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Roof inspection advice

BGilla

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Hi. I am just looking for any advice or tips on how to get started in roof and building inspections. I am currently employed. I have been with my company 38 years and will be retiring at the end of the year. I would like to start a drone business when I retire as a means to supplement my income and to stay busy. Over the next 9 months I want to start honing my skills and getting the equipment and training I will need to get started. I currently own a Evo II and love flying it. I am hoping some of you can give me tips on what software (free versions if possible) to get that will help with flying, mapping, damage inspection etc. also where are some good places to go to get training. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks
 

phantomrain.org

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Hi. I am just looking for any advice or tips on how to get started in roof and building inspections. I am currently employed. I have been with my company 38 years and will be retiring at the end of the year. I would like to start a drone business when I retire as a means to supplement my income and to stay busy. Over the next 9 months I want to start honing my skills and getting the equipment and training I will need to get started. I currently own a Evo II and love flying it. I am hoping some of you can give me tips on what software (free versions if possible) to get that will help with flying, mapping, damage inspection etc. also where are some good places to go to get training. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks

Skills are good but so is learning how to take advantage of the Software that will make your life easier:

There is nothing Free but there are trials.

You have Litchi which is a Professional software for marking way points .
You have Drone Deploy for taking Pictures and mapping 3D this is the very best of the best software
You have Drone Link , not as Autonomous as Drone Deploy is but can still get the jobs done.

The big Difference between Dronelink and Drone Deploy is that if you loose signal drone deploy will continue the mission and than RTH where as
Drone Link will stop the mission.

The more Software Skills you have the better on your website.
3D mapping , Mapping and Scanning , with both Infrared skills should all be part of your Trade.

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly your Evo 2 in the Rain .
 
D

Deleted member 6303

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Her ya go, I do 30 to 45 Roof and building inspections a month, I work in Insurance litigation. It is my job to prove the loss so my client can get the money they need to fix the damages. I fly mainly Miami area. Residential and Commercial High Rise.

I dont use anything other than the EVO 2 Pro 6K and Evo 2 8K.

You dont need anything special other than keeping proper logs, MANDATORY 107 certified, and practice your flying skills and abilities. ( I DO LITERALLY mean practice everything the usual drone pilot does not do, slow, low and close, very, very close as optical zoom will distort building cracks etc.)

Sensors are your enemy - get use to flying with all sensors off as you dont want the thing landing or stop and bump, get use to flying through tight areas and get use to ensuring your gear is up to date and perfect.

I clear my SD card after every use and store the flights in seperate folders. You can PM me if you want but over 40 hours logged and I only dinged a prop once in a tree. You also need to be able to identify all roofing manufacturers types of roof etc. / siding etc.

You will like the precision mode and slow flight. Practice video quality-no herky jerky moves. EXP down to .2 and yaw to 85% works for me when not in Precision - your preferences may differ.

Average report and video and photo documentation is $350.00 per file. You will need liability policy coverage for 1 Million.

Your best source will be Insurance companies (they are my opposing side) / Law Firms that work in the homeowners 1st and 3rd party claims. Public Adjusting Firms and Estimating Service Companies. Accuracy and writing skills are essential.

Good Luck.
 

txaggie929

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Her ya go, I do 30 to 45 Roof and building inspections a month, I work in Insurance litigation. It is my job to prove the loss so my client can get the money they need to fix the damages. I fly mainly Miami area. Residential and Commercial High Rise.

I dont use anything other than the EVO 2 Pro 6K and Evo 2 8K.

You dont need anything special other than keeping proper logs, MANDATORY 107 certified, and practice your flying skills and abilities. ( I DO LITERALLY mean practice everything the usual drone pilot does not do, slow, low and close, very, very close as optical zoom will distort building cracks etc.)

Sensors are your enemy - get use to flying with all sensors off as you dont want the thing landing or stop and bump, get use to flying through tight areas and get use to ensuring your gear is up to date and perfect.

I clear my SD card after every use and store the flights in seperate folders. You can PM me if you want but over 40 hours logged and I only dinged a prop once in a tree. You also need to be able to identify all roofing manufacturers types of roof etc. / siding etc.

You will like the precision mode and slow flight. Practice video quality-no herky jerky moves. EXP down to .2 and yaw to 85% works for me when not in Precision - your preferences may differ.

Average report and video and photo documentation is $350.00 per file. You will need liability policy coverage for 1 Million.

Your best source will be Insurance companies (they are my opposing side) / Law Firms that work in the homeowners 1st and 3rd party claims. Public Adjusting Firms and Estimating Service Companies. Accuracy and writing skills are essential.

Good Luck.


Bob,

I am a residential roofing contractor and I had got a Mavic 2 Zoom last year for steep and tall roof inspections. Unfortunately, I live in an area where too many roofers are all about free inspections, even on the crazy tall and steep roofs. And throwing on a harness and rope and wearing yourself out just to check something out for something that might have damage is just a massive time suck, but I digress.

Much to my dismay, the Mavic has software that prohibits me taking off in certain areas, just because they are near airports. Sometimes un-locking works, sometimes it doesn't. Which has screwed me on more than one occasion. And the heights at which I am looking at these roofs is lower than the local tree line.

Seems Autel doesn't have these restrictions built in, so its piqued my interest. If you could only have the 6K or 8K for residential inspections, which would it be?
 
D

Deleted member 6303

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I would say the 8K only because it is slightly lower cost. The video quality I shoot at is 1080 and it is more than acceptable. I usually use 2.7 or 1080. I have found the 4K or larger has too many issues with others that might not have high cap laptops or computers to view or playback. I also use EagleView for roof reports in additional to my findings and video. and photo report. Free reports ( I usually give them a good ole USMC go pound sand in your face comment ) personally - I wouldn't do it for them. As for the old days when I was younger and more stupid I use to rope and harness. . . go figure.

I use Eagle View Reports (Also Xactimate Estimating Software) - usual report is around 45 bucks for the average 15 to 20 Square roof - but the stuff I work on is multi million dollar homes and this report attached and redacted for privacy was 225.00. (But this is added to the bill of 350.00) I use this in addition to my drone video and photos. For the money you can't beat it, you want to measure this call me (LMAO)

I was with DJI long term up until 8 months ago and to the hell with them with the same issues, even with LAANC approval it wouldn't fly - DIE DJI and burn in hell. NEVER AGAIN.

Had some initial issues with Autel, they had to replace one drone, have the other for backup, but since that issue: in which they replaced my 6K for free (I love them) and not one problem further on. In fact I now like them better in many ways than DJI. Remember I dont ***** about oh I need to drop 4 or 5 grand on another, a week of dead drones to me is a loss income equal to the cost of one drone and that's a drone with a sweet accessory package set up. It takes money to make money.

In Summary: 8K - Use EagleView in addition to your photo and video and this will stop anyone dead in their tracks. I stay away from the lower cost jobs as they just arent worth the hassle. I stick to the big gun stuff and once your name is known the rest is history. Be professional, honorable, friendly and happy and you will thrive. But also be aware this is a side line of my main work which is estimating and court expert work.

If your in Florida look me up bro. Be well! Let me know if i can help at all.
 

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John Kerrins

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A lot of good advice there with a life time of experience. Remember it is not just take a test and drop a couple grand into a drone and start making money. Nobody asked you what your 38 years for trade are? Find some transferrable skills to role into this profession if you can. Explore the emerging opportunities of this great industries. They are constantly changing. Take time to become a solid pilot as mentioned. Then focus on ONE thing, become an expert in the area and focus on that. Be great at one thing and not familiar with many different offerings. HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN. SIT DOWN AND WRITE IT OUT! Even if it is going to be part time. I have been in this industry for 6 years working part time. Made all the mistakes along the way. Didn't make a penny for three years. because I didn't have a business plan and single focus of expertise. Now I do just Thermal inspections. Feel free to PM me if you are interested in Thermal work.
 

id04265

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Her ya go, I do 30 to 45 Roof and building inspections a month, I work in Insurance litigation. It is my job to prove the loss so my client can get the money they need to fix the damages. I fly mainly Miami area. Residential and Commercial High Rise.

I dont use anything other than the EVO 2 Pro 6K and Evo 2 8K.

You dont need anything special other than keeping proper logs, MANDATORY 107 certified, and practice your flying skills and abilities. ( I DO LITERALLY mean practice everything the usual drone pilot does not do, slow, low and close, very, very close as optical zoom will distort building cracks etc.)

Sensors are your enemy - get use to flying with all sensors off as you dont want the thing landing or stop and bump, get use to flying through tight areas and get use to ensuring your gear is up to date and perfect.

I clear my SD card after every use and store the flights in seperate folders. You can PM me if you want but over 40 hours logged and I only dinged a prop once in a tree. You also need to be able to identify all roofing manufacturers types of roof etc. / siding etc.

You will like the precision mode and slow flight. Practice video quality-no herky jerky moves. EXP down to .2 and yaw to 85% works for me when not in Precision - your preferences may differ.

Average report and video and photo documentation is $350.00 per file. You will need liability policy coverage for 1 Million.

Your best source will be Insurance companies (they are my opposing side) / Law Firms that work in the homeowners 1st and 3rd party claims. Public Adjusting Firms and Estimating Service Companies. Accuracy and writing skills are essential.

Good Luck.
very interesting. im interested in what insurance companies are allowing drones now? I am a 107 pilot and a new insurance adjuster and have heard they dont allow drone pics..thanks in advance
 

MFaculty

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Her ya go, I do 30 to 45 Roof and building inspections a month, I work in Insurance litigation. It is my job to prove the loss so my client can get the money they need to fix the damages. I fly mainly Miami area. Residential and Commercial High Rise.

I dont use anything other than the EVO 2 Pro 6K and Evo 2 8K.

You dont need anything special other than keeping proper logs, MANDATORY 107 certified, and practice your flying skills and abilities. ( I DO LITERALLY mean practice everything the usual drone pilot does not do, slow, low and close, very, very close as optical zoom will distort building cracks etc.)

Sensors are your enemy - get use to flying with all sensors off as you dont want the thing landing or stop and bump, get use to flying through tight areas and get use to ensuring your gear is up to date and perfect.

I clear my SD card after every use and store the flights in seperate folders. You can PM me if you want but over 40 hours logged and I only dinged a prop once in a tree. You also need to be able to identify all roofing manufacturers types of roof etc. / siding etc.

You will like the precision mode and slow flight. Practice video quality-no herky jerky moves. EXP down to .2 and yaw to 85% works for me when not in Precision - your preferences may differ.

Average report and video and photo documentation is $350.00 per file. You will need liability policy coverage for 1 Million.

Your best source will be Insurance companies (they are my opposing side) / Law Firms that work in the homeowners 1st and 3rd party claims. Public Adjusting Firms and Estimating Service Companies. Accuracy and writing skills are essential.

Good Luck.
Thanks! - this was helpful information for me as well since I am just dipping into the drone service provider pool!
 

ne0031

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Bob,

I am a residential roofing contractor and I had got a Mavic 2 Zoom last year for steep and tall roof inspections. Unfortunately, I live in an area where too many roofers are all about free inspections, even on the crazy tall and steep roofs. And throwing on a harness and rope and wearing yourself out just to check something out for something that might have damage is just a massive time suck, but I digress.

Much to my dismay, the Mavic has software that prohibits me taking off in certain areas, just because they are near airports. Sometimes un-locking works, sometimes it doesn't. Which has screwed me on more than one occasion. And the heights at which I am looking at these roofs is lower than the local tree line.

Seems Autel doesn't have these restrictions built in, so its piqued my interest. If you could only have the 6K or 8K for residential inspections, which would it be?
txaggie929 - I'd suggest a bit of research in your no fly zones. While DJI applies some rather arcane zones, I've also seen where they DID allow flight where it should be prohibited.

There are a lot of places where flight is prohibited, regardless if the trees are taller. Welcome to the world of government regulation. I've used a Condor 170 lift for some insulator inspections on a 200' transmission tower (hey, it was only 15k for a day) because the transmission tower was in class C. Did you catch that? The tower was 200'.... the insulator in question was at 150', I could throw my ship 20' up, but it wasn't allowed to take off under its own power.

If you chose Autel because they don't enforce no fly zones, thanks for the recent firmware update.... I'm sure we'll be just like DJI soon. It's like having a cold one as you cruise down the street.. just because the cops aren't looking doesn't mean it's legal.

Matt
 

jimpiercejr

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Bob,

I am a residential roofing contractor and I had got a Mavic 2 Zoom last year for steep and tall roof inspections. Unfortunately, I live in an area where too many roofers are all about free inspections, even on the crazy tall and steep roofs. And throwing on a harness and rope and wearing yourself out just to check something out for something that might have damage is just a massive time suck, but I digress.

Much to my dismay, the Mavic has software that prohibits me taking off in certain areas, just because they are near airports. Sometimes un-locking works, sometimes it doesn't. Which has screwed me on more than one occasion. And the heights at which I am looking at these roofs is lower than the local tree line.

Seems Autel doesn't have these restrictions built in, so its piqued my interest. If you could only have the 6K or 8K for residential inspections, which would it be?
6K By far
 

Felix the Cat

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Her ya go, I do 30 to 45 Roof and building inspections a month, I work in Insurance litigation. It is my job to prove the loss so my client can get the money they need to fix the damages. I fly mainly Miami area. Residential and Commercial High Rise.

I dont use anything other than the EVO 2 Pro 6K and Evo 2 8K.

You dont need anything special other than keeping proper logs, MANDATORY 107 certified, and practice your flying skills and abilities. ( I DO LITERALLY mean practice everything the usual drone pilot does not do, slow, low and close, very, very close as optical zoom will distort building cracks etc.)

Sensors are your enemy - get use to flying with all sensors off as you dont want the thing landing or stop and bump, get use to flying through tight areas and get use to ensuring your gear is up to date and perfect.

I clear my SD card after every use and store the flights in seperate folders. You can PM me if you want but over 40 hours logged and I only dinged a prop once in a tree. You also need to be able to identify all roofing manufacturers types of roof etc. / siding etc.

You will like the precision mode and slow flight. Practice video quality-no herky jerky moves. EXP down to .2 and yaw to 85% works for me when not in Precision - your preferences may differ.

Average report and video and photo documentation is $350.00 per file. You will need liability policy coverage for 1 Million.

Your best source will be Insurance companies (they are my opposing side) / Law Firms that work in the homeowners 1st and 3rd party claims. Public Adjusting Firms and Estimating Service Companies. Accuracy and writing skills are essential.

Good Luck.
The work I do is with historic and heritage buildings, archaeological sites and pre-archaeology land surveys. The advice given by this gentleman is solid gold. You have to work close for structure and component surveys and orthocorrect for mapping and site plans.

I'm a Brit, so the 107 doesn't apply: this side of the pond you have to have EASA A2CofC and GVC. You need to be certified wherever you are. Also: as much private and public liability insurance as you can carry.

Another thing you will need to do is research how a drone behaves when in interior environments and in close quarters to built structures. In both instances a drones worst enemy is propwash. Buy a couple of sets of prop guards and ignore anyone who scoffs at their use - they can make the difference between having a drone to work with tomorrow and having a twisted carcass that cost you over a grand... as well as a bill for the damage to whatever you piled your drone into.

Have a very close look at the sub-250 gram category as a back-up bird. You have a LOT more leeway as far as deployment freedom and the cameras fitted aren't far off the quality of the big birds. A big megapixel sensor is great - but a smaller sensor (Nano+ being a case in point) gives you just as much detail when you get within 12 inches of target.

If the wind kicks up and you get updraft: downdraft or any of the other random and entertaining vortices and eddies when you're up-close-and-personal - you will thank yourself for having those prop guards on. I'll lay odds that there will be at least one comment that says you should learn how to fly your drone properly instead of relying on the aerial equivalent of training wheels on a kids bike: but I wouldn't put a bird within a foot of a building without them. Mind you - the ones I shoot are in some cases over 500 years old and Grade 1 Lists.

The sub-250's are very skittish: but a still day and you'll get shots you wouldn't believe. I still use my Mavic 2 because it has an optical 2X zoom and it is a good one. Digital zoom is just interpolation (computer guess work) - avoid it if you can.

Look into getting yourself a baseline qualification as a forensic photographer - this will teach you how to shoot to Category #1 and Category #2 standards. This isn't as expensive as you might think.
 
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