In the aftermath of a storm, the roof may not be the most appealing place to venture, but it’s integral it be inspected quickly for damage. Even when the weather is fair, it’s important to regularly monitor the state of your roof in order to provide proper maintenance and prevent unnecessary loss.
This type of inspection is costly in person-hours and inconvenient. Over the last few years, companies have been developing new technological approaches to check on how things look. One example is Betterview, which has solutions for property and casualty insurance companies. A combination of satellite and manned aircraft imagery, computer vision software and analytic models allows the company to remotely identify whether a roof is damaged, worn or potentially at some other risk like an overhanging tree.
The company has said that historical images after major storms can predict whether a roof is more likely to sustain significant damage in another event.
While the focus of Betterview is on insurance — which helps explain the choice of technologies that can use existing imagery rather than a custom inspection—other companies work farther afield. DroneBase claims it can remotely monitor properties at scale through a network of drone operators and analytics software to improve capital planning and ultimately lower operating costs. Not only does the company inspect roofs, but rooftop equipment and facades.
Another variation on roof tech is the type of imaging. Normal visible light can do a lot, but so can implementations of infrared imaging. The term infrared refers to a variety of electromagnetic wavelengths longer than visible light. A common application is to scan for sources of heat. As DruneBase suggested in an email, in a multifamily building, infrared imaging can identify moisture buildup under membrane roofs or HVAC leaks.
Different types of infrared, based on the wavelengths involved, also would suggest other potential uses. Variations on infrared can frequently differentiate between different organic and inorganic materials. In agriculture, for example, imaging can distinguish between different sorts of vegetation in a field. On a roof, by shifting the wavelengths scanned for, it might be possible to identify infestations of algae, mold, lichen, or other foreign material that could have a negative impact on property.
Article By: Erik Sherman
Source: Property Casualty 360