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Recognizing Problems…before they become Big Problems

As the Property Manager of a commercial building, it’s inevitable that you will encounter issues related to its upkeep. What may start as a minor irritation can spiral into a costly repair unless a maintenance program is in place to catch problems early. Further, insurance from surprise expenses can be had by tracking past issues to predict a possible recurrence before it can escalate.

Commercial Properties and Complications that Impact them:

Electrical Faults: Not only are electrical troubles frustrating (most everything in a building relies on electricity to run), they can create dangerous circumstances. “Dead” outlets are often a sign something might be wrong with wirings, such as a poor circuit connection or a “too hot” breaker, causing it to trip. Because melting wires or faulty circuits create a fire hazard, electrical issues should be resolved immediately. 

Leaks: Uninvited water and leaks, often the result of deficiencies in the roof or guttering, can lead to significant problems and high repair costs if not dealt with quickly. The resulting rot and mold development can cause serious harm to a building. Regular roof inspection, proactive maintenance, and quick response to repairs all work toward avoiding heavy repair costs.

Old Structures: Until 20 years ago, there was a high chance that health-damaging asbestos was used in the construction of any given commercial building, contained in everything from pipework to roof tiles. Since safe removal can be an expensive undertaking, it’s not always an option. If the cost is out of reach, property owners are advised to take steps to avoid disturbing areas where asbestos resides.

Cracks: Fissures are often clues to underlying problems that need attention. While some small cracks can be a normal occurrence, they can also indicate damaging movement in the structure and its foundation. Subsidence, tree roots, and collapsed drains can all contribute to structural movement, and all need to be addressed. Seeking a professional opinion to identify the problem and solution is typically required.

Fire and Safety: Fire and Safety requirements evolve based on updated data. Taking advantage of the latest information protects your investment and is a legal mandate. Check to confirm that your property passes current fire and safety regulations. 

Vermin: Unwelcome tenants (rats, mice, etc.) can damage wiring and pipework if allowed to remain in residence and grow in numbers. Have a pest program in place and follow through with the recommended services. 

Energy Consumption: Inefficient use of energy is a major factor in the rising price of running a commercial property. Initiatives to lower costs include keeping the structure in a good state of repair, installing cost-effective lighting, and considering alternative energy sources like solar panels. 

If protecting your commercial investment can be summed up in a simple takeaway, it would be to take a proactive stance on maintenance, identifying and addressing problems early. In doing so, you will ensure you don’t spend more than necessary on repair costs while extending the lifespan of your valuable asset. 

Written by Sam

August 24, 2022

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