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What are Visual Inspections?

03/03/2021

Studio Victoria

3 minutes

Having already discussed roof surveys and thermal reports, in this article, we explain how they help conduct Visual Inspections of a variety of assets by answering the following questions: What are Visual Inspections? How are Visual Inspections Useful? And How can drones help with Visual Inspections? Keep reading to find out how Visual Inspections can help you to #ONEUPYOURBUSINESS!

WHAT ARE VISUAL INSPECTIONS?

First, a Visual Inspection is the process of looking over structures and pieces of equipment and inspecting them either using the human senses (sight, smell, touch, hear) or inspection equipment to look for flaws. Therefore, Visual Inspections are methods for quality control, data acquisition, and data analysis.

Examples of Visual Inspections include:

  • Roof inspections
  • Thermal inspections
  • Exterior condition assessments
  • Aquatic inspections

HOW ARE VISUAL INSPECTIONS USEFUL?

Visual Inspections are useful for detecting cracks, corrosion, mould, leaks, and so on, helping you see and fix any problems early on to avoid any problems worsening. Carrying out regular checks on your assets will help you to save time, and money and below, we outline the uses of a few Visual Inspections:

  • Roof inspections: These are useful to identify any roof problems such as water damage, shingle deterioration, damaged flashing, mould, and so on. This type of inspection is crucial after significant weather events, wanting to determine your energy efficiency, when drains or gutters become obstructed, or you notice signs of ageing on your roof
  • Thermal inspections: With the use of thermal cameras, thermal inspections can be conducted and are a great way to accurately identify hot and cold spots to help you see if there's any precious heat leakage, any damage to renewable energies such as wind turbines and solar panels, enabling you to visualise the energy efficiency of your assets. Therefore, thermal inspections mainly involves: wet spot identification, building insulation analysis, mould prevention, solar panel evaluation, wind turbine inspection, ventilation efficiency report, carbon sequestration assessment
  • Exterior condition assessments: This involves checking the exterior of your assets to access any potential damage, e.g., checks for leaks, tiles, shingles, and chimney, and for any structural damage or rotting, etc
  • Aquatic inspections: This is useful for assessing buildings and infrastructure which are underwater, like bridge supports or dams

Overall, Visual Inspections are carried out to assess your assets' quality and identify what's wrong or could go wrong, enabling you to seek maintenance and repair. The produced reports could help you in dispute settlements, damage repair, insurance claims, or court evidence. One of the most common causes of insurance claims comes from roof damage that high winds, heavy rain, storms, snow, and hail have caused. And so by having a roof inspection carried out by professionals can provide you with a highly detailed roof report to attach to your policy.

HOW CAN DRONES HELP WITH VISUAL INSPECTIONS?

Traditionally, an Inspector conducted Visual Inspections using the naked visual eye and other senses, relying on memory and notes. Whereas by using UAVs for Visual Inspections, you can obtain results much faster, safer, more accurately, and with reduced costs as we explain below how drones can help with Visual Inspections:

  • Easily reach obstructed and confined areas: Drones can quickly and efficiently reach obstructed and confined spaces and fly further away from dangerous objects whilst still producing highly detailed and accurate results with close-up images of the roof without putting an inspectors life at risk
  • Improves safety: Due to drones eliminating the need for an inspector entering confined areas or potentially dangerous spaces, this improves safety as inspectors get to work safely from the ground allowing the drone to collect visual data
  • Saves time and money: Traditional methods often need scaffolding and extended downtime for the asset when an inspection is being conducted. A drone, however, removes the need for scaffolding and saves time and money as you will not have to block the street for days; downtime of your asset will be significantly reduced as drones can produce comprehensive results quicker when compared to traditional methods
  • Provides highly accurate and detailed data: Visual Inspections with drones collect thoroughly detailed, and high-quality data as human error is removed. As inspectors memory and written notes will not be relied upon, the data can be stored to be used in the future, where you can compare side-by-side the changes and repairs process of your assets over time

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