Are Your Building Inspections Up to Date?

Building inspections are crucial to protecting your property and complying with local codes and regulations. These evaluations can identify and address hazards that save you money on costly repairs or fines.

Whether you own a commercial or residential building, you should schedule routine inspections to keep your facility in good condition. Depending on the inspection type, you may need to collaborate with various professionals. But in the end, you’ll know that your building and those occupying it are safe.

Common Types of Building Inspections

The type of building you own will determine what kind of inspection you need. The following inspections are most common:

1. Fire Sprinkler Inspection

A fire sprinkler inspection checks the operation and maintenance of your fire sprinkler system. These inspections are required annually by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). A visual inspection of the exposed sprinkler system and a comprehensive testing of all mechanical components will keep you in compliance with NFPA 25.

Complying with this inspection helps your system avoid malfunctions during a fire. However, the NFPA also requires quarterly inspections of smaller components, like gauges.

2. Electrical Inspection

Electrical problems are among the most common causes of house fires. However, routine electrical inspections can help. Understanding any issues with your electrical system helps prevent fires, electrical shocks, and power outages. It also reduces your energy consumption, resulting in lower bills.

An electrical building inspection requires a certified inspector to assess the electrical system and ensure all components are up to code. It’s an in-depth review of all components, including:

  • Switches
  • Outlets
  • Wiring
  • Panels
  • Appliances
  • Systems

You should have a minimum professional electrical inspection every three to five years. But having a certified inspector perform this service when buying a new home is also essential.

3. HVAC Inspection

Neglecting your HVAC system could lead to problems like uncomfortable temperatures, carbon monoxide exposure, or replacing your entire unit. HVAC inspections prevent malfunctions and keep your equipment fully operational. A licensed HVAC technician can complete this type of inspection.

Regardless of your HVAC system type, a yearly inspection is the best scenario for your building. After identifying any issues and having them repaired, you may notice an increase in efficiency.

4. Plumbing Inspection

A plumbing inspection evaluates the quality and performance of your plumbing system. It includes thoroughly reviewing pipes, faucets, drains, and fixtures like your toilet and water heater. The trained plumber conducting the assessment can detect leaks, corrosion, clogs, and other potential problems that cause water damage and mold growth.

An annual inspection may not be necessary because plumbing components do not deteriorate as quickly as the mechanical parts of your HVAC system. The standard recommendation is to have a qualified plumber check it every two years.

5. Roof Inspection

You likely don’t look at your roof every day. That’s why roof inspections are a crucial part of maintaining the integrity of your building. A roof inspector examines every roof component, including the structural support and roofing materials. They will identify any signs of damage within the walls or ceiling.

Although a yearly roof inspection is ideal, you may also want to schedule one if your ceiling leaks or waive the home inspection during the buying process. By conducting this assessment, you can identify roofing problems early and avoid costly repairs.

6. Foundation Inspection

Foundation damage compromises the safety of your building. A certified foundation inspector will alert you to critical areas with damage. By the end of the evaluation, you’ll also know if it is not up to the most recent building codes.

How often you schedule a foundation inspection depends on the type of foundation your building has and related circumstances. Any time you suspect damage, you’ll want to schedule an inspection. But it’s also essential to have an inspector review the foundation after severe weather events. Otherwise, it’s safe to have a comprehensive assessment every few years.

Scheduling a Building Inspection

All building inspections should be performed by a licensed professional with the expertise and equipment to complete the job. You can find reputable local inspectors by asking friends or family members for referrals, reading online reviews, and verifying credentials and insurance.

Building inspections are vital to keeping your property safe and improving it. They assure that your occupants and investments are protected and that you comply with the law. By scheduling these routine inspections with qualified inspectors, you can keep your building up to date and avoid unwanted surprises.