A thermal drone roof inspection uses a radiometric thermal camera to inspect a roof system. A thermal or infrared camera is able to “see” the relative differences in the way a roof system or roofing material gives off heat.
In warmer seasons a compromised section of a roof may become saturated with water. Since water absorbs and emits heat more slowly as compared to the adjacent roof surface, a wet roof surface area will cool more slowly during the evening. It is this difference in relative cooling that allows us to see hotspots and areas that may be potentially saturated with water.
In cooler seasons, when there is a large temperature difference between the inside of a building and the outside (ASTM1153, 9.3), it’s possible to detect potential anomalies in a roof system without the presence of water. Compromised roof structures may show higher relative heat loss as compared to adjacent roof areas.
Generally, infrared drone inspection methods use the relative difference in heat loss of roof systems and/or roof material to detect potential problems in roof systems.