What to Expect During an Annual Building Inspection
Building inspections are required by most state and local building codes, zoning ordinances and regulations. An annual building inspection provides an opportunity for an expert to assess your building’s condition, its compliance with regulations and codes and its ability to ensure the health and safety of visitors, occupants and users of the structure.
The procedures of an annual building inspection may vary among municipalities, but there are some elements that should be similar no matter where your commercial property is located. The following list highlights some of those building inspection factors.
Exterior inspections cover the surfaces of a building, exterior equipment components, as well as the grounds surrounding the building. Your inspector will ensure that:
- Exterior walls are free of cracks or damage.
- Exterior windows are free of cracks or breakage.
- Exterior lighting and security systems are functional.
- Stairs, landings and handrails are in good repair.
- Paved surfaces are in good repair.
- Building sides are accessible to emergency equipment and personnel.
- Building address and other identifications are clearly visible.
Interior inspections usually cover important systems that keep a building operable and comfortable. Your inspector will ensure that:
- Electrical switches and outlets are in good repair.
- Electrical panels are secured.
- Circuit breakers are working properly with all electrical circuits identified and protected.
- Ground Fault Interrupters have been installed in outlets that might be exposed to water.
- Lock-out procedures are developed and implemented.
- Heating and cooling equipment are given regular preventive maintenance.
- Air filters have been recently changed.
- Vents, registers and ductwork are clean and in good repair.
- Heating and cooling units have been cleaned.
- Thermostats and system controls are working properly.
- Proper clearance is maintained around heating equipment.
- Furnace and boiler rooms are free of excess amounts of combustible material.
- Furnace and boiler rooms are locked.
- Cooling equipment are checked for refrigerant leaks.
- Fire protection systems are in place and functional.
- Fire protection systems receive regular maintenance and inspection.
- Water supplies to sprinkler systems are functional and secure.
- Fire alarms, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers and other safety devices are in place and functional and are inspected and tested regularly.
- Emergency exits are clearly marked and evacuation procedures are in place.
- Alarm systems are being monitored by a competent alarm company.
Roofs are vital to protecting both building occupants and the equipment, merchandise, papers and other tangible materials inside the structure. A leaky or badly damaged roof can let rainwater, snow, ice melt and other precipitation inside your building where it can cause significant damage. Roofs must also be able to maintain stability and strength to mount HVAC equipment, ventilation systems and other devices.
Plumbing inspections are very important and are usually separate from other interior inspections. The condition of your building’s plumbing system can directly affect occupant health and safety. Your inspector will ensure that:
- Toilets, faucets and other plumbing fixtures are working properly.
- Drain systems are clear and functional.
- Water heaters are maintained.
- Plumbing systems have been checked for leaks and that leaks have been repaired.
- Water pressure is adequate for building needs.
Responsibilities of Building Owners
- When an inspection is completed, building owners will have a number of responsibilities they must fulfill before certificates of compliance or other authorizations are issued.
- Repairs and corrections of violations must be made in a timely manner according to schedules set up by the inspecting authority.
- The physical structure of the building must be maintained in accordance with appropriate codes, rules and regulations during the period between one annual building inspection and the next.
- Occupancy and use requirements must be met and maintained.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection, and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial, and Residential settings. For more information on what you can expect during an annual building inspection, and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!