Don't Let an Incomplete Building Inspection Sideline Your Business
If you are thinking about leasing or buying a building for your 2021 business reboot, you are naturally going to want to get started with a complete building inspection. If you have gotten that far in your thought process, congratulations: You are already ahead of the game. Many people are so excited to get started, they can’t see past the too good to be true deal they got on the building.
A staggering number of people forget the old adage that if something is too good to be true, it probably is. It became an old adage because it has been true for such a long time. That is not to say that there are no good deals to be found. But you need to be realistic. There will be a lot of people looking for building space in 2021. Commercial realtors will not be offering low prices from the goodness of their hearts.
As you have realized, a complete building inspection is in order. However, you might be shocked to discover what a complete building inspection does not include. Here are a few of the bigger items, and what you can do about them:
Dust Extraction Systems
The three Cs of dust extraction are capture, convey, and collect. If you are installing a business that produces high levels of particulate matter such as concrete or wood dust. Air quality is vital. An ineffective dust extraction system can be harmful, even fatal to workers in that environment. Flu-like symptoms, bronchitis, and emphysema are just the beginning. Fungi and chemicals embedded in the lungs can cause cancer. If poor breathability does not end your business, the successful lawsuits will. Ductwork is not necessarily a part of a building inspection.
In one case study, GE used an inspection robot to “replace the process of having employees on a scissor lift manually reach into ducts to inspect them.” Besides being dangerous, the process was time-consuming and not very effective. The results of the new process were as follows:
- The Guardian S inspection robot successfully navigated the Dust Extraction System
- 4K video and images captured in real-time allowed GE to experience the inspection as it happened
- Labor hours reduced from 448 to 24, 1½ week inspection completed in 1½ days
- Cumulative manufacturing downtime reduced from 8 to just 2 days
Ductwork inspection is not just important for the initial inspection. Be sure to have an effective measure in place for ongoing dust extraction system inspection and maintenance.
Don’t be caught off guard. Your building inspection very likely does not include electrical systems. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, between 2012 and 2016, electrical failure was the second-leading cause of home fires. Electrical hazards are high on the cause list of industrial fires. Topping that list is flammable dust.
The good news is that many building inspectors offer electrical services on the side, or are associated with people who offer those services. You might be able to get a deal if you ask about it at the time of the inspection. No matter what type of business you are in, you will be running a lot of electricity though that building. To avoid property damage and loss of life, be sure to get the electrical systems thoroughly inspected and updated.
A quiet but often smelly killer is dampness that has seeped into your ceiling, walls, and foundation. It breeds mold which can be deadly. Even without the mold, it can exacerbate breathing problems such as asthma. It can even affect perfectly healthy people.
A water-damaged roof can cost thousands to repair and tens of thousands in damage. Despite the risks associated with dampness, concealed damp-proofing is not usually covered in a building inspection. That means you are on the hook for this vital aspect of your new headquarters. If you suspect dampness due to a musty odor or discoloration in walls and ceilings, call a testing and abatement specialist right away.
Getting a building inspection is vital to your company’s recovery. Just make sure that inspection is complete. specifically ask about dust extraction, electrical, and damp-proofing systems.