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Charles House, Northampton

Drone Roof Inspection Case Study

In a bid to identify roof damage and prevent further internal water damage, Virtual FM, part of the Virtual Services Group, commissioned an aerial drone survey for Charles House in Northampton. The inspection aimed to assess the roof’s condition comprehensively using advanced drone and thermal imaging technologies.

Project Overview

The drone survey at Charles House was meticulously planned and executed, adhering to our strict policies and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations. The operation also involved coordination with Airport Air Traffic Control (ATC) and Northamptonshire Police. The survey utilised high-resolution cameras and thermal imaging to detect heat differentials and
potential issues on the roof surface.

The primary goal was to conduct a detailed roof survey, identify potential issues, and provide actionable recommendations for maintenance, repairs, or replacement.

Key Highlights


Comprehensive coverage: The drone captured high-resolution images from various angles, ensuring no part of the roof was left uninspected.


Thermal Imaging: Enabled detection of areas with heat differentials indicating potential water ingress.


Detailed reporting: Provided the client with a thorough report including recommendations for immediate and long-term maintenance.



We had to ensure that we were compliant with industry regulations, the survey adhered to CAA regulations and involved coordination with multiple authorities.

The weather was assessed so we could conduct the survey in optimal conditions, to avoid issues with drone stability and image quality.

We addressed all safety concerns due to the survey's proximity to other properties given its urban setting.



The drone survey revealed significant areas of concern on the roof of Charles House:

  • Water Ingress:
    Thermal imaging detected substantial water ingress, indicating potential leaks.
  • Gutter Blockages:
    Moss and debris accumulation in gutters, risking overflow and further damage to the fascia and soffit areas.


Our recommendations included:

  • The immediate investigation and remediation of the identified water ingress to prevent further damage.
  • Thorough cleaning and regular maintenance of the gutters to ensure proper water drainage.

The survey’s findings underscored the need for prompt attention to mitigate further damage and extend the roof’s lifespan. The client received a comprehensive inspection report, and follow-up consultations were arranged to discuss necessary repairs and maintenance schedules.

Overall, the drone roof inspection at Charles House successfully identified critical issues and provided actionable insights, showcasing the effectiveness of drone technology in building maintenance and inspection.