Drones are great tools for building envelope inspections. A lot of what we need to look at is up high on a building, or obstructed from view when we are standing on the ground.
Sometimes binoculars or high powered telephoto zoom lenses on cameras can help. But these only work when there’s a direct line of sight (can’t see low-slope roofs from the ground). Also, for parts of the building far from the ground, the perspective (looking up instead of straight on) can mask some conditions.
When it’s important to see something up close, one option is an elevated work platform like an aerial lift or swing staging. These can be terrific for getting a good view, but also quite expensive, and often cost-prohibitive for many projects.
At Copeland Building Envelope Consulting we’ve found using unmanned aerial vehicles, better known as drones, to be a powerful part of our toolkit. We regularly employ professional drone pilots and photographers to document work in progress as well as existing conditions for building envelope investigations.