Inspecting Buildings With Drones
Drones, also called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are quickly flying out of dangerous military operations and into a wide variety of commercial industries. Currently, one of the fastest growing commercial applications for these incredible devices is the use of drones for engineering and construction purposes, namely building inspections. Below, we describe how common inspections are typically performed in comparison to how they are currently being performed using drone technology.
INSPECTIONS – THE NORMAL PROCESS:
Even if the exterior condition looks okay, there may still be moisture present causing hidden damage. Typically, testing for moisture infiltration involves an inspector locating areas that show potential signs of deterioration (which is not always a result of moisture) and inserting a probe to test the material for moisture. These meters only show the moisture level in a particular location and not a larger area, making it difficult to assess the severity of the problem. The only way to accurately see the size of a moisture-infiltrated area is to physically remove the building’s exterior, which is very costly, time consuming and invasive.
Looking for water infiltration? The drone’s 4k camera can easily be replaced with a thermal imaging camera that will identify specific areas of the structure containing moisture beneath the surface, as well as areas of heat loss. As can be seen in the photo, the left side shows thermal imaging of areas with water infiltration that would otherwise go unseen. With commercial drones constantly evolving, the possibilities are endless.