Oldies rock-and-roll may be fun, but it can be a terrible source of advice for commercial real estate. In yet another expected walloping snow and ice storm, the last place you want to be is up on the roof.

But in the aftermath of any storm, that might be exactly where someone should be. Is there damage? Or even in fairer weather, it is wise to monitor roof health to plan needed maintenance—and potentially major capital expenditures.

This type of inspection is costly in person-hours and inconvenient. Over the last few years, companies have been developing new technological approaches to check on how things look. One example is Betterview, which has solutions for property and casualty insurance companies. A combination of satellite and manned aircraft imagery, computer vision software, and analytic models allows the company to remotely identify whether a roof is damaged, worn, or potentially at some other risk like an overhanging tree.

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