When you’re purchasing a commercial building for your business or as an investment you want to thoroughly explore the property for potential future repair costs or factors to be covered in your purchasing decision. Here’s three areas where you may have missed costly items during a typical inspection: Doors, Bathrooms & Roofs.
Overlooked Inspection Points For Steel Doors on Commercial Buildings
What is the Condition of the Doors? Are the doors in good condition, is the wood peeling or delaminating?
Does it meet Codes? If a door doesn’t meet codes, this could cost money when the fire martial does an inspection. (Your fire rated doors should never swing into building, they should always swing out for egress and never have a deadbolts, rods, chains or anything preventing quick egress. Previous building owners often add accessories after an inspection that could lead to large fines if found.
Do The Doors Function Correctly? The door has a tight fit against the frame (could mean building settling), latching issues (door is too far from frame to latch and stay closed. Could be easily opened with a knife) Security, is the lock good?
Are the Doors Energy Efficient? Old metal doors often have no insulation, poor seals and are prone to letting cold or hot air into the building. If you’re doing anything to improve building efficiency, be sure to check the doors too.
Overlooked Inspection Points For Bathrooms
While most inspectors look for obvious leaks, they seldom look for these common bathroom problems.
Bathroom Doesn’t Meet ADA Codes
While it may not be an immediate issue as bathrooms are “Grandfathered In” This might become an issue if you plan to renovate, as the renovations will be required to meed modern ADA codes requiring that at least one stall be 60”x60” barrier free width doors and toilet side grab bars.
Rusted Or Loose Partitions
In years past, powder coated commercial toilet partitions were made using standard painted metal and cheap brackets. Unlike modern galvanealed steel and powder coating methods used on newer stalls, older toilet partitions are highly susceptible to rust with aging. Additionally, older bathrooms were often constructed without blocking. This wood behind the walls is highly recommended to help support the toilet partitions. Without it, stalls start to sag and pull off the wall. This can eventually be dangerous.
Something most building owners don’t think about is that many of their bathroom accessories, such as paper towel and toilet paper dispensers are tied to a paper contract. Paper companies will give these items away for free or at extreme discount if the owner agrees to buy their refills from them for a given period of time. What that means for the new building owner is that they may be stuck with a new service contract, or replacing these items. This can be a large upfront expense.
Water efficient fixtures.
If not already installed, consider the costs to adding water efficient fixtures to the bathroom. This can save thousands of gallons of water a year.
Common things to maintain and have inspected on your commercial roof
- Unsealed nails, may cause rust which can deteriorate the nails and cause them to back out
- Unsealed or detached flashings on walls and chimney, may lead to water intrusion
- Cracks in brick and mortar, may lead to water intrusion
- Nail pops, these are nails that back themselves out of the decking and overtime can wear completely through the shingles
- Missing shingles
- Deteriorated pipe flashings, the ring around the pipe is made of rubber and over time can crack from uv rays
- Rusted or worn shunned caps holding water
Hopefully this list gave you at least one or two items to inspect on your potential commercial commercial property purchase!