Best Drones for Roof Inspections in 2023

There has been a revolution in the world thanks to drones in recent years. While drones and the technology they use are not new technologies, they are continually developing, and they are used in a wide variety of fields. 

Table of Contents

The use of drones as a means of inspecting roofs is now a smart, easy solution for some types of roofs. Before using a drone for a roof inspection, people should be aware of a few legal requirements. In most cases, drones remain the best choice.

A drone that can inspect roofs must be capable of what? 

During roof inspections, drones should be easy to fly and avoid crashing into buildings. Additionally, drones must be legal to use in the area in which they will be used, and not everyone is allowed to use a drone for roof inspections. There is often a requirement for drone pilots to have a license.

Inspections of roofs can be done more safely and accurately using drones, and inspectors don’t have to risk their lives. Inspections of roofs are not possible without a drone, as inspectors must climb up to the roof and walk all over the area. Roofs are generally inclined, and inspectors tend to work alone without any backup, which can be extremely dangerous.

Roof inspections using drones have been one of the biggest technological advances in real estate because they make the process easier, safer, and more affordable. Drones can access places people can’t, so roof inspections done by professionals can provide a more comprehensive inspection than ones done by people. An inspection of a building with drones can therefore be comprehensive and intensive.

Related: Best Drones for Windy Conditions

When inspecting roofs with a drone, what features are essential? 

The use of drones for roof inspections is very efficient. As well as providing the inspector with a full and accurate overview of the roof, they can reach places that humans can’t, with greater safety and efficiency. Drones, however, need certain physical features to perform this task accurately and with greater detail.

Some specific features are needed for a drone to do a roof inspection accurately:


For drones that will be used to inspect roofs, a high-quality video camera is essential. In order to provide precise information about the roof’s status, it is essential to obtain an image that is detailed. 

Cameras must not only display high-quality images but also provide continuous images to the controller so that the inspector can monitor the roof’s status in real-time.

Therefore, the camera must be lightweight, weather-resistant, and battery-powered for extended periods of time. Roof inspections can be performed with many drones currently on the market that come equipped with a camera that is perfectly adequate.

Battery Life

Another crucial factor is the drone’s battery life. Drones with a longer battery life will be able to fly for longer periods of time. In order for the motor to run, the battery sends the voltage needed. 

If a thorough inspection of very large roof areas is required, the ability to complete the whole task without recharging or swapping out batteries is very helpful. Drones with batteries that last at least 30 minutes should be chosen. 

Enterprise-level drones with up to 50 minutes of flight time are a good option for really large jobs that will require a lot of time. 

Hovering with accuracy

Despite their speed, drones must hover accurately and be stable for roof inspections. Whenever the drone is flying near the roof structure, it may crash into something if it doesn’t take care. An accurate report requires clear imagery captured by a smooth, stable hover.

Several sensors are placed throughout the drone itself to provide hover accuracy, which is also dependent on the person controlling the drone. Drone pilot certification is one of the most important requirements for inspectors using drones to inspect roofs! The inspector or the company does not want to incur any unnecessary expenses due to collateral damage.

Obstacle and Collision Avoidance Sensors

Pilots can better control and manage drones with the help of sensors on the drone. Throughout the drone, the pilot is protected from any obstacles or collisions by sensors. A number of sensors are used in collision avoidance, including inertial measurement units, GPS satellites, tilt sensors, current sensors, and magnetic sensors.

With all those sensors operating simultaneously, the drone can be controlled more effectively by the pilot. It is important for each type of sensor to contribute to the stabilization of the aircraft and the prevention of collisions.

To gain a better understanding of how each of the sensors mentioned above contributes to a smoother, safer flight, let’s spend a few minutes looking at them in more detail. 

Instruments for measuring inertial motion and GPS. Drone direction is tracked by both of these. They direct the drone while in flight based on the drone’s orientation. 

Sensors for tilting. In addition to accelerometers, tilt sensors provide input to the control system for maintaining a stable altitude. Any variation in movement is detected by them.

A magnetic sensor and a current sensor. The drone’s internal flight system is continuously monitored by both systems. Using current sensors, drone batteries and other components are measured, which optimizes the drone’s battery life. Inertial and directional measurements are taken by magnetic sensors to assist with drone guidance.

Sensor for thermal imaging

A professional drone roof inspection pilot should seriously consider this feature, even if it is optional. Through thermal imaging, you can detect water damage, areas of inadequate insulation, and more that can go undetected. 

Consumer and prosumer drones can also come with thermal sensors, although thermal imaging sensors are generally available only on enterprise-level drones. A drone with a dual thermal-visual sensor is probably the best option for collecting data from both types of sensors simultaneously. 

Here is a list of the top drones for roof inspection:

1. Professional Roof Inspection with DJI Mavic 3

Here are a few reasons why it’s a great roof inspection drone:

Known for being the world’s largest consumer drone manufacturer, DJI’s Mavic 3 is its flagship enterprise drone. As you can see, it has almost everything you could need in a roof inspection drone, as well as the ability to fold up for maximum portability. Manually controlled inspections are recommended for thoroughness.

DJI’s Mavic 3 drone replaced the Mavic 2 Pro in November 2021. At the 2020 International Roofing Expo in Dallas, Texas, the Grand Prize was a Mavic 2 Pro inspection drone, which tells you what the roofing industry thinks about the line of Mavic drones.

A large array of third-party software packages are available for automated mission control and report generation for the Mavic 2 Pro, which is ideal for roof inspections.


The images are 20 megapixels. Zoom 28 times. It includes a state-of-the-art Hasselblad camera with 4/3 CMOS technology.

Flight Control:

GPS integration, automatic obstacle avoidance in six directions, and automatic return-to-home capability are all included.

Flight Time:

A maximum of 46 minutes may be required.

Roof Inspection Software:

DJI drones are the most popular drones for which third-party drone software is developed due to their huge market share. Roof inspection applications are available in a variety of specialties.

In November 2021, DJI released Mavic 3, and third-party software companies still update their products to make them work with Mavic 3. Make sure your software is compatible before you buy it. Besides the Mavic 3, DJI also makes inspection software.

Camera for thermal imaging:

This drone can be equipped with a thermal camera.

2. Roof Mapping and Automated Roof Surveys with the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0

This is one of the best drones for roof inspections because:

You can use the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 to produce detailed, high-quality, full-roof maps and graphics.

Calculate accurate roof measurements automatically. A preprogrammed, automated inspection and mapping flight is performed. Drones can be controlled manually to capture close-up images of roof defects.

There is no question that the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is one of the best mapping drones available at this price point.

By using specialized third-party software platforms, you can also perform roof-specific inspections with this drone.

Customized roof reports for large commercial buildings. Your clients’ roofs can be represented in 3-D using computer models.


 The images are 20 megapixels. A 4K/60fps video. Mechanical shutters eliminate rolling shutter distortion from a 1-inch CMOS sensor. Image data is captured in detail and processed in a way that makes advanced post-production possible.

Control of flight:

Provides GPS navigation, automatic obstacle avoidance in five directions, and automatic return to home functionality.

Flight Time:

Thirty minutes or more.

An inspection software program for roofs:

A wide array of third-party software is supported by the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0, one of the best and most recommended inspection and mapping drones.

Cameras with thermal imaging:

This drone does not come with a thermal camera option, but one can be installed later.

3. Roof Estimation Drone – DJI Mavic Air 2S

Here are a few reasons why it’s a great roof inspection drone:

The Mavic Air 2S is significantly less expensive than the Mavic 3, but it can’t do quite as well as the Mavic 3.

DJI’s latest drone is awesome. Stores and transports easily.

Its upgraded image sensor makes it a great upgrade over its predecessor, the Mavic Air 2. When taking pictures of roof features that are in shadowy areas, can help with finer details and better pictures in low-light situations.

The automated flight paths and automatic image capture functions have also been greatly improved.


Images with 20 megapixels. With an f/2.8 lens and a 35mm equivalent focal length of 22mm, the camera integrates a 1-inch CMOS sensor. A panoramic view can be created by combining images. The gimbal is three-axis.

Flight Control:

GPS is integrated, four directions of obstacle avoidance are automatically recognized, and automatic return to home is included.

Time of flight:

Thirty-one minutes maximum.

Software for roof inspections:

There are a lot of third-party inspection software options for the Mavic Air 2S because DJI produces two-thirds of consumer drones sold today.

Cameras with thermal imaging:

This drone does not have a thermal camera option.

4. 3D modeling of roofs using the Parrot Anafi drone

Here are a few reasons why it’s a great roof inspection drone:

Parrot Drones’ Anafi Work drone is among the mid-priced drones that compete with DJI’s Mavic Air. A 3D model of a building can be generated automatically, based on programmable flight patterns.

In addition, Parrot Drones is a European company with a strong commitment to protecting your data when you use their devices.

According to the Parrot Drones website: “The drones’ flight logs, such as the location and date of each flight, constitute sensitive data that are collected by the drones. In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Parrot’s privacy policies and features fully comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Furthermore, Parrot claims that there are no no-fly zones on its aircraft. In drone-restricted areas, they will not be able to remotely disable your drone.


The images are 21 megapixels. In 4K HDR, you will be able to zoom by 1.4x during 4K recording and by 2.8x during full HD (1080p recording). Gimbal with three axes.

GPS and automatic return-to-home functionality are integrated into the flight control system. Wind-resistant to 50 km/h. Its automation must be carefully programmed, and manual operation requires special attention because it lacks obstacle avoidance sensors.

Because of the camera’s excellent zoom, this isn’t as big a deal as it sounds, since you don’t have to get as close to the roof surface as before.

Flight Time:

Comes with 4 batteries, but lasts up to 25 minutes.

Roof Inspection Software:

A roof inspection software application is included with this drone. Applications from third parties are available, but there are a limited number.

Thermal Camera:

The drone does not have a thermal camera option, but see the next drone on the list for one.

5. The best affordable thermal drone is the Parrot Anafi

Here are a few reasons why it’s a great roof inspection drone:

An affordable professional thermal imaging drone, the Parrot Anafi Thermal is among the best on the market. Thermal surveys and thermal inspection reports can be generated right out of the box.

The (relatively) low price makes this drone an excellent buy.

It is a good idea to use drones for professional thermal roof inspections if you plan to make thermal imaging roof inspections your main focus of your business.

For thermal mapping of large commercial roofs, this top-of-the-line drone can perform preprogrammed, automated inspection flights.


Besides a radiometric FLIR Lepton® 3.5 thermal imaging camera, this drone has a 4K HDR camera with lossless zoom x2.8 (x3 when the standard mode is used). For visual inspection, a Sony sensor with 21 megapixels is used.

Flight Control:

Integrated GPS and auto-return-to-home functions are included. Wind resistance of 31 mph has been designed for the product. Since this drone does not have obstacle avoidance sensors, automated flights require careful programming, and manual operation requires extra attention.

Flight Time:

With 3 batteries, it can last up to 26 minutes.

Software for roof inspections:

Thermal roof scans can be performed using this drone’s inspection software. It is possible to download third-party software, but it is limited.

6. Roof Inspections with DJI Mini 2 – The Best Lightweight Drone

It’s one of the best drones for roofing inspections for the following reasons:

Using a DJI Mini 2, you can inspect residential roofs more thoroughly or check for storm damage at a lower cost. Furthermore, it can be used by property managers to inspect roofs whenever necessary.

Super-portable, small, and lightweight. When a roof estimation software company roofing needs a new drone for their software, they recommend the DJI Mini 2.


Images with 12 megapixels. CMOS 1/2.3”, equivalent to 35 mm format: 24 mm. Gimbal 3-axis.

Flight Control:

A GPS-integrated GPS unit, obstacle-sensing technology, and an automatic return-to-home function are included. Instead of using the limited flight path program, you’ll probably have to fly this manually.

Time of flight:

It may take up to 31 minutes.

Software for roof inspections:

Software for creating reports from photos is available, but it looks more like the software you would use for generating reports from a normal digital camera.

Cameras with thermal imaging:

This drone does not have a thermal camera option.

7. Drones for roof inspections: DJI Mini 3 Pro

As DJI’s current “drone under 250 grams”, the Mini 3 Pro replaced the Mini 2.

As well as a 3-directional obstacle avoidance system and a longer flight time, the Mini 3 Pro has many significant safety improvements.

There is no drone in its weight class better suited for roof inspections than the DJI Mini 3 Pro.

Camera Effective Pixels:

Images with a resolution of 48 megapixels. Equivalent to 24 mm format, 1/1.3 CMOS. A mechanical gimbal with three axes of rotation (tilt, roll, and pan).

Control of flight:

It includes an integrated GPS system and an automatic return-to-home feature. Defending against obstacles in all directions. Flight paths can be automated or flown in an intelligent mode.

Time of flight:

Approximately 34 minutes.

Software for roof inspections:

Software for roof inspections can’t be found on third-party websites. Just like with regular digital cameras, drone images can be used for inspection reports.

Cameras with thermal imaging:

This drone does not have a thermal camera option.

8. Roof Inspection Drone – Contixo F35

Here are a few reasons why it’s a great roof inspection drone:

For those who want to learn how to fly a drone without spending a lot right off the bat, the Contixo F35 is an excellent choice.

Visual roof inspections and photographic documentation are perfectly possible with this drone. Getting pictures of a roof is fine if you are just trying to figure out what is up there.

A sturdier build, better picture quality, and better wind tolerance all make the Contixo F35 a better drone for this price range.


Images with 12 megapixels. Gimbal with two axes for 4K UHD cameras.

Flight Control:

A GPS-integrated device with automatic return-to-home functionality is included. There is the option of preprogrammed, automatic flight paths.

Time of flight:

Approximately 30 minutes.

Roof Inspection Software:

The drone does not come with roof inspection software from a third party. Drone images can be used just like regular digital cameras to prepare inspection reports.


This drone does not have a thermal camera option.


Drones can be used to inspect roofs?

The drone roof inspection will most likely be conducted by your roofing contractor with the help of specialized software and an automated drone. It is best suited for detailed surveys and for roofing teams conducting multiple inspections at once to use drone software technology.

Are drones used by roofing companies?

Drone technology is being used by professional roofers. Without having to step onto the roof, you can conduct a roof inspection or take measurements quickly with a drone.

Do drones work for gutter inspections?

When inspecting guttering or any other part of a building at height, using a drone is a safe and cost-effective option.

Leave a Comment