Periodic inspection of commercial buildings is part of their regular preventive maintenance. These inspections do not only prevent higher costs for repairs that are easily avoidable; they also reduce the public’s risks for injury.
Commercial buildings must always ensure that their tenants, vendors, and visitors are safe when they pass through or spend any amount of time in the building’s public spaces. Maintaining a reasonable standard of care is an implicit expectation that the commercial property’s owner has an obligation to meet. With a periodic commercial building inspection, building management can ensure that the property complies with commercial building regulations.
What happens during a periodic commercial building inspection?
It is part of the building management’s obligation to perform routine inspections of the property. But hiring professional and accredited commercial building inspectors to assess the condition of the building more thoroughly and on a regular basis is also mandatory. Such an inspection includes assessment of the following:
- Overall condition of the building and grounds. A professional inspector knows how to properly assess the building’s structural stability and overall safety. He will look for signs of damage to the foundation (cracks, damp, and leakages), as well as public safety hazards (such as loose tiles, excess debris, puddles, or snow/ice).
- Major building systems. These include the plumbing and electrical systems, HVAC, and fire and safety systems. Seasonal changes, extreme weather conditions, and manufacturer’s specifications will determine when these systems should be inspected. All appropriate documentation, inspection certificates, and licenses are also checked, particularly for the fire and safety systems.
- Building modifications. The inspector will make sure that all internal and external modifications made to the building comply with building and zoning regulations.
- Advice and reminders on property maintenance. The inspector’s report will not only include items/areas that require repair or replacement; it will also provide expert recommendations on how to properly maintain the building to prevent problems, avoid incidental costs, and protect the overall value and health of the building.
Commercial property owners must include a periodic building inspection to their preventative maintenance plan. Being able to identify both existing and potential problems will help them avoid larger and more costly issues, as well as ensure that all critical systems of the building are in proper working order. A commercial property is governed by stricter regulations, and property owners and management should also enforce their own strict and high level of standard for regular preventive maintenance not only to protect themselves from liability, but also to keep their tenants and the public safe and maintain the health and value of their property.