A vector image of a drone flying over a city and buildings

A drone company in Florida is switching up its business model in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic by offering drone cleaning services.

Upward Drone Solutions of Pensacola Beach opened up just a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic to provide cleaning to the exteriors of buildings using drones. However, demand for the exterior cleaning of buildings dropped significantly because of the pandemic, causing the company to covert into a "sanitation company," reports Insurance Journal.

Upward Drone Solutions has been been providing sanitation services to schools, parks, music venues, airports and stadiums for about two months. This service is provided by flying the drone approximately eight feet above the ground as it releases sanitizer that's held in an onboard storage tank. The sanitizer is able to completely cover surfaces because the solution is given an electrostatic charge.

The company says it uses an "illuminator tool" to check if there are germs present on surfaces after the spray has been carried out. The company's chief executive officer says the service is intended to mitigate the spread of germs in facilities. He says people visiting these facilities still need to wear masks and carry out other safety precautions.

This drone sanitizing service does have its limits. Each drone can only fly for about 10 minutes at a time before having to come back down for a battery recharge and tank refill. But a lot can get done in that time - 17,000 square feet can be covered if all the surfaces are flat and the wind (for outdoor application) is less than 10 miles per hour.