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When it comes to commercial and industrial buildings, having an understanding of the building’s exterior health can sometimes pose a challenge. Getting a full or close-up view of the entire building envelope typically requires scaffolding to be erected for the walls, and many exhausting man hours of walking the roof deck to complete the roof inspection. Roof inspections are often done by simply walking the structure, and looking for visible concerns that may stand out. Unfortunately, there is no way to know if there is moisture or condensation trapped underneath the membrane with a visible inspection, so often times a core sample must be performed on the roof system to get a look underneath.

As with any type of building, there inevitably must be some type of maintenance performed to maintain its integrity and longevity. Sometimes that maintenance comes in the form of asset management and a preventative maintenance program. Other times maintenance or repair is an immediate necessity due to a leak, structural failure or accident. In these circumstances, there comes a need for an investigation. That is where an aerial inspection by drone can be applied.

Why Thermal Imaging?

Types of Commercial Building Moisture / Leak Inspections

There are numerous ways to perform a moisture or leak inspection. Thermal, nuclear and capacitance moisture surveys, and electronic leak detection are all possible options for non-destructive testing. Depending on your needs, each process can be a good way to look for anomalies, but aerial thermal imaging is the only one that doesn’t require an individual getting on the roof. Also, a minimum of two people need to be on the roof to comply with local safety laws due to the high rate of fall injuries and fatalities in the construction industry. That requires more man hours and increases the risk for an incident each time the roof is accessed. Falls are the number one cause of construction-worker fatalities, accounting for one-third of all on-the-job deaths in the industry. In 2018, there were 320 fall fatalities out of 1,008 total fatalities in construction (BLS data).

How we can help

Whether you need an evaluation of your building envelope façade or an assessment of your roof system, aerial imaging is a great solution to save time, money and reduce liability and safety concerns. It can also be done in a fraction of the time. A 1 million square foot warehouse could reasonably take two individuals several days to walk the roof during a thorough inspection process, whereas a drone survey resulting in high resolution images and video could be done in approximately 2 hours.