Tools of the Trade
Every good home inspector should invest in and have the right tools for the job. Keep in mind though that these are tools, and they are only effective in the hands of someone who has learned how to use and master their tools of the trade.
Drones are a great next-level tool to assist in the inspection of roofs and other hard-to-reach high places. These are great aids for buildings with roofs that are not walkable due to the building material (tile/cedar shake), slope and pitch being unsafe to walk, presence of solar panels, and when the roof is in such disrepair that it is unsafe to walk on, etc.
However, White Glove Building Inspections strongly believe that the best way to inspect a roof is to walk the roof. Our eyes and us being on the roof is a better close up inspection of the inspection of the roof then a drone 30 feet in the air as we can see areas of concern that a drone may not be able to focus on. A drone should not be used as a substitution for the inspector doing his due diligence.
Thermal and Infrared Cameras
Thermal and infrared cameras are one of the best tools that an inspector can use to help him see beyond the naked eye. These cameras are specialty cameras that have the ability to see temperatures which creates colorful images that can highlight temperature changes. When used properly these camera can help inspectors see possible issues with the buildings envelope such as air leaks, poor insulation, and thermal barrier concerns. The cameras also have the ability to see water intrusion such as roof leaks, leaks in basements and crawl spaces, as well as possible plumbing issues in bathrooms etc. You can also see when things are hot such as if the HVAC system is working or are there any electrical issues in the home.
An inspector who uses a thermal camera needs to be properly trained in the use of the camera and how to interpret the images they are seeing. Without that additional training the thermal cameras are just a fancy tool.