while you stay on the ground. Simply send your drone up, stream the footage to your phone or your tablet, and navigate around your property.
You can use your drone to get footage from around your roof. You can check your vents, shingles, and your chimney. If there is a spot that you’re concerned about, spend some time getting views from multiple angles of that area.
If you’ve never used a drone before, spend some time practicing flying it around before you send it up to the roof. Most drones are very responsive to touch. You don’t want to accidentally ram your drone into the roof or the chimney.
What to look for
Once you’ve got your drone in the air, it is time to spend some time inspecting your roof. The first thing you’ll want to do is check your roofing material. If you have asphalt shingles, check for detached granules (you’ll notice large bare spots), missing shingles, warped shingles, or indented shingles. With a metal roof, you’ll want to check for rust and dried out caulk (spend time carefully inspecting seams, corners, and joints). With clay tiles, look for any chipped or missing tiles. And for a wooden roof, you’ll want to look for missing, warped, or broken shingles.
Once you inspect your roofing material, check out other parts of your roof. Looked for clogged gutters, rusty vents, and any problems with your chimney caps. If you have equipment such as solar panels or a satellite dish, double check them as well. Finally, don’t forget to check your exterior walls for signs of water damage, especially around your gutters.
Another great way to use a drone to check for any potential problems is to see if any trees are growing too close to the roof. You don’t want branches from trees breaking off during windstorms and damaging your roof. You also don’t want leaves and pine needles piling up on your roof. They trap moisture. This moisture can then transfer into your shingles. If you spot any branches rubbing against your roof, you’ll want to get them trimmed.
When to inspect your roof
You should inspect your roof at least twice a year (once in the fall and once in the spring).
You’ll also want to inspect it after any storm that involves strong winds and hail. Strong winds can cause shingles to blow off or can break the adhesive seal between shingles. Hail causes indentations and cracks within shingles.
What to do if you spot damage
If you spot anything that causes you concern during your inspection, don’t hesitate to contact a roofing company. Sometimes if damaged is caught early enough, all you’ll need to do is replace a few shingles. But if the damage isn’t addressed, it can cause additional problems, such as a leaky roof.
A roofing company can come out and professionally inspect your roof to let you know if your concerns are valid. After an inspection, they can also give you a quote on what it would cost to fix your roof.
Before you drag that ladder out and inspect your roof, considering buying a drone! Drones are a cheap and inexpensive way to safely inspect your roof. You’ll easily be able to check your whole roof and then decide if you need to contact a company for a professional inspection.