Even though drones are usually considered as entertaining and, above all, as a great source of fun, little did you know that they can be used for other more useful applications. For instance, lots of people are using drones for roof inspections.
There is a whole micro niche on the drones market just for drones for this application. As you all probably know, roofs tend to get wet and perhaps even shatter under heavy storms. In addition to that, parts of them can move if not placed correctly, allowing leakage to flow into your home.
If something like this is happening or you are at least thinking it is, simply invest in one of these drones and save a lot of money from potential roof inspectors finding faults. So, with that being said, let’s take a moment to look at some of the camera drones for home inspections.
Table : Best Drones for roof & home inspections
|Name||Image||Camera||Range||Flight Time||Best Price|
|8. DJI Phantom 3 Pro||4K||3 km||23 min||See best offer|
|7. Parrot Bebop 2||14MP||2 km||22 min||See best offer|
|6. GoPro Karma||4k||1 km||20 min||See best offer|
|5. Autel X-Star||4K||2 km||23 min||See best offer|
|4. DJI Mavic Pro||4k||6 km||25 min||See best offer|
|3. Yuneec Typhoon H||4k||2 km||23 min||See best offer|
|2. DJI Phantom 4 Pro||4K||6 km||25 min||See best offer|
|1. DJI Inspire 2||4k||6 km||25 min||See best offer|
Most important features of a good roof inspection drone
One of the most important features on your go-to roof inspection drone is definitely stability. More precisely, both flight and image stability greatly affect your overall performance as well as the ability to effectively (and efficiently) do a proper roof inspection. For your next drone, feature you should look for is altitude hold. Believe it or not, that little thing can (and will) improve your flight stability and make it a lot easier for you to control your drone without smart flying turned on.
Second in line is FPV (AKA first person view). For those of you who aren’t familiar with this feature, it essentially allows you to view exactly what your drone’s camera is pointing at. Needless to say, buying a drone without FPV feature for the purpose of roof inspection is probably the stupidest idea ever. It’s obvious why – for roof inspection you need to have close control over your drone and to see exactly what its camera is pointed at. With that said, FPV is basically a must for all wannabe roof inspection drones.
I’m sure many of you know the importance of GPS in modern day drones. GPS (and the Russian GLONNAS system which is also present in certain models). Not only does it make controlling your drone much easier but it also paves the road for many other advanced features which can be of great help, especially for roof inspection. Below, in the extra feature section you can take a peek at Waypoints feature which works thanks to GPS. In addition to Waypoints, GPS also allows several other smart flight modes including Orbit, Follow Me, Cable Cam and more. Effectively, GPS on roof inspection drones can be of great help once you select the property for inspection and let your drone’s autonomous flight modes do all the work while you concentrate on examining roof damage through your FPV monitor.
Finally, we have reached the camera. Of course, I don’t need to be the one to tell you that good camera quality is of crucial importance for your roof inspection business. Ideally, you should look for a gimbal+camera combination which will give you improved stability and pivoting in all directions. Needless to say, this will help you inspect roofs better and give you a smoother experience. When it comes to camera quality, I warmly suggest going for a 20 mpx CMOS sensor that can record in 4K and output live feed in HD. That’s the standard you’re going to need for thorough inspections.
In terms of flight time, one thing is for sure – the longer the better. If you want a joyful time on your job, then anything below 20 minutes is a complete waste of your time. Sure, you can get an extra battery to double your flight time and charge the other one in the meantime… but it’s still going to leave you with a lot of waiting in between. On the other hand, if you go for some of those premium models which incorporate 25 to 27 minutes as well as quick charging technology, there’s no doubt your workflow will be greatly improved. That’s why, make sure your next roof inspection drone has a powerful LiPo battery that can charge quick enough for you to have no waiting time with an extra one in the back. Ohterwise – you’re in for a rough time…
Even though long range is not of crucial importance for your next roof inspection drone, it is still a worthy trait to have… Unless you’re one of those celebrity roof inspectors who gets to inspect mansions, penthouses and all that expensive stuff. On the other hand, if you are not, then long range is probably the least important feature you should take into account when choosing a drone. Still, keep in mind that you need at least several hundred meters of seamless control (and FPV) range for it to be effective on medium to big sized houses.
If you want to get the best out of your roof inspection drone, then you should take a closer look at the Waypoints feature. It’s pretty popular nowadays and many high end (and even mid-tier) models come equipped with it. What exactly does it do? Well, as its name suggests, Waypoints feature lets you draw out several waypoints on the map (GPS is required for it to work properly) and fully customize them to your liking. The customization we are talking about here includes flying altitude, speed, camera orientation and many other aspects. Once you are done with setting everything up, your drone will start following the directions and you will have free control over your camera (and gimbal) to inspect every portion of your roof.
8. DJI Phantom 3 Professional
Mainly, it has a much better camera, longer flight time and dual positioning modules that allow for perfect flight experience time and time again. But, considering it’s quite an old model, is it really worth placing on this list? Well, read on and you might just find out!
The build quality of Phantom 3 Pro is nothing short of brilliant, which is one of the reasons why DJI is among the most popular drone brands. Specifications are outstanding too – the Phantom 3 Professional can fly for up to 23 minutes and in that time, it can reach a maximum range of roughly 5 kilometers. Keep in mind that the FAA has strict regulations on where you can fly this thing and where not. So, if you’re living in the US please keep this in mind when you’re out flying!
Still, if you are looking for a great drone for roof inspection, you simply cannot go wrong with the Phantom 3. If it’s good enough for professional aerial photography, what is stopping it from being an excellent roof inspection drone?
7. Parrot Bebop 2
Parrot has recently launched their new upgraded version of Bebop drone. The official name is Bebop 2 and it has a couple of improvements over its predecessor. The main one is a superior build quality and much faster response times in air. This will allow you to fully control your drone and do crazy stunts.
Moreover, it’s 14 mpx camera and FPV capabilities are a great combo for roof inspections. There’s even a bundle with a VR headset for an even better inspection experience. By using the VR headset, you will have the chance to examine every block of your roof with pin point precision.
In addition to that, it is also important to mention that this little guy can fly around for approximately 21 minutes (roughly same as the Phantom 3 Pro), but with its range being only cca 300 meters, it’s not exactly the best option for long range scenarios.
To boost Bebops range, but a Sky controller. Using a Sky Controller Parrot Bebop 2 is able to fly up to 2 kilometers away from controller. Plus, not only is the range drastically improved but so is the overall flying experience. You see, with smartphone controls you will never have good feedback no matter how good your device is. On the other hand, with a real physical controller, the controlling schematic is much more intuitive and provides a much better overall experience.
6. GoPro Karma
GoPro did not have a very good entrance to the drone market. As some of you already know, their Karma drone was recalled after having technical issues that needed to be sorted out to ensure maximum user satisfaction.
Luckily, they managed to fix those issues and now Karma is looking as good as it can be. Still, it’s meant to be a direct competitor to DJI Mavic Pro, but failed to deliver as good of a performance. Despite that, Karma is still an awesome drone that’s definitely worth looking into.
Starting off with specifications, GoPro Karma is actually a well-versed drone that has quite a few numbers to back it up. First things first, operating range is absolutely brilliant, stretching out to as far as 3000 meters. Combine that with approximately 20 minutes of flight time and you’ll come to the conclusion that Karma, in fact, isn’t a bitch!
Furthermore, I’d like to switch the play to its photography solution. Of course, GoPro has armed its drone with their HERO action cameras. GoPro Hero 5 Black is leading the charge with awesome image quality and zero shakiness (or that nasty jello effect we often see with low-tier drones) provided with its hardware gimbal stabilization system.
Another thing worth mentioning is the Karma Grip which transforms your aerial photography platform to a handheld of body-mounted counterpart. Apart from using your drone, you’ll also be able to record all your activities thanks to Karma Grip which looks like an absolutely charming addition to this package.
All things considered, if you’re not buying a drone for the sole purpose of… well… buying a drone and you’d rather love a generally awesome photography package that you can use for a wide variety of things (including roof and home inspection), one thing is for sure – it doesn’t come much better than GoPro Karma!
5. Autel Robotics X Star Premium
It’s a beautiful drone that sort of looks like the Phantom series by DJI. Truth be told, its characteristics are on par with those coming from DJI, making it an amazing alternative in its own right.
With a silk smooth 4K camera mounted on a 3 axis stabilization system, FPV feature that works seamlessly up to 2 kilometers, dual positioning systems and roughly 25 minutes of flight time, there is no doubt that the X Star Premium proves to be a viable choice across a wide variety of usage scenarios.
Still, the best-case scenarios are definitely tasks which involve precise aerial photography. So, whether you want to use Autel Robotics X-Star Premium for home or roof inspections, there’s no doubt it can do a good job!
To top it all off, there’s even a dedicated app you can use on your Android or iOS devices that lets you control many features, among which is the FPV mode (you can also use a VR FPV headset for the ultimate piloting experience). Many of our customers who bought this drone says it’s the best drone for home inspections!
4. DJI Mavic Pro
I don’t need to remind you that this is a fully foldable drone capable of fitting into any type of backpacks. This makes it the best travel buddy which is guaranteed to capture brilliant moments from your trip. Want to know more about DJI Mavic Pro? Well, let’s take a closer look at it to find out what’s it all about!
I’ve already mentioned that it’s foldable and miniature… but what I did not mention is that it sports the world’s smallest 3-axis gimbal which has a fully-fledged 4K camera attached to it. Image stabilization is perfect and so is the general image quality that (at least in my honest opinion) isn’t shy of its big brother, Phantom 4.
Features are another thing that set DJI Mavic Pro miles ahead of competition. With full support for DJI GO app, intuitive GUI, plenty of smart flight modes and even hand gestures, there is no doubt this little birdie is bound to deliver. No matter what kind of a task you put it up against, DJI Mavic Pro will provide amazing results.
As far as specifications are concerned, DJI Mavic Pro can stay in the air for up to 27 minutes which is a praiseworthy number. But, we did not expect anything less than that from DJI. Another shiny spec worth looking at is the operating range. Yes, DJI Mavic Pro is infused with OcuSync technology which allows it the same exact range as DJI’s other current gen flagships including Inspire 2 and DJI Phantom 4 Pro. For those of you who don’t know what this number is… it’s 7000 meters! Holy shit, right?
3. Yuneec Typhoon H
As far as powerful hexacopters are concerned, Yuneec Typhoon H is surely at the very top of the bunch. On a side note though, it’s one of the cheapest hexacopters (real hexacopters and not those toy ones, of course) currently available on the market. But, that’s not because it does not work very well… On the contrary – Typhoon H is a beast!
First thing that needs to be said about Typhoon H is the wide array of features it comes equipped with. In addition to GPS, failsafe and autonomous flight modes, there is a version of this hexacopter that comes with a comprehensive obstacle avoidance system.
Believe it or not, it is made by intel which just proves my point about Typhoon H being a proper beast. RealSense is the name and it brings an even better sense and avoid mechanism than DJI’s current gen flagships. With precise sensors and quick drone maneuvers thanks to 6 powerful rotors, Typhoon H is virtually uncrushable.
Moving forward to the camera, all of you who are looking for the best specs will be positively surprised. That is because Yuneec Typhoon H comes equipped with CGO3 camera that shoots exceptional aerial footage in 4K resolution. Needless to say, it sports its own dedicated 3-axis gimbal for image stabilization… and undoubtedly, it works like a charm.
Finally, we must not forget about Typhoon H’s specifications. Due to its powerful 4S LiPo battery with 5400mAh, this birdie can fly as long as 25 minutes. Perhaps slightly lower than that if you’re planning on recording in 4k during the entire flight. Operating range goes around 1 to 1.5 kilometers which gives you plenty of area for inspection of even the biggest of mansions.
2. DJI Phantom 4 Pro
Phantom 3 Pro’s successor, the almighty Phantom 4 Pro is the next drone on our list. I’m sure you’re all already somewhat familiar with this one, so there’s no real point on explaining everything regarding it. It has an amazingly sturdy frame and body, allowing it to smoothly glide through the air even during the strongest of winds which is just the first of its many awesome traits…
When it comes to the features, DJI Phantom 4 Pro can breathe easily with plenty of options. Of course, that is not surprising at all considering it relies on DJI GO app that incorporates plenty of features into its system.
Autonomous flight modes including ActiveTrack and TapFly, to name a few… More importantly, this birdie has its own dedicated obstacle avoidance system. Even though you might think it’s just another gimmick, in reality, this system is extremely useful and you’ll come to appreciate it later on.
Moreover, it is equipped with a state-of-the-art 4K camera that’s mounted on a 3-axis gimbal stabilization will certainly provide you with a steady platform for roof inspection. Other than that, it is also important to add the specs of this model. The flight duration has seen a small improvement in comparison with its predecessor, the Phantom 3. More precisely, it has received a boost of 3 extra minutes allowing for a total of 25-27 minutes of flight time. The range has stayed the same with roughly 5 to 7 kilometers of maximum distance.
To top it all off, it’s worth mentioning that this beast has a top speed of 44mph (approximately 72 km/h), making it among the fastest aerial photography drones out there.
1. DJI Inspire 2
There is no doubt that DJI Inspire 2 is one of the most powerful drones out there on the market. With brilliant hardware packed inside a rigid body, this birdie is surely the wet dream of aerial photographers all around the world. If you’re not among them, keep on reading and I’m pretty sure you will be… once you see the numbers, that is.
Starting off with the camera solution, you should know that DJI Inspire 2 comes with several different options. If you are a professional aerial photographer with no room for compromises, then I warmly recommend you going for the Zenmuse X5S package that delivers exceptional performance.
Specifications aren’t half bad either. As a matter of fact, they are equally as good as those on DJI Phantom 4 Pro. With 5 to 7 kilometers of operating range and cca 25 to 27 minutes of flight time, DJI Inspire 2 is surely a force to be reckoned with.
In terms of features, DJI’s flagship AP drone incorporates a comprehensive obstacle avoidance system as well as all other functions that you’d come to expect from such a pricey drone. These include GPS, smart flight options, failsafe, auto return to home and even support for 2 controllers at the same time. All in all, if you’re willing to dash out such a big price for this birdie, then you must be a professional… which means you’ll greatly appreciate everything DJI Inspire 2 brings to the table!
That would be it, guys. Now you know what’s the best drone for roof inspection that is currently available on the market. As you can see, all of them are equipped with the awesome FPV feature, which is basically the easiest way of roof inspecting in the modern world. In the end, we would just like to express our gratitude for reading our article with hopes that you found it informative and useful for making your next purchase.