Maintenance is a vital part of owning real estate. If a commercial building is one of the biggest investments we can make in our lifetime, caring for it is fundamental. Buildings deteriorate much more quickly without proper care and attention and can result in injury or illness for people who spend the majority of their time in them. Risks to health can range from mild concerns such as poor ventilation and indoor air quality to more severe issues such as fire hazards. It is the property owners’ responsibility to eliminate anything that may risk people’s health or life. They can be held liable if injuries or deaths occur because of failure to reasonably address or warn visitors of possible hazards.
Everything wears out over time, and that is why regular upkeep is necessary. Buildings require consistent maintenance if we want to preserve their integrity, health, and safety.
A routine checkup is the first step to property maintenance. Here are simple ways to check the condition of your facility and what repairs or replacements are needed to keep it in great shape.
Inspect the interiors.
Check the state of the floors, ceilings, and windows. Check for loose tiles or furnishings. Review if the doors open, close, and lock accordingly. Look closely for leaks or water damage in the ceilings. In the restrooms, ensure that the toilets flush properly. See if all the lights are working and replace old bulbs. Test smoke detectors and fire alarms and change their batteries regularly.
Outside the individual units, make sure that exits and other signs are still clearly marked. Inspect stairs and railings to determine if any area is loose. Check the hallways and remove anything that is blocking the way or anything that may be a tripping hazard. Inspect ducts for dust buildup. Check the building’s fire safety equipment and adhere to the state’s requirements for when they need to be replaced.
Also, test if the security systems are working. Review if the interiors adhere to fire safety requirements.
Survey the exterior for wear and tear.
Check the exterior walls for visible cracks and dismantled areas. It would help if you looked at the state of the outdoor walls’ paint and windows. Don’t forget to clear any debris from the roof and examine its condition. If your building has decks and patios, see if there are loose railings. Also, inspect the condition of the parking lots and sidewalks.
Check the air quality and ventilation.
Monitor your facility’s indoor air quality by checking if there is adequate ventilation as it is the first defense against air pollutants.
Among the most common air pollutants that significantly contribute to poor indoor air quality include carbon monoxide. It can cause chest pain, fatigue, or impaired vision, and at high concentrations, can prove fatal. Watch out also for volatile organic compounds, which are derived from disinfectants, dehumidifiers, and other air fresheners. Particulate matter is another pollutant. It is a combination of solid particles and liquid droplets suspended in the air, such as dust, pollen, smoke, and others. Left unchecked, these air pollutants can stay undetected and cause significant damage to the health of the building’s occupants.
Temperature and humidity levels also greatly affect overall comfort, and buildings need to be well-equipped for extreme weather and temperature changes.
Do it regularly.
Preventive maintenance means identifying parts of a structure that are wearing out and replacing or repairing them to extend its service and to prevent accidents and other unfortunate incidents. Routine checkups may seem like a lot of work, but they are necessary for the long-term care of the property and the protection of the building’s residents and frequent visitors.
Don’t hesitate to consult with experts.
If some details seem to go over your head, don’t hesitate to consult with experts. Many agencies specialize in inspecting and caring for every aspect of a facility’s health. They can check the property’s structural integrity and can do an energy assessment. They have state-of-the-art equipment and tools to monitor indoor air quality monitoring. Many of them offer testing, altering, and balancing services—a three-step process used to achieve proper heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)—ensuring that the interior environment has a stabilized climate. These experts can also conduct dust mitigation and pest control. They can identify and address issues in ways that laymen cannot.
Doing our due diligence with our real estate properties—whether commercial or residential—may seem tedious and daunting, but it is a task that’s beneficial for everyone. If it will prevent unnecessary ailments or worse, death, then doing routine checkups now and again is more than worth the cost and the effort. As property owners, other people being harmed due to our negligence is a mistake we cannot afford.