The Importance of Building Inspection and What They Mean for Your Business
by Arina Smith Business 01 September 2021
What is a building inspection?
A building inspection is when a structure that is intended to be used by people is examined in order to determine if it meets building code requirements. There are two main types of buildings: residential (for a living) and commercial (for business), and building inspectors can be certified to inspect either of the two. There can also be different types of inspections at each phase of construction, such as structural, electrical, and plumbing inspections.
The key thing here is to make sure you have your building inspected by professionals. This prevents any type of hurt, harm, or danger from happening to you, your business, and potential employees and customers. Take a look at why it’s vital you get any building you’re interested in investing in inspected first.
Why are building inspections important?
We may not always think about it, but all buildings that we enter and exit on a daily basis have to be constructed in a certain way so that they won’t collapse on us.
All buildings that people enter into must comply with certain safety regulations in order to be declared safe for use. When buildings have passed an inspection, it means that all work (whether new construction or remodels) has been properly done under a permit and has met the minimum standards to ensure the safety of all occupants of the building.
If you’re renting an older building for your business, it’s important that you have a building inspection done before purchasing and opening, especially if you’ve had any remodeling done. Remodels are structural changes to the inside of a building, and they should always be done with a building permit and by a professional.
Most remodeling projects, whether in a residential property or a commercial property, cannot be done without a building permit(s). Building permits are usually granted by a regulatory agency as a way to enforce guidelines in construction before any new construction or remodeling can take place. This is why any new construction or remodeling project should always be done by a professional.
When to get a building inspection
If you’re looking into getting a physical location for your business, it is important that you have the building inspected, especially if it is older, has been used before, and even if it has not been used for a while. A thorough building inspection will look for problems such as foundation issues, electrical problems, and plumbing problems.
Other things that need to be carefully considered (mostly in older buildings) are the presence of any harmful materials. An example of this would be asbestos, which was widely used for insulation in older buildings in the past but is now banned because it is known to have caused cancer in people who have had prolonged exposure to the substance.
Periodic building inspections are also necessary for certain types of buildings. Over time, buildings settle and see normal wear and tear over the years, especially due to natural disasters. All commercial buildings should receive another inspection after earthquakes, hurricanes, or any other natural disaster that has caused any damage.
Even if you’ve been in your company building for years, you should have a building inspection done if you notice any of these indicators of a structural issue:
- Vertical or horizontal cracks in the interior walls or exterior foundation.
- Doors/windows sticking/not opening or closing correctly.
- Zigzag cracks in the foundation.
- A broken chimney.
- Any separations from interior walls (cabinets, molding, etc.).
- Electrical and/or plumbing issues.
- Sunken/upheaved areas of the building.
- Cracked ceramic tiles/warped wooden flooring/separated linoleum floors
If you’re renting the space that houses your business, then it is the property manager’s job to see that any inspection that needs to take place is done. On the other hand, if you’re the property owner, then this now becomes your responsibility, or you can hire the help of a property manager.
Either way, if you notice any sudden changes in any part of the property that can be explained, it is important that these concerns be addressed to ensure the safety of your customers/clients, employees, and yourself.