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Beyond the Ladder: The Role of Reality Data Capture in Modern Roofing Inspections

In a recent interview with Josh Barker, a Strategic Account Executive at FlyGuys, we spoke about the transformative power of reality data capture in the roofing inspection industry. Barker, an expert with over six years of hands-on experience, shed light on the evolution from traditional methods to modern technologies and how they have reshaped roofing practices.

The Evolution of Reality Data Capture in the Roofing Industry

Traditionally, roofing inspections involved manual efforts where professionals climbed roofs, pulled tape and relied on guesswork. However, over the past 5-10 years, the industry has seen a paradigm shift. Barker explains, “The initial leap from ‘boots-on-the-ground’ inspections to the use of satellite and smartphone imagery marked the industry’s first steps towards embracing technology. However, these methods, while innovative, fell short of delivering the precision and timeliness required for thorough inspections.

Enter drones. The advent of drone technology, particularly prompted by the remote work ordinances of the COVID-19 pandemic, has redefined roofing inspections. ”Drones offer unparalleled clarity and detail, allowing inspectors to gauge roof conditions with previously unattainable accuracy,” Barker explains. “Additionally, the integration of artificial intelligence has further revolutionized these inspections, introducing capabilities like detailed item detection, thermal imaging for night inspections, and precise measurements.” This technological leap not only enhances the quality of inspections but also significantly mitigates safety risks for inspectors working in potentially hazardous conditions.

Transforming Traditional Practices


Overcoming Industry Resistance

Despite the clear advantages, the transition to drone technology was met with initial skepticism among traditional roofing professionals. Concerns about job displacement and the impersonal nature of technology were prevalent. “However,” Barker notes, “perception shifted dramatically once the tangible benefits of drone inspections became evident. Drones were no longer seen as a threat but as essential tools that complement the skill set of roofing inspectors, similar to traditional tools like hammers and nails.” This paradigm shift underscores the importance of technology as an enabler, rather than a replacement, of human expertise in the roofing industry.

Addressing Industry Challenges


Enhancing Roof Maintenance and Decision-Making

One of the most significant impacts of drone technology in roofing is its ability to facilitate regular and efficient roof maintenance. Traditionally, roof maintenance has been a reactive measure often neglected until significant issues arise. Drones, however, make it feasible to conduct comprehensive inspections regularly, allowing for the proactive identification of potential problems. “For instance,” Barker explains, “a property manager can collect roof data during spring and winter weather conditions and compare damages from each data set. This capability enables property managers to make informed decisions regarding maintenance and repairs, ultimately saving significant costs and extending the lifespan of roofing assets.”

Contributing To Accurate Measurements


Case Study: A Real-world Success Story

Barker’s account of a successful bid by Sherwin-Williams for two school roof restoration projects exemplifies the practical benefits of reality data capture. By leveraging drone technology, Sherwin-Williams was able to submit a more comprehensive bid grounded in accurate and objective data about the condition of the roofs. This not only secured them the projects but also established them as the go-to roofing resource for the entire school district, illustrating the profound impact of reality data capture on the service industry.

Real World Impact


Looking Ahead: The Future of Roofing Inspections

The future Barker envisions for the roofing industry is one where reality data capture is not just a competitive edge but a standard practice. He predicts a significant shift in the market over the next 10-15 years as younger professionals enter the industry with degrees in general construction and roofing, gravitating toward technology.

The integration of AI and ongoing technological advancements promise to further elevate the capabilities of roofing professionals, transforming them into comprehensive property experts. This evolution reflects a broader trend toward technology-driven solutions across various industries, highlighting the critical role of innovation in maintaining safety, efficiency, and accuracy in professional practices. 

The Future Of Reality Data Capture

As the roofing industry continues to evolve, the insights shared by Josh Barker paint a picture of a future where technology and human expertise converge to create safer, more efficient, and more reliable roofing solutions. The journey from traditional inspections to the forefront of technological innovation marks a significant leap forward for the industry, setting a new standard for excellence in roofing practices.

See what North American Roofing Services has to say about FlyGuys’ data capturing services.

Nar Logo 1“We are delighted to have discovered FlyGuys for our Infrared Thermography needs. As a commercial roofing company with many projects across the U.S., it is important for us to gather accurate information in a timely manner to prepare for our projects. The real-time imaging has been useful as it allows us to view sections of the roof that may be of concern and make better-informed decisions as we move forward with a project. In the portal where the data is stored, we are able to see different views of the roof and measure out the anomalies. The portal allows us to zoom into the area of concern and better understand the location on the roof where the anomaly is detected. We are also pleased with FlyGuys’ excellent communication about the project status, the quick turnaround from when the scan is ordered to receiving the data analysis, their fair pricing, and their outstanding customer service. We look forward to working with FlyGuys on many upcoming roofing projects.”

Jenna Montoya, Permit Coordinator, North American Roofing Services, LLC

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Please note that we are currently unable to assist in the search for missing pets. This limitation is due to the specific challenges and regulations associated with using drones for such purposes.