Frequently asked questions

Roofing Inspections & Surveys

Why would I employ the services of a Roofing Surveyor when I could just ask a Roofing Contractor to inspect my roof?


An Independent Roofing Surveyor's role is to provide impartial professional advice based on unbiased observations of your roof coverings for an agreed fee and to the best of their abilities. A Roofing Contractor repairs or replaces roof coverings and as such cannot be regarded as unbiased and impartial as there will always be the potential for additional financial gain from roofing works based on their recommendations.




Why not just employ the services of an RICS Chartered Building Surveyor to carry out a roof inspection?


A Chartered Building Surveyor is qualified to inspect and provide condition reports on all components of a building's design including the roof coverings. A Roofing Surveyor is a specialist in the field of roofing. We work closely with Chartered Building Surveyors providing our specialist advice and also seek their advice on non-roofing related building issues when required.




How often and why should a roof be inspected?


We recommend all property owners roofs are inspected twice a year. In our experience we have found it to be more beneficial being proactive rather than reactive. By being proactive and preventing potential water damage to the building fabric is far more cost effective and less inconvenient than waiting until something eventually goes wrong. In our opinion the best times of year to inspect a roof and associated roofline products are; after winter around March and before the winter weather sets in around November.




What is the difference between an Inspection and a Survey?


The terms Inspection and Survey tend to be interchangeable, there is a slight difference between the two types of roof or building assessments. Inspections are usually carried out to examine the health and integrity of the building fabric to ensure everything conforms to Current Building Regulations and is fit for purpose. This is normally a requirement for a property purchase, a lease agreement, if there is a legal dispute or for insurance purposes. A Survey is more in depth than an Inspection including carrying out flat roof core samples and measurements with the intention of carrying out a refurbishment project.




Should a Roofing Surveyor have Public Liability Insurance cover?


Yes. Even though a surveyor is not actually carrying out 'works' at a property, they should still have adequate Public Liability Insurance cover for when accidents happen. Examples could be; a foot through a ceiling while inspecting a loft space or property is damaged while carrying a ladder.




How do you determine which method you will use to inspect/survey a roof or structure?


When we receive an customer enquiry we initially carry out a desktop feasibility study based on the customer's requirements, building location and design to determine the safest and most cost effective method of carrying out an inspection or survey. The methods we use range from using a drone or telescopic mast camera to the requirement for a general purpose scaffolding to be erected. Using the study results we will provide an estimate for carrying out the inspection or survey.




How do you ensure your Inspections and Surveys are carried out safely, minimising the risks to both yourself, property users and the general public?


All our site 'work' is carried out in strict accordance with current Health and Safety Executive Regulations. In addition to carrying out a desktop feasibility study, we carry out Risk Assessments and Method Statements for every project to ensure risks are minimised to all parties.





Aerial Inspections, Surveys & General Imagery

What is a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) and why does a business require one to use a drone?


At the present time there is no such thing as an official UK drone pilot licence. Any drone pilot however, does require the permission of the CAA to undertake commercial work (known as ‘Commercial Operations’).




What is the definition of 'Commercial Operations' when using a drone?


In practical terms, when a business or individual advertises a legal commercial service and receives payment for performing these services. The CAA definition is 'Any purpose, other than commercial air transport or public transport, for which an aircraft is flown if valuable consideration is given or promised for the flight or the purpose of the flight.'




Can an Estate Agent use their own in-house drone for capturing property imagery without a CAA PfCO?


No. This would also be considered Commercial Operations as they would be receiving Valuable Consideration for using drone imagery to market the properties they are selling.




Can a Surveyor or a Contractor use their own in-house drone for carrying out inspections and surveys without a CAA PfCO?


No. This would be considered Commercial Operations as they would be receiving Valuable Consideration for using drone imagery to provide a service or as a tool to assist their services.




Should I request to see a copy of an Commercial Operator's CAA PfCO before employing their services?


Yes, every time. Without a Standard Permission from the CAA anyone using a drone for Commercial Operations are operating illegally. This will also mean they will be uninsured and not have the correct procedures in place to ensure safe operations. Businesses or individuals who employ illegal operators also face the risk of possible legal action and will not be covered by their own insurance should anything go wrong.




What are the main benefits of obtaining a CAA PfCO?


The main benefits are:

  1. An operator can legally receive payment for the services they provide using a drone.
  2. Reduced limitations on where you can fly. A CAA PfCO holder can legally fly over or within 150m of a congested area unlike a Non-PfCO holder who would be limited to operate almost exclusively to rural areas.
  3. Specific Drone Insurance Cover. This is a requirement of Regulation (EC) 785/2004 ‘Insurance for air carriers and aircraft operators’. Without this specific insurance cover in place a PfCO will not be granted by the CAA. Standard Public Liability Insurance Cover does not include the use of drones in any way.




What safety measures do your aircraft use to minimise the risks involved during flight?


Our aircraft utilises the latest technology available to ensure the safest possible flight is achieved with several failsafe systems, sensors to all sides and propeller guards for flying close to structures in case of an unexpected gust of wind.




As a CAA PfCO holder what operating procedures do you use to ensure safe operations?


In addition to carrying out a desktop feasibility study for every enquiry we receive we also carry out Pre-Site Assessments, On-Site Assessments, Site Sprecific Risk Assessments and Method Statements. Flight Reference Cards and checklists are used before leaving our office and on site to ensure all procedures are carried out and nothing is overlooked to ensure the safest operation possible. Flight data is uploaded after every flight to Airdata UAV for analysis to ensure our drones and batteries are always regularly maintained and safe to fly, all in accordance with our Operations Manual and current CAA Regulations.




What are the restrictions for flying a drone with a CAA Standard PfCO?


The drone must not be flown:

  • Above 400ft from the ground.
  • Further than 500m from the pilot.
  • Over or within 150m of any open-air assembly of more than 1000 persons.
  • Over or within 50m of any person, vessel, vehicle or structure not under the control of the operator. This distance is reduced to 30m during take-off and landing.
However, K2 Surveyors currently hold a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Non-Standard Permission for an Operating Safety Case (OSC) for Reduced Separation Distances while using a multi-rotor drone. This permission allows us to take-off and land as close as 10m and fly as close as 20m from uninvolved People, Vessels, Vehicles and Structures not under the control of the Remote Pilot. This permission and distances allowed is currently only held by approximately 1% of all the CAA Approved SUA Operators in the UK.





General Questions

Which areas of the UK do you cover?


We are based in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, which roughly half way between Liverpool and Hull on the M62 Corridor. So our usual area of coverage is the whole of the North of England and the Midlands. However we quite are prepared to travel further afield if requested.




Do you have a suitable motor vehicle capable of reaching locations 'off the beaten track'?


Yes. We we have always used a small 4x4 SUV for this reason to minimise our location restrictions. Also, one of the other advantages of being a Commercial Drone Operator is we can easily carry our equipment on foot to locations where our 'off-road' vehicle won't reach and still achieve the same results.





If you have any further questions regarding any of our services not answered above, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help. 

K2 Surveyors Drone Safe Register