To date, EagleHawk has completed thermal inspections of 6.2 million square feet of commercial rooftop utilizing drone technology. Of the buildings inspected, it was found that roughly 80% exhibit signs of leaking with wetness in the insulation. By using drone technology, EagleHawk can often inspect rooftops more safely and efficiently than traditional methods, and if performed regularly, EagleHawk can catch problems early to help reduce maintenance cost and extend the life of roofs.
EagleHawk’s mission is to provide value based aerial inspection data that allows for smarter and more cost-effective decision-making. We enable property managers, facilities managers, commercial businesses, and residential property owners to effectively reduce risks and costs by providing a better understanding of the condition of their assets.
EagleHawk provides aerial inspection services utilizing the latest in sUAS or “drone” technology. Our drones are equipped with high-resolution 4K cameras and highly sensitive thermal imagers that provided accurate and meaningful inspection data on the condition of roofs, buildings, and structures.
Building Data Summary
The average building inspected has 6-7 problem areas, accounting for wetness in over 10% of the roof insulation. Many common roofing material types showed significant wetness in the insulation, as seen below.
Several failure modes are typically present in large commercial flattop roofs. The figure below outlines failure modes most typically found through thermal inspection.
Even brand new or recently repaired roofs show signs of wetness in the insulation. If caught early, maintenance costs can be minimal. However, once water has penetrated large areas of insulation, rooftop repair or replacement can be extremely expensive.
How Water Intrusion and Wetness is Detected
We detect water intrusion and insulation wetness issues with thermal imagers by taking advantage of the physical properties of water. Water-soaked, or wet materials will typically have a higher density than most dry construction materials and therefore will have a higher thermal capacitance. This means that water-soaked material will retain heat and dissipate heat more slowly than dry material. Therefore, when inspecting a roof in the early evening after it has been heated by the sun all day, signs of possible water intrusion will be visible on a thermal image.
Drone Inspections vs. Traditional Inspections
By utilizing drone technology, EagleHawk is able to perform roof inspections unlike ever before. Drone enabled inspection technology provides transformational benefits over traditional inspection methods as they are safer, more affordable, and provide better data.
Traditional inspections that involve an inspector walking the roof with a handheld thermal imager present safety concerns. In addition, the camera’s close proximity to the roof does not allow for the right perspective to capture the condition of the entire roof in a single image. Roof-walk inspections are very expensive on a large-scale project or with projects with multiple roofs or buildings.
Aerial based inspections with traditional aircraft can more affordability inspect several roofs at a large-scale project with the correct perspective to provide an entire roof image. However, large aerial platforms lack the flexibility to intimately inspect roofs one-at-a-time like an inspector would, and are unaffordable for roof scans in small numbers. Drone based inspections provide the aerial perspective to capture better data and offer the flexibility to intimately inspect individual buildings. Drones based inspections are an affordable option for both small and large-scale inspections.