The Introduction of Drones and Artificial Intelligence Into The Roofing Industry
The roofing industry is not typically known for being at the forefront of advanced technological innovation, so the use of drones or artificial intelligence isn’t typically associated with roofing contractors. However, like every other industry, the roofing industry is beginning to shift, and as technology advances, companies who don’t stay on top of trends and technology will begin to be left behind. Here at Cenvar Roofing we value innovative solutions to roofing problems, and pride ourselves in staying at the forefront of new technology and techniques that will allow us to serve our customers as best as possible. That is why we continually take steps to push ourselves to stay at the forefront of new developments, and can say with confidence that we are one of the most innovative roofing companies in the state of Virginia.
Artificial Intelligence and The Future Of Roofing
The future of roofing is changing quickly, and new technology is becoming available constantly. Whereas a few years ago artificial intelligence was almost unheard of in the construction and roofing industries, now, it is almost within our reach and within a few years, may become commonplace. While artificial intelligence is one of the most exciting upcoming developments, the roofing industry is benefitting from a variety of new technologies, ranging from automated tasks, to drones. Here are some of the technologies that have already benefited the roofing industry, as well as what we could see happening in the near future.
Automation and integrated software is allowing roofing companies to spend less time doing small, repetitive tasks, and spend more time making the customer experience as great as possible. The benefits of automation also extend to the customer experience.
Homeowners could potentially access and fill out estimate forms, and then attach photos of their roof and home to give the sales representative a heads up of the home they are visiting. There is also potential that the combination of submitted forms and pictures could lead clients to a gallery of potential roofing materials that could be a good fit for their roof, as well as a wealth of educational materials that clients can look through. This would allow clients to get an idea of what they are looking at, even before the estimate appointment, and significantly improve the customer experience.
Drones are becoming more accessible and versatile by the week, and the roofing industry is beginning to take notice. Of all new technologies being adopted, according to Roofing Contractor’s State of the Industry Report, drone usage was the most common. While many companies, including Cenvar Roofing, have begun to take notice and invest in drones, the potential for the industry within the next few years is quickly growing. Currently, Cenvar Roofing uses a drone to take before and after photos of projects, as well as capture images and videos of roofs during the replacement process. These images can help homeowners see parts of their roofs that are not visible from the ground, as well as appreciate the beauty of their new roof. However, in addition to photographing a roof, there are a few other innovative uses for drones that are starting to become accessible.
According to the State of the Industry report, while the majority of drone users in the roofing industry currently use drones for before/after photos, and other marketing projects, there are companies that are beginning to use drones for diagnostic and measurement purposes. This technology is continuing to develop and improve, industry leaders predict that drone measurements and/or diagnoses will become more popular. Using a drone for remote diagnosis or measurement capabilities could allow our sales representatives to spend more time on the ground, which keeps them safe, as well as provide accurate measurements with visuals to allow for quick diagnosis and repairs.
Augmented or virtual reality (AR/VR) technology is also expected to make an appearance in the roofing industry. Many roofing contractors and companies are beginning to see the value that virtual reality technology could add to the training and sales processes, as well as to the customer’s experience. According to Anthony Delmedico, a roofing consultant and entrepreneurial trainer with Storm Venture Group, it shouldn’t be surprising that the roofing industry is gravitating toward these new technologies to help overcome hurdles and provide the best customer experience possible.
“Recruiting, onboarding and training are some of the toughest issues facing roofing contractors today. This technology helps attract, train, and retain talent in the new millennia,”
– Anthony Delmedico, CEO and founder of Storm Venture Group
With VR implementation, instead of just relying on photographs from the sales representative, or in some cases just a verbal description, future customers could potentially see their home with various roofing materials or colors on a simulated new roof, allowing them to have the confidence in their choice before they sign the contract.
Additionally, VR technology could potentially be used to train sales representatives, and provide customer education. The horizon is wide open with this technology, and as it continues to develop, it will more than likely continue to make its way into the roofing industry.
Similarly to drones and AR and VR technology, artificial intelligence (AI) is making itself more visible in the technological world, and there are definite ways it could become useful in the future of the roofing industry, according to experts in the field, particularly in the areas of project planning, risk management, and quality control.
AI integrated project planning could work by loading images and data into the system that can then analyze potential risks, hazards or problem areas, alerting the sales representatives, project managers and crews to areas they may need to pay more attention too, or work through more slowly.
Risk Management AI has the potential to alert project managers or the crew foreman if a safety hazard is occurring. This would happen through data gathered from on-site cameras, and could allow for more precise information and outcomes, as well as safer all-around job experiences. And AI integrated into the quality control system can help determine if materials were installed correctly based upon data from previous jobs with similar materials and layouts.
While some of this technology is still a ways away from the market, the fact remains that innovation is occurring and becoming available, and it will make its way into the roofing industry sooner rather than later. As a company that strives to be a leader in our industry, we pay close attention to new, effective ways of achieving our high standards. Currently we use drone technology to take before and after pictures to show clients the progress of a roof. In the future, we look forward to continuing to adapt to new technologies available to us to serve customers and make their experience even better than it already is!
If you have questions, or would like to schedule a further conversation with a member of our sales team to discuss a project or repair, visit our website to find the branch nearest you and schedule an appointment today.
Hannah Brown is the Content Manager at Cenvar Roofing, and the main author of our company blog. Her primary focus is to create and produce content for all mediums that explains the complexities of the roofing industry in simple, straightforward language. Hannah has degrees in Strategic Communication and English from Liberty University, and her work has been featured in multiple print and online publications.