Building inspections are a necessity for new construction and building retrofits or changes. Not too long ago in New York, a building caught fire, and many people died because there were no codes or guidelines for fire safety during the time. There are several features that will determine a building’s overall safety.
The structure itself must be on a sound foundation and built to withstand certain forces that could cause it to topple over. Fire safety has become an ingrained part of every building, including fire exits, sprinkler systems, and proper fire proofing. A building’s plumbing and electrical lines are also equally as important. Building design is becoming much more sophisticated and controlled by automated systems as our technology improves. With all of this in mind, it is important to adhere to building codes and laws to ensure the safety of all people that will be using the facility.
There can be many causes for a fire in a building. This may include but is not limited to, lightning strikes, electrical fires, heat, or vandalism and negligence. The National Fire Protection Agency or NFPA publishes standards for buildings every year. These documents control how buildings are built, wired, and designed with fire alarm systems and sprinklers. It is important for these features to be inspected by an inspector to ensure they are working properly and are up to date on the most recent codes written by the NFPA. Just one misplaced or unoperational sprinkler can allow the spread of fire, and in turn the death of many people. Making sure your building is compliant for fire safety may be one of the most important reasons to have your building inspected.
Building materials can deteriorate and wear over time. Tall buildings that have elevators can have added risk if they are not consistently inspected and maintained. There are many materials and supports that go into the structure of a building’s frame. Trusses, columns, steel supports, cables, and many other components must be inspected for their ability to withstand loading and corrosion. Steel is a common material for large buildings. Metal can corrode and rust over time, and structures that are more than one story need to be inspected for their current condition. Weathering can also be a factor for the exterior of a building. It is important that a building be closed off from the outdoor environment, especially for buildings in extreme climates. The inspector will ensure that the building is safe to dwell in and that its supports can withstand the test of time.
Every building has an intricate network of pipes and tunnels to control the flow of water. Leaky pipes and valves can be the cause of failure in a wall, roof, or floor. Another reason to have your building inspected is for its plumbing and water control systems. Water is a powerful element that can cause much damage over time. If the plumbing of a building were to fail, flooding and sickness from mold growth can occur very rapidly. Many times it is hard to spot a slow leak, and it may go unnoticed for an extended period. Building inspectors will know what signs to look for, and will protect you from the risks involved with malfunctions in your plumbing.
When it comes to building safety, it is best to leave it to a professional who knows what to look for. Having your building inspected can save you money and lives down the road. The elements of the Earth will deteriorate our structures over time. Do your diligence, follow proper procedures and always have your building inspected prior to occupying it. If you’re having trouble finding a good inspector you may want to consider going to weinspecttexas.com.
The writer, Nick Quinlan, is a freelance writer specializing in property management and real estate topics. He always emphasizes the importance of making sure inspections are completed to his audience. If you wish to learn more about Nick you can visit on Google+.