Multi-Unit Properties Should Consider Regularly Scheduled Exterior Inspections
How often should a commercial building be inspected?
As commercial inspectors, we regularly inspect multi-unit properties. Multi-unit properties or any property that have multiple units and uses within it, such as shopping/strip malls, multi-family buildings, and some office buildings. Through experience and observation, we have realized that multi-unit properties should get regularly scheduled exterior inspections.
Why? First off, inspections are simply an important way to understand the condition of your building and to get ahead of potential problems. All commercial buildings should undergo detail annual inspections. But there are a few reasons why exterior inspections, in particular, are important.
1. Appearance Matters!
Whether you are an owner trying to sell a multi-unit property, trying to find tenants, or wanting to attract customers, building appearance matters. The first impression that a building’s exterior gives can make or break a buyer’s interest. An exterior inspection will help keep your exterior upkeep in check, so your building can be safe, durable, clean, and appealing, no matter what function it serves.
2. Weather Damage
Weather damage can happen anywhere, but you never know when a crazy storm might hit and what it can do to a property. From wind and tornadoes to rain and water damage, to snow and ice, weather damage may not even be immediately visible, but an exterior inspection can help identify any damage that may have been done.
3. With multiple tenants, exterior management can be overlooked
If you run a building with multiple units and tenants, it can be hard to stay on top of the proper upkeep of the front of a building, with so many people having different levels of ownership and responsibility towards it. Regular inspections help prevent exterior management from falling by the wayside.
An exterior inspection will differ based on the building, but generally, an exterior inspection will cover any doors and windows, siding, flashing, trim, walkways, eaves, soffits, fascia, vegetation and overhanging trees, grading, drainage, retaining walls, and fences.
Trying to decide how often you should schedule an exterior inspection? There are several factors to consider: what type of building it is, use and occupancy, age, history of damage, area it is in, etc. However, annual or biannual is a good rule of thumb.