Saving time with drones
New Berlin roofing consultant firm uses technology to its advantage

By KAREN STOKES - Special to the Freeman

September 22, 2018

High tech drones with infrared thermography.

Submitted photo


NEW BERLIN - A few years ago, drones were barely heard of except in the military and now they are quickly growing in popularity and becoming a part of everyday business.

In January, Interstate Roof Systems Consultants (IRSC) began to utilize high-tech drones with infrared thermography.

IRSC in New Berlin is a roofing consulting firm that works on commercial buildings and does assessments, roof replacement design and water investigation as well as testing. IRSC says it is the first local commercial roofing consulting firm to utilize drone technology.

“The drones help us with our survey assessments and testing, the drones are set up with infrared cameras,” said Dave Velcheck, president of IRSC.

Dave Velcheck joined IRSC in 2015, and became president in May 2017.

IRSC has used the drone at many local commercial properties. The technology allows inspection findings to be reported to customers much faster.

Two IRSC roofing technicians Brian Barske and Richard Grages have passed a rigorous FAA certification and secure unmanned aircraft pilot’s licenses, a legal requirement before using the drone for commercial purposes.

“There’s a test that you have to take for the FAA. Training was online and you learn what you can and cannot do with flight restrictions,” said Grages. “We had pilots help us with longitude and latitude.”

Barske explains how drone technology saves time and cost.

“The time it would take to walk the building takes a lot less time with the drone technology. With a large building sometimes it takes two to three days to do an infrared scan. With a drone we can do it in one night,” he said.

When asked about the future of drone technology Velcheck said, “It will become the norm and more widely accepted once the general public understands drones and understands that this technology is extremely reliable.”