By utilising this cost-effective survey, you’re able to save hundreds and possibly thousands, depending on the overall size of the job. As mentioned, it’ll also dramatically reduce the levels of dangers that are associated with traditional roof surveys. This is because the drone takes out all risks that are commonly linked with a surveyor having to scale a building or roof that may have high-risk or limited access points. Apart from a drone inspection being a cheaper and more risk-averse way of surveying a roof, it also provides a more comprehensive report. This is because the drone can take still images and record its GPS location, and by providing this, it makes you aware of the exact locations of where the defects are when the surveyor highlights them. By achieving this type of survey, you’re able to gather aerial data that is supported by evidence. This works in favour of both the surveyor and customer as problems can be highlighted and shown. In this article, we’ll be expressing if drone inspections are better than your traditional roofing survey. Although both are great and can be exploited in different scenario’s, let’s uncover which is personally best for you.

Traditional Roof Survey vs Roof Drone Survey

Whether you were to opt-in for a traditional or a drone roof survey, you’ll more than less gather similar results. However, in some areas of the inspection, either may give you better results than one another. For example, intrusive roof inspections. A traditional roof surveyor could physically test this, whereas you can only see visual problems with the drone method. However, some of the more significant benefits you’ll receive while choosing a drone roof survey is that it’ll provide high-quality videos and images. It’ll also offer you 100% access to your roof, whereas a traditional survey can encounter restrictions. Any surveyor will understand the importance of having high-resolution images as they’ll be able to reassess the content when they’re off-site. However, how does each survey compare through other aspects of a roof survey?

1) Disruption

The overall disturbance that can be encountered from a roof survey plays an important factor in which option is more beneficial than one another.

Drone Roof Survey

With a drone roof survey, it’s obviously conducted through a drone. Because of this, no additional equipment is needed to perform an inspection. You and the people surrounding the property won’t even notice that a roof survey is being done.
It’s clear that on the disruption scale of a roof survey, the drone-type inspection is much less troublesome to its surroundings.

Traditional Roof Survey

Depending on your roof, there can be various ways for a conventional roof survey to be carried out. This could be through scaffolding, rope access and cherry pickers, etc. Therefore, varying on what method is safe to use on your property may cause additional disruption to its environment rather than a drone survey.

2) Health & Safety

It’s clear that health and safety plays a vital role in a roof survey. After all, most roofs are high enough to cause some severe life-threatening issues.

Drone Roof Survey

With this type of survey, the surveyor will be on the floor, van or practically anywhere that they can operate the drone from. Typically, the drone will have a POV camera attached to it that the surveyor can see on a monitor.

Traditional Roof Survey

Obviously, it’ll require a surveyor to ascend the building with a traditional survey. Although extra safety precautions are taken in 2017 and 2018, falling from heights was the most common cause of fatality in a workplace environment, resulting in 36 deaths.

3) Quality of Survey

We commonly see people debate the quality of the survey between these options, and as mentioned, they’re both excellent in their own way.

Drone Roof Survey

Unfortunately, with drones, they don’t have little hands to probe the laps (let me know when they do!). However, it does provide you with outstanding quality videos and still frames. By gaining this type of data, it’s easy for the surveyor to review and produce a detailed report.

Traditional Roof Survey

One perk that a traditional roof survey has over a drone inspection is that they’re able to physically test many elements of the roof like the waterproofing membrane. For instance, probing the laps to test for adhesion.

4) Cost-Effectiveness

The cost of something can most certainly determine whether or not you make the purchase, or in this case, the choice of the survey. 

From our understanding of the roof surveying market, the most cost-effective way to get your roof inspected is through a drone survey. Because it only requires one person to perform the inspection, it dramatically decreases the price. Especially if your roof requires either scaffolding or something like a cherry picker to inspect the roof safely, having these extra costs will undoubtedly creep up the survey’s overall price. 

In most cases, you’ll also gain access to your aerial survey much faster than a traditional one. Because of the accessibility of exporting the videos and pictures of the survey off your drone, ensures you’re able to get your results back much quicker.


The discussion between traditional surveys vs drones surveys has been a popular one since drones were introduced. As you’re now aware, both have their advantages and disadvantages, but as an overview, we believe that investing in a drone-type survey is much better.

They’re becoming more and more popular as the years go by and are considered a go-to option for most surveyors. However, we don’t think that they’ll ever completely wipe out traditional surveys as they’re unable to perform any physical tests.