Sky Filming visited a secret location run by DEFRA to carry out a two day roof inspection with Jacobs Engineering.
This was quite an unusual project in that the location was top secret and we weren’t allowed to keep any of the photographs or record ourselves taking any photographs or take pictures of ourselves or our drones while on the site. In fact, one of the buildings was so secret it officially “didn’t exist”!
Detailed Drone Multiple Roof Inspection
We were tasked to photograph, in detail, every inch of the roof of several buildings within the compound of a large DEFRA facility. The roof was made from aluminium and the whole complex had been built twenty years ago so the owners wanted to see how well the roofing was doing after twenty years of British weather conditions.
The many roofs had various areas that required very detailed drone inspection, including flashing, where different areas of the roof intersected and joined, as well as ‘top hats’ which are a kind of aluminium chimney. The most important parts of the top hats for us to inspect were where they joined the roof with rivets, using our drones to capture any signs of corrosion.
Aluminium doesn’t rust like iron, but it does react with oxygen where it comes into contact with other metals and corrode, creating a greyish film that does degrade the metal over time around joints, bolts and rivets etc – especially where these are not made from aluminium.
It took us two full days, and a few hours of the third day, to complete the survey. The clients were impressed with the detail of the inspection, so much so that they asked us to go back and do a second survey that was specific to the guttering and plant-life growing in there.
Carrying out inspections of the roof in this way, using drones, saved DEFRA many thousands of pounds, tens of thousands in fact. If they had used cherry pickers, scaffolding and manpower crawling over the many roofs, the inspection would have taken weeks as it would be very labour intensive as well as very expensive.